The Austrian Grand Prix, available for live viewing on 5 Live and the Sport News Center website, witnessed an intense battle for pole position. Max Verstappen successfully defended against Charles Leclerc of Ferrari to secure the top spot.
Verstappen managed to edge out Leclerc by a mere 0.048 seconds, with Carlos Sainz completing a Ferrari two-three finish. Lando Norris, driving the upgraded McLaren, took fourth place. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes claimed the fifth position, while Lance Stroll of Aston Martin surprisingly outperformed Fernando Alonso.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull faced disappointment as he failed to make it to the top 10 for the fourth consecutive race. Perez struggled with track limits, resulting in multiple laps being invalidated due to exceeding the boundaries at Turns Nine and 10. Consequently, he will start the race from the 15th position.
Qualifying determined the starting grid for the grand prix scheduled on Sunday. Saturday’s events will revolve around the shorter “sprint” event, which includes a qualifying session and the “sprint shootout” at 11:00 BST, followed by the sprint race itself at 15:30.
Regarding the weather forecast, Charles Leclerc mentioned that rain is expected on the following day, adding an element of excitement to the race.
In other news, the former deputy boss of Force India, Bob Fernley, sadly passed away. McLaren has requested a review of the penalty imposed on Norris. The concerns about track limit rules continue to trouble the drivers.
Perez was not the only one grappling with track limits during qualifying, as several drivers had their laps deleted for the same reason. Verstappen expressed the difficulties faced due to the high-speed nature of the circuit, making it challenging to judge the white line accurately. He emphasized that many deletions seemed unnecessary and marginal, making the situation somewhat frustrating.
Sainz acknowledged the need to address the issue and expressed the intention to discuss it with the FIA for a potential solution.
Leclerc’s lap stood out as the highlight of the day, as he skillfully navigated the final high-speed corners, pushing the limits of the car’s grip. Leclerc mentioned his satisfaction with a clean qualifying session, allowing him to secure a spot on the front row. He expressed surprise at how close Ferrari managed to get to the Red Bulls, highlighting their unexpected performance.
For McLaren, Norris showcased an impressive performance, particularly with the team’s newly introduced aerodynamic upgrades. Norris finished just 0.267 seconds behind Verstappen, securing the fourth position. His teammate, Oscar Piastri, used the previous specification car and ended up in 13th place.
Norris felt that he could have achieved an even higher position if not for a mistake on his final lap. Nevertheless, he expressed gratitude towards the team for their efforts in introducing the new parts, acknowledging their contribution to his strong performance.
Mercedes encountered difficulties at the circuit, which historically has been challenging for them. Hamilton secured the fifth position, trailing Verstappen by an additional 0.161 seconds. Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, struggled throughout the qualifying session and failed to progress beyond the second session, finishing in 11th place.
At the rear of the grid, Nyck de Vries of Alpha Tauri faced pressure to improve his performance as his future with the team hung in the balance. De Vries finished four places behind his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, an outcome that did not meet the team’s expectations.
The Austrian Grand Prix promises excitement and fierce competition, with Verstappen, Leclerc, and the rest of the field ready to battle for victory.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Austrian Grand Prix
What were the qualifying results for the Austrian Grand Prix 2023?
Max Verstappen secured pole position, followed closely by Charles Leclerc in second place. Carlos Sainz completed the top three.
Did Sergio Perez make it to the top 10 in qualifying?
No, Sergio Perez of Red Bull failed to make it to the top 10 for the fourth consecutive race. He faced difficulties with track limits and will start the race from the 15th position.
How did Lando Norris perform in qualifying?
Lando Norris had a strong qualifying session, finishing in fourth place. He showcased impressive performance with the upgraded McLaren car.
Will there be a sprint event before the Austrian Grand Prix?
Yes, there will be a shorter “sprint” event held on Saturday before the grand prix. It will include a qualifying session, a “sprint shootout,” and the sprint race itself.
What were the concerns about track limit rules during qualifying?
Several drivers had their laps deleted due to exceeding track limits. It was a topic of concern as some deletions seemed unnecessary and marginal, affecting the drivers’ performance and overall enjoyment of the session.