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Max Verstappen

Verstappen makes Austrian wish after 'statement' performance

Max Verstappen has shared his hopes for the Austrian Grand Prix after he called a "statement" from Red Bull in qualifying at the circuit named after the team.

Verstappen quali
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Max Verstappen says he hopes to have a close fight with Lando Norris for victory at the Austrian Grand Prix after a "statement" qualifying session.

Following a string of closely-fought grid-setting sessions of late, which he has often been on the losing side of, the Red Bull driver bested the McLaren by just over four-tenths of a second in Spielberg.

It was will see the continuation of a weekend-long battle between the two drivers, who exchanged the lead early in Saturday's sprint. The Dutchman ultimately prevailed whilst Norris fell behind team-mate Oscar Piastri to finish in third-place.

"It's always nice to race, hopefully it will be a tight battle again tomorrow [in the grand prix]," the 26-year-old said of the sprint after securing pole for the main race, before turning his attention to the session just concluded.

"The qualifying went really well. We tried to adjust the car a little bit after the things that we learned this morning - and things worked well. 

"Of course, the truck is a bit warmer than yesterday, so made it all a bit trickier to drive, but the car felt a lot better for me today. I could really attack the corners a bit more - it was very enjoyable out there."

However, despite a dominant performance in qualifying, the 26-year-old's pole position may be at risk, with the triple-world champion under investigation for driving unnecessarily slowly in the pit lane.

However, that was not yet known to Verstappen when he spoke about his performance, with the Dutchman underlining how happy he was with the display.

"It's been a while since we've actually been on pole, so it's great. It's a great feeling," he added. "The team has been working really hard to try and make the car more competitive, and I think this is a great statement, and hopefully we can also show that tomorrow in the race."

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