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Max Verstappen

Verstappen grabs pole in Austria after Hamilton and Russell crash heavily

Max Verstappen converted his strong practice pace into pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint race, while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crashed out of proceedings.

Verstappen Austria
To news overview © XPB Images

Red Bull's Max Verstappen snatched F1 Sprint pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix during a dramatic conclusion to qualifying.

Verstappen, who led after the first Q3 runs, improved to a time of 1:04.984 on his final effort to finish just ahead of Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

It came after heavy crashes for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in the decisive Q3 session, scuppering what had been a strong start to Mercedes' weekend.

Hamilton initially lost control of his car at Turn 7, before Russell went rearwards into the barriers at Turn 10 – both incidents bringing out the red flags.

Russell - under investigation for "entering the track without permission" after jumping out of his stricken W13 - wound up fifth, behind the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with Hamilton back in 10th position.

Hamilton and Russell's crashes opened the door for Alpine and Haas at the final session restart – both teams making it through to Q3 with their two cars.

Esteban Ocon took sixth, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Mick Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

Result Qualification - Austrian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Albon almost springs a surprise in Q2

A few minutes earlier, it was a frantic Q2 session as 15 drivers squabbled to make it through to the pole position shootout.

Alex Albon came close to repeating teammate Nicholas Latifi's Q3 appearance at Silverstone as he squeezed his updated Williams into the top 10 in the closing minutes, only to be pushed back to 12th position.

Both AlphaTauris fell at the second hurdle, with Pierre Gasly 11th and Yuki Tsunoda back in 14th – the Japanese driver left to rue a mistake at Turn 1 on his final effort.

Valtteri Bottas this time led Alfa Romeo's charge in 13th, with Lando Norris the other driver to drop out in Q2 amid apparent car problems.

Norris commented over the radio that he was "scared" to hit the brakes as replays showed several wild moments for the McLaren driver.

Bottas will drop to the back of the Austrian GP grid - Sunday's main event rather than the Sprint on Saturday - after several new Ferrari power unit elements were fitted inside his car, triggering a penalty.

Ricciardo the big name to fall in Q1

After encountering DRS issues in FP1, Daniel Ricciardo suffered a painful Q1 exit – his second of 2022 after the Bahrain season opener.

Despite a solid improvement on his final run, the Australian was still almost three-tenths slower than teammate Norris, who made it through to Q2 in eighth.

It was also a tough session for Aston Martin, as the team extended their run of successive double Q1 eliminations to a third Grand Prix weekend.

Lance Stroll wound up 17th behind Ricciardo, with Sebastian Vettel placing at the very back after losing his best lap time to track limits.

"Man, that's painful," the four-time World Champion lamented over the radio on his way back to the pits, adding a swear word for good measure.

Zhou Guanyu - fully recovered from his horror Silverstone crash - and Nicholas Latifi put their Alfa Romeo and Williams machines between the Aston Martins.

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F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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