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Max Verstappen

Verstappen storms to Sprint win after surviving early Ferrari attack

Red Bull's Max Verstappen got the better of Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to win the second F1 Sprint race of the season in Austria.

Verstappen Leclerc sprintrace Austria
To news overview © XPB Images

Max Verstappen's so far perfect Austrian Grand Prix weekend continued as he claimed a comfortable victory in Saturday afternoon's Sprint race.

Verstappen made a clean getaway from pole position to defend against Charles Leclerc into Turn 1, before keeping Carlos Sainz at bay on the run to Turn 3.

From there, the reigning World Champion did not look back as he reeled off a sequence of rapid laps to cruise to his second Sprint win of the season.

Leclerc took the runner-up spot after a fierce battle with teammate Sainz – the pair going wheel-to-wheel on several occasions.

Sainz initially got ahead of Leclerc off the line, but the Spaniard's line was compromised as he attacked Verstappen into Turn 3, opening the door for Leclerc to reclaim the position at the exit.

A few laps later, Sainz attacked Leclerc on the outside at Turn 4, only for the Monegasque to firmly close the door and settle the battle.

Tyre strategy did not play a significant role in the outcome of the race, with the frontrunners all starting on the Medium compound.

Result Sprintrace - Austrian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Perez makes up the most ground

George Russell was the 'best of the rest' in his repaired Mercedes, having a quiet run to fourth position behind the lead Red Bull and Ferrari machines.

Sergio Perez delivered an impressive recovery drive from 13th to fifth in his Red Bull, pulling off a series of clean moves after his best qualifying lap times were deleted due to exceeding track limits.

Like Russell, Esteban Ocon had a lonely race en route to sixth for Alpine, followed by Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton's race was compromised at the start when he banged wheels with Pierre Gasly, sending the AlphaTauri into a wild spin, but his recovery to eighth meant he grabbed the final point under the revised Sprint scoring system.

Plenty of drama further back in the pack

Sebastian Vettel was a late retirement as Aston Martin called him into the pits after contact with the Williams of Alex Albon – the latter also hit with a five-second time penalty for forcing Lando Norris off the track.

There was drama before the race had even started, with Fernando Alonso and Zhou Guanyu both the victims of misfortune.

Alonso - having qualified eighth - was agonisingly left on the grid with tyre blankets on due to an unspecific technical issue, which ultimately forced Alpine mechanics to push the car back into the garage.

Further back, 18th-placed starter Zhou ground to a halt at the end of the formation lap as a result of his "engine stopping"; while he got going again, the Chinese driver was forced to start from the pits.

Zhou's incident meant the initial race start was aborted, cutting the Sprint to 23 laps.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Ferrari win – but did they botch their strategy again?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the British Grand Prix, including Ferrari's questionable strategy calls.

F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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