Verstappen takes pole for Austrian GP sprint

Sports Desk, Jul 8 (EFE).- Defending Formula One champion and current points leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) won pole position Friday for the qualifying sprint at the Grand Prix of Austria.

The winner of Saturday’s sprint will earn 3 points in the driver standings, with second place good for 2 points and third for a single point. More importantly, the sprint result determines the start order for Sunday’s main event.

The Dutchman turned in a tremendous final lap in Q3 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg to relegate the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to second and third, respectively.

Verstappen completed the circuit in 1:04.984, just 0.029 seconds faster than the Monaco driver, and 0.082s better than the Spaniard, who posted his first F1 win last week at Silverstone.

Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez (Red Bull) came fourth, but was subsequently penalized for violating track limits in Q2 and will start the sprint from 13th on the grid.

As a result of the penalty, Briton George Russell (Mercedes) moved up to P4 even though he crashed out early in Q3.

Occupying the third row will be Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas), whose German teammate, Mick Schumacher, will share the fourth row with Spanish two-time champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

British seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and France’s Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) round out the top 10.

After 10 rounds, Verstappen is atop the driver standings with 181 points, followed by Perez with 147, Leclerc (138), Sainz (127), Russell (111) and Hamilton (93). EFE


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