Automotive

Max Verstappen Takes Back-To-Back Poles At Austrian GP


Illustration for article titled Max Verstappen Takes Back-To-Back Poles At Austrian GP

Photo: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP (Getty Images)

Max Verstappen is truly on his game during the 2021 Formula One season. His second pole position in a row comes at Red Bull Racing’s home track ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix — and it’s hard to imagine anyone else having anything to challenge the Dutch driver.

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Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix dawned with beautiful that promised a solid session. Max Verstappen at Red Bull Racing showed a strong early pace, taking the provisional top spot on the timing sheets and maintaining it until the end of the session; it looked as though Red Bull would be the team to beat at its home track.

On the Mercedes side of things, Valtteri Bottas had a quick initial pace, ending the first session second on the timing board. Lewis Hamilton lingered down in sixth. A bigger talking point, though, was the sheer disparity between McLaren drivers: Lando Norris was third quickest while Daniel Ricciardo, who seems to be struggling to put together a decent season, just barely squeaked by into Q2.

Knocked Out In Q1

16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

17. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

18. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

At the start of the second qualifying session, Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri led the charge, making the most of a slower Mercedes start to the qualifying weekend.

Knocked Out In Q2

11. George Russell (Williams)

12. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)

13. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

14. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Tauri)

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All eyes were on Verstappen as Q3 kicked off, and he didn’t disappoint when he took the lead in the session right from the start. It was, ultimately, another pole for Verstappen.

While Bottas is listed as qualifying second, he’ll actually start fifth after a three-place grid penalty awarded for spinning in the pit lane during the second practice session of the weekend.

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