After just one free practice session, disrupted by two red flags and dominated by Max Verstappen, it’s already time for the qualifying session for the Austrian F1 Grand Prix! This format is used for the fifth time in history, the second in the season, since there will be a Sprint tomorrow.
It is therefore the Sprint grid that will be determined by this 60-minute session, with the classic Q1/Q2/Q3 format. The poleman will therefore be the fastest in this session, but future penalties, such as that of Valtteri Bottas, will however apply to the grid on Sunday, and not to that of the Sprint.
Charles Leclerc was second in EL1 and will try to beat Verstappen for pole position, after two Grands Prix without achieving it, in Canada and Great Britain. The Mercedes F1 drivers hope to confirm their good disposition from Great Britain, but also from EL1.
Q1 – 18 mins
Leclerc was the first to set a very good time in 1’06.762, immediately beaten by Carlos Sainz in 1’06.363, but the Spaniard had his time canceled for exceeding the track limits in the last corner . “I haven’t exceeded them, I promise”he tried to argue on the radio.
Sergio Pérez placed himself 0.044 behind Leclerc. Lando Norris and Alex Albon positioned themselves half a second behind the Ferrari driver. Albon was therefore fit to drive all weekend after his big accident at Silverstone.
Fernando Alonso took the best time in 1’06″716, beaten by Kevin Magnussen in 1’06″651, then by Mick Schumacher in 1’06″503. Leclerc put everyone in agreement in 1’16” 200, not beaten by Sainz in 1’06″397.
Pérez took the best time in 1’06″143, beaten by Verstappen in 1’06″097. But the Dutchman’s time was erased for the same reasons as Sainz, after his four wheels went beyond the track limits on the final corner. Alonso took second time.
Magnussen slipped between the Ferraris in fourth place, and Schumacher in sixth place. George Russell took fourth place before Lewis Hamilton took the best time in 1’06″079.
At that time there were five teams, Mercedes, Red Bull, Alpine, Ferrari and Haas, in just over three tenths. Esteban Ocon climbed back into the top 10, between the Haas, the Alfa Romeos progressed close to the top 10, and Albon took eighth place.
Verstappen then regained control in 1’05″852, to cheers from the crowd. But those were short-lived, Sainz regaining the lead in 1’05″660. Leclerc then set the fastest time in 1’05″419. Norris set the eighth time, taking cover, which was not the case for Sebastian Vettel, 17th.
Several riders improved, including Zhou and Ricciardo, but these two failed to pull themselves out of the elimination zone. Lance Stroll had succeeded, but he quickly fell back down the rankings. Albon and Yuki Tsunoda fled.
The eliminated are Ricciardo, Stroll, Zhou, Latifi and Vettel.
Q2 – 15 mins
Leclerc set the best time in 1’05″774, quickly beaten by Verstappen in 1’05″568. Russell set the absolute best first sector and beat Leclerc by 3 thousandths, before Hamilton set the best time in 1’05″538!
Sainz placed fifth ahead of Ocon and Pérez, while Albon and Gasly followed. Norris missed his first qualifying lap, and that was when the Haas, quick in Q1, took to the track for Q2. Hamilton improved his time to 1’05″475.
Magnussen took sixth place, immediately beaten by his teammate Schumacher. Bottas narrowly made it into the top 10, but Alonso pulled him out by placing just behind Sainz. Pérez was provisionally eliminated after a lap canceled for not respecting the limits of the track. The Mexican complained of understeer.
Leclerc took over the fastest time in 1’05″287, while Norris was only 13th on his first fast lap. The McLaren driver complained of a lack of confidence in braking. Ocon improved and took hold from sixth position, just ahead of Alonso.The Alpine A522 and its drivers confirmed their good disposition.
Albon managed to climb back into the provisional top 10, a great performance from the Thai, who has not yet recovered. Magnussen reclaimed sixth, and Gasly grabbed tenth, knocking Albon out of the top 10. Pérez improved and took sixth fastest, knocking Gasly out of the top 10.
The eliminated are Gasly, Albon, Bottas, Tsunoda and Norris.
Q3 – 12 minutes
Race direction confirmed that Pérez breached the track limits on his last fast lap in Q2. He exposes himself to a penalty because his time should have been erased, which would have allowed Gasly to pass in Q3.
Hamilton had gone for a fast first lap but abandoned it in progress, leaving Leclerc to set the fastest time in 1’05″183. Russell took second place, immediately beaten by Sainz, who came in at 0″117 by Leclerc.
Verstappen then set the fastest lap in 1’05″092. Behind Russell, pushed back to fifth place, were Ocon and Magnussen. Alonso did not make his first fast lap until the end, and Schumacher did not was not yet slender at this point in the session.
Russell improved for the fifth time, and Hamilton hit the wall at turn number 7! A rare image of the Englishman in the wall, who was fine and admitted to being very disappointed. The red flag was raised.
There were 5 minutes left when the session was restarted, and Russell took to the track first, driving the only surviving Mercedes W13. But on his first fast lap, the Briton also lost control and hit the wall in the last corner from behind! The spoiler was damaged, half a train too, and possibly the gearbox. The red flag has been raised again.
An investigation was underway against Russell, who allegedly crossed the track without permission after his accident. There were 2’30 remaining on the clock when the red flag was raised, and the activity on the track of the eight remaining drivers is likely to be intense.
The eight remaining drivers in this Q3 were therefore the two Red Bulls, the two Ferraris, the two Alpines and the two Haas. For the last two teams, the objective was above all to seek the time of Russell, provisional fifth.
All the drivers were able to restart for a fast lap, Leclerc beat Verstappen’s time in 1’05″013, and Sainz immediately came between the two men! Verstappen seemed to have lost everything but despite two failed first sectors, Verstappen took the best time in 1’04″984, 29 thousandths ahead of Leclerc, and 82 thousandths ahead of Sainz.
Pérez is fourth ahead of Russell and Ocon, then Magnussen and Schumacher who will be on the fourth row of the Sprint tomorrow. Alonso and Hamilton are ninth and tenth.
|pos.||Pilot||Car||Q1 time||Q2 time||Q3 time|
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:05.852||1:05.374||1:04.984|
|02||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:05.419||1:05.287||1:05.013|
|03||carlos sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:05.660||1:05.576||1:05.066|
|04||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:06.143||1:05.805||1:05.404|
|05||george russell||Mercedes W13||1:06.235||1:05.697||1:05.431|
|06||Stephen Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:06.468||1:05.993||1:05.726|
|07||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:06.366||1:05.894||1:05.879|
|08||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:06.405||1:06.151||1:06.011|
|09||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:06.016||1:06.082||1:06.103|
|ten||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:06.079||1:05.475||1:13.151|
|11||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:06.589||1:06.160|
|12||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:06.516||1:06.230|
|13||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:06.442||1:06.319|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:06.463||1:06.851|
|15||Lando Norris||McLarenMercedes MCL36||1:06.330||1:25.847|
|16||Daniel Ricardo||McLarenMercedes MCL36||1:06.613|
|17||Spear Stroll||Aston MartinMercedes AMR22||1:06.847|
|18||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:06.901|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:07.003|
|20||Sebastian Vettel||Aston MartinMercedes AMR22||1:07.083|