Verstappen P1 in Austria Shootout, Norris and Hulkenberg shine

Jaden Diaz
1 Jul, 2023

Max Verstappen was fastest again in Austria, claiming P1 on the grid with a series of impressive laps in the Sprint Shootout, benefitting from extra sets of soft tyres.

With rain from early in the morning drying up before the Sprint Qualifying, the number of free compounds available became a crucial factor.

Perez recovered from a disappointing Friday to finish behind Verstappen in second, putting himself in a good position to claim important points.

Lando Norris and Nico Hulkenberg were the stand-out performers, building from their Q3 appearances in qualifying to claim the second row of the grid ahead of the Sprint.

Ferrari and Aston Martin locked out the third and fourth rows respectively, with both teams in a decent position to compete at the front for the remainder of the weekend.

Ocon finished in a reasonable P9, whilst Kevin Magnussen did well to make SQ3 – although he will be disappointed with the gap to his teammate in fourth place.

The main headline further down the field was Lewis Hamilton, who will start from a disappointing 18th after having a lap deleted and being impeded by Verstappen in SQ1.

Hydraulics issues prevented Russell from setting a lap in SQ2, giving Mercedes a very steep hill to overcome for the Sprint Race this afternoon.

Yuki Tsunoda was frustrated to be impeded by several cars on his best attempt in SQ2, though it remains to be seen whether any investigations will follow.

The stewards have summoned Charles Leclerc for allegedly impeding Oscar Piastri in SQ1, with the Monegasque set to report to the FIA at 13:30 local time.

With the probability of rain decreasing, a grid drop would be detrimental in a relatively short Sprint where only eight drivers claim points.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang