Verstappen takes Austria Sprint pole as Mercedes struggle

Red Bull secured a front-row lockout for the first time at their home track.

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Max Verstappen followed up his pole position for the Austrian GP with another first place finish in the Sprint Shootout, as both Mercedes drivers missed out on the top 10 in a wet qualifying session.

Verstappen went fastest with a final time of 1:04.440, half a second ahead of teammate Sergio Perez with the Mexican rallying from a disappointing Q1 exit yesterday to put both Red Bulls on the front row of the grid at their home race for the first time

The McLaren of Lando Norris, which brought a host of upgrades for this race which appear to have given the British team a significant performance boost, was next best in third, ahead of the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.

Carlos Sainz, who managed to get through in SQ1 with only one lap at the end of the session following an issue with his Ferrari’s break-by-wire system, was fifth, with Charles Leclerc close behind in sixth.

The Aston Martin pair of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were seventh and eighth, with Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top 10.

Mercedes misery

Further back on the grid, Mercedes suffered a disastrous session as Lewis Hamilton was knocked out in SQ1 following a deleted lap time and running into traffic on his final flying lap.

Meanwhile, George Russell couldn’t make it back out of the garage for SQ2 due to an issue with the car and will start the sprint from 15h.

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