The Dutch driver scores the pole position of the ninth round of the season. Ferrari out in Q2 for “strategic choice”.
Fourth pole position of the season for Max Verstappen in front of thousands of “orange” fans. The World Cup leader preceded by only 48 thousandths one extraordinary Lando Norris with McLaren and 270 his teammate Sergio Perez. Mercedes only fourth and fifth with Lewis Hamilton (+0.294) ahead of Valteri Bottas (+0.3209). Ferrari chooses to give up the supersoft and does not pass the cut of Q2: Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc will start side by side from the sixth row of the deployment.
It will naturally be the seventy-one laps of the Austrian Grand Prix that will determine whether the choice of the Ferrari command bridge of give up using the supersoft to qualify for Q3 it will have been the best for the Scuderia’s chances in hunting for world championship points in the ninth round of the World Championship. In fact, a similar mission (entering Q3 itself with the medium compound) was successfully completed from Red Bull, Mercedes, from Norris but also … da George Russell with the mediocre (but not that much) Williams, not surprisingly also “powered by Mercedes”. From which Sainz accused a small (but fatal and decisive) delay of six thousandths of a second.
On the home track, Verstappen once again secured the start from pole position, for the third consecutive time. And there are no Mercedes behind him. Or rather, there are no Black Arrows but the one mounted on the McLaren MCL35 “M” (in fact) of the extraordinary is still a “made in Stuttgart” power unit Lando Norris who touches the company by closing his assault with only 48 thousandths of a delay that Verstappen.
In short, there is orange and orange: that of the very hot Dutch fans in the stands of the Red Bull Ring … and that (papaya shade!) Of the Bristol driver’s car. The historic British team had been unable to park one of its cars on the front line of the grid for eight years, even if continues to miss Daniel Ricciardo who finished qualifying behind the Ferraris … Verstappen has reasons to smile also thanks to the third time of his teammate Sergio Perez who – after three difficult free practice sessions – managed to beat by just 24 thousandths Lewis Hamilton, author of the fourth time ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas with their W12s now inferior to their RB16B rivals. Waiting for the Silverstone counter-test … where Mercedes has suffered only one defeat for eight years now (in 2018, by Vettel’s Ferrari) and where Hamilton – again since 2013 – has won six out of eight wins, while the latest Red Bull success is that of Mark Webber in 2012 … Nothing but statistics: 2021 is now a whole different story!
Meanwhile, the air of home also gives wings to the wheels of team B of the battleship Red Bull: Pierre Gasly joins Bottas in the third row with the best of the Alpha Tauri, her color partner Yuki Tsunoda apre la quarta, on which Sebastian Vettel will keep him company, “guilty” of having hindered Fernando Alonso (arrived very well behind him) in the central section of qualifying. The former Ferrari driver (the German one!) Was not promptly warned by the team of the arrival of the Alpine Spaniard at double speed in the very fast section of turns nine and ten, ending up ruining his time attack and immediately apologized to his colleague his part was literally furious because he was sure (as he declared at the end of the tests, prematurely) that he had a third row car in his hands. A penalty (three positions?) To the four-time world champion Aston Martin (34 years just today) could take advantage George Russell – once more: amazing, in the first Q3 of his career – and Lance Stroll, authors respectively of the ninth and tenth time, but also the Ferrari driver Sainz. The Spaniard and Valtteri Bottas were equally summoned by the Race Direction for having slowed down between turns nine and ten (in order to create space for a fast lap) in front of Vettel himself, effectively starting the “chain reaction” that led to the incriminated episode between the Aston Martin driver number 5 and that of Alpine number 14. Michael Masi had “brieff” the drivers in the morning, establishing that the section of track intended for the operation was instead that between turns eight and nine.
In any case, Alonso will start from the seventh row together with a Ricciardo increasingly in difficulty in the comparison with Norris (and never as on this occasion), while Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen form an eighth row all Alfa Romeo, partially disappointing result for the Italian who in the three free practice sessions had given the feeling of being able to qualify closer to the top ten. Behind the two Alfisti are Ocon and Latifi with Alpine and Williams. Tenth and last row for the Schumacher-Mazepin pairing with the Haas-Ferraris: a classic of its kind …