Two consecutive pole positions for Max Verstappen after P1 ahead of Styrian GP

26-06-2021 15:00 | Updated: 26-06-2021 15:35
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Two consecutive pole positions for Max Verstappen after P1 ahead of Styrian GP

Max Verstappen will start from pole position in Sunday's Styrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman records back-to-back pole positions inside the same season for the first time in his career as he looks to take a grip on the World Championship over rival Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton tried to beat Verstappen's time in the final run of Q3, but the seven-time World Champion made a major mistake on the lap and failed to improve. With Bottas' penalty, Hamilton will start from the front-row. Lando Norris will start from third as the McLaren driver impresses again.  

Valtteri Bottas picked up a three-place grid penalty following a spin in the pitlane during Friday practice. This means he will start from 5th place on the grid. 

As the Mercedes contract talks heat up, George Russell put in another impressive qualifying display. The British driver briefly moved into the Q3 spaces after the chequered flag dropped, but he ultimately missed out by just 0.008 seconds. 

Daniel Ricciardo's woes continued with Lando Norris comfortably reaching Q3 for McLaren. The Australian only just escaped from Q1 and failed to get above P13.

Verstappen now has six pole positions to his name. The Red Bull Racing driver secures his first pole position on the Spielberg circuit, a venue now synonymous with the Dutch orange army and Verstappen success following his two wins in 2018 and 2019.

Q1

With traffic being a common problem around the Speilberg circuit, most of the field went out on track to get early banker laps in. This included Verstappen who posted a time 0.788 seconds faster than his teammate in the first run. 

Nicholas Latifi moved up to P9 in his second lap proving the track was evolving quickly. This triggered a mass exodus in the pits with all except the top four leaving. Both Haas drivers, both Alfa Romeo drivers and George Russell sat in the drop zone at the halfway point. 

Antonio Giovinazzi and Russell managed to escape which pushed Latif and Esteban Ocon into the drop zone. Despite Lando Norris sitting in the top three, Daniel Ricciardo could only manage to be 15th fastest. 

OUT - 20th Mazepin, 19th Schumacher, 18th Raikkonen, 17th Ocon, 16th Latifi 

Q2

The top teams opted to run with the medium tyres in Q2 which allows them to start on that compound in Sunday's race. However, Sergio Perez ran with the soft tyre giving the Austrian team a different strategy. Hamilton locked up the right-front tyre on his first push lap, but the Brit wasn't troubled with the flatspot and managed to run again. 

Hamilton used a new set of medium tyres and managed to improve, but only to P5. Less than one-tenth separated the top five. At the halfway point, Daniel Ricciardo struggled whilst his teammate was in the mix for pole. Pierre Gasly led the way, but on the soft tyres. 

Briefly, Russell moved up to Q3 but was eliminated by Fernando Alonso. As Norris moved to P1, Ricciardo's woes continued as he failed to escape Q2. 

OUT - 15th Giovinazzi, 14th Vettel, 13th Ricciardo, 12th Sainz, 11th Russell

Q3

Hamilton emerged from the pits as the light turned green. The British driver had the track to himself and posted a 1:04.205 but it didn't stand the test of time with Verstappen beating it straight away. 

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