Verstappen takes Austria pole ahead of Norris

Lando Norris just 0.04s behind pole sitter at Red Bull Ring

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 03, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202107030269 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen will start the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position, with McLaren’s Lando Norris joining him on the front row for the first time in his career.

The Briton was just 0.04s behind the championship leader, while Sergio Perez completed the top three.

Lewis Hamilton, fresh from penning a new two-year contract with Mercedes, couldn’t match the front-runners, having to settle for fourth, ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Fernando Alonso’s hopes of making it through to Q3 were dealt a blow when he caught a pack of drivers warming up at the end of his flying lap, with Sebastian Vettel blocking his path.

Having narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 10 last week, George Russell secured a spot in the final part of qualifying for the first time as a Williams driver, making it through on the medium tyres, while both Ferraris missed out.

Russell got ahead of Lance Stroll with a late push, putting him ninth on the grid tomorrow, although Vettel remains under investigation for blocking Alonso.

It was a strong session for AlphaTauri, with Pierre Gasly just behind the Mercedes duo, and Yuki Tsunoda in seventh.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lando Norris (McLaren)

3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

6. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

7. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

8. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

9. George Russell (Williams)

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

11. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

12. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

13. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

14. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

16. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

17. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

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