Max Verstappen has pole and starts sprint race at the front, Mercedes duo crashes | formula 1

with videosMax Verstappen has had an excellent start to the Austrian Grand Prix. The reigning world champion was fastest for the third time in a row in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring and will start at the front of tomorrow’s sprint race.

By Marijn Abbenhuijs

On the lightning-fast Red Bull Ring, it was difficult for the drivers to keep their cars within the limits of the track. If a car ended up outside the lines, the lap time was reduced and that happened to several top riders. For example, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, the winner of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, were taken lap times. It didn’t stop Sainz from finishing in front of Verstappen in the first qualifying round, as the Ferraris were the fastest.

In the second lap it was Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez who ran into problems because he was unable to keep his Red Bull within the lines. He had to prevent him from not making the top-10 at the very last minute.

It all dwarfed the problems Lewis Hamilton faced. The Briton, who has shown a little better in recent weeks, crashed in the third qualifying round. He lost control of his Mercedes and, to the delight of the many Dutch fans in Austria, came into hard contact with the wall.

Watch Hamilton’s crash



Until then, the battle for pole position seemed to be one between three teams. But Mercedes dropped out in that game. Because George Russell also crashed in the final phase of qualifying. They therefore do not start the sprint race at the front. For them it is hoped that the damage to the cars is not too great and that they even have to start at the very back.

Watch Russell’s crash



After the incidents with the Mercedes, there was only time for one flying lap for the other eight drivers in Q3. Until then, Verstappen was the fastest. And then he was again. Leclerc and Sainz were both faster than the time the Dutchman had. But the reigning world champion dived under again with his ultimate attempt.

© Pool via REUTERS

He takes pole position at the Red Bull Ring for the third time in a row. He did that during both the races that were held there last season. He will start the second sprint race of this season at the front. In Imola, the first sprint race of the season, he also started at the front. That was a harbinger of a perfect weekend, in which he took no less than 34 points. He would love to do it again in Austria, in front of the orange-colored stands.

Pool via REUTERS
© Pool via REUTERS

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© AFP




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