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Austrian Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen takes pole in Austria Sprint Shootout as Mercedes hit problems

Max Verstappen has clinched pole position in the Sprint Shootout, putting him in P1 for the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint race.

Max Verstappen will start the F1 Sprint in Austria from pole position after setting the fastest time in the Sprint Shootout.

The Red Bull driver – who also claimed pole in Friday's qualifying – topped the timesheets by the end of the eight-minute SQ3 session, with his lap of 1:04.440 putting him nearly half a second clear of teammate Sergio Perez in P2.

Lando Norris set the third-quickest time, while Nico Hulkenberg lines up in an impressive P4 and Carlos Sainz takes fifth on the grid.

Charles Leclerc will start from sixth, with the Aston Martin duo of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll just behind in P7 and P8.

Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen round up the top 10 in what was a successful day for the Haas team.

Absent from SQ3 were Mercedes, who suffered a nightmare morning as both of their drivers exited the Sprint Shootout earlier in the session.

Result Sprint shootout - Austrian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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SQ2 brings more problems for Mercedes

As the clock ticked down through the 10-minute SQ2 session, George Russell remained in the garage as the Mercedes team looked to be hard at work at the front of the Briton's car.

Russell was ultimately unable to participate due to a hydraulic problem, putting him in P15 on the grid for the Sprint.

Elsewhere, Alex Albon narrowly missed out on reaching SQ3 by six hundreths of a second, leaving him in P11 after being pipped by Hulkenberg.

Pierre Gasly (P12), Yuki Tsunoda (P13) and Nyck de Vries (P14) also exited in SQ2.

Hamilton shock exit of SQ1

After a wet start to the day, a dry line looked to be emerging on the track as SQ1 got underway.

The majority of the field started the session on dry tyres, with only Williams and Oscar Piastri initially opting for Intermediate rubber before quickly changing to slicks.

Track limits – which caused some problems in Friday's qualifying session – remained an issue at times in the Sprint Shootout, with Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton amongst those to have a lap deleted.

There was concern for Sainz when smoke emerged from the rear brakes of his Ferrari, prompting a visit to the pits. Despite the issues, the Spaniard was able to make a last-minute return to the track and impressively set the fastest time.

The big story of SQ1, though, was the exit of Hamilton, who faced traffic on his final lap and aborted the effort as a result. This left the Mercedes driver in P18.

Also eliminated were Zhou Guanyu (P16), Piastri (P17), Valtteri Bottas (P19) and Logan Sargeant (P20).

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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