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Max Verstappen scored his 7th F1 pole position of his career. The Dutchman did it during the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying session today. The Red Bull driver will start from P1 for the second time on Red Bull Ring. It was the 67th pole for Red Bull Racing.
After all drivers had set a lap time it was Max Verstappen who topped the timesheet with a 1:04.249 min. Surprisingly both Mercedes drivers were not 2nd and 3rd. McLaren driver Lando Norris beat them and was only +0.096s slower than Verstappen. Comeback man Fernando Alonso also pushed out a great lap in the Alpine and was even 3rd quickest!
With 5 minutes to go Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Mick Schumacher (Haas) and Nikita Mazepin (Haas) had to improve to get into Q2. In the end only Gasly was able to improve enough to get into Q2. The French driver did what he had to do and pushed out Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen.
The other Red Bull driver Sergio Perez went out as first try to drive a quick lap on the medium tyres to be able to start tomorrow's race on them. He clocked a 1:04.554 min and was 0.3s quicker than his first run on the softs in Q1.
The drivers in the drop zone with 5 minutes to go were Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo). Alonso drove a much slower lap on the soft tyres than his Q1.
Verstappen, Norris, Perez, Hamilton, Bottas, Sainz, Leclerc and Ricciardo had tied to qualify on the medium tyres up till now. Strangely both Ferrari driver didn't switch to the quicker red soft tyres to get into Q3 in their last stint.
When the finish flag dropped it was George Russell who got in Q3 on medium tyres with the Williams for the first time since Monza 2018. Alonso also was a lot quicker until the last corner when he got blocked by Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin. Vettel will certainly get a grid penalty for that, but that won't get Alonso into Q3. Both Ferrari didn't made it into Q3 for the first time this season.
After the first run for pole position Verstappen was quickest with a 1:03.720 min. Norris had a tremendous lap (+0.238s) and had put the McLaren in front of both Mercedes'. Hamilton was 3rd (+0.294s), Bottas 4th (+0329s), Perez 5th (+0498s), Gasly 6th (+0.769s), Vettel 7th (+0.860s), Tsunoda 8th (+0.922s), Stroll 9th (+1.700s) and Russell 10th without a time.
In the last run Verstappen didn't improve the pole time. He even got under threat of Lando Norris who was only +0.048s slower than Verstappen.
The pole time of last year's Austrian GP was a 1:02.939 min driven by Valtteri Bottas for the Mercedes team.
Qualifying Times 2021 Austrian GP
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:04.249||1:03.927||1:03.720||15|
|3||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:04.833||1:04.483||1:03.990||23|
|8||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:04.846||1:04.493||1:04.570||20|
|10||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:04.927||1:04.547||1:04.618||21|
|11||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:04.596||1:04.559||15|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:04.782||15|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:05.009||9|
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