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Formula 1 Austrian GP

F1 Austrian GP Live Commentary and Updates – Sprint race & Qualifying

Saturday's action from the 11th round of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Max Verstappen starts the sprint race on pole ahead of McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, in the third of six sprint race weekends in the F1 2024 season.

The sprint race starts at 11am BST before grand prix qualifying takes place at 3pm BST.

By: Haydn Cobb, James Newbold

Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Norris, McLaren
  3. Russell, Mercedes
  4. Sainz, Ferrari
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Leclerc, Ferrari
  7. Piastri, McLaren
  8. Perez, Red Bull
  9. Hulkenberg, Haas
  10. Ocon, Alpine
Summary
  • Verstappen takes first GP pole since Imola, a massive four tenths ahead of Norris and Russell
  • Piastri demoted from third to seventh by track limits infringement
  • Knocked out in Q2: Ricciardo, Magnussen, Gasly, Tsunoda and Alonso
  • Eliminated in Q1: Albon, Stroll, Bottas, Sargeant and Zhou
  • Verstappen had earlier won the Austrian GP sprint race from Piasti and Norris
Status: Stopped

That's all for us today on the live text blog, but never fear; we'll be back tomorrow with the build-up and all the updates as they happen from the Austrian Grand Prix. Do make sure to keep an eye out on the website in the meantime, for all the news and analysis from qualifying and the sprint, and we'll see you again at 14:00 BST on Sunday. Thanks as always for joining us today. Goodbye!

In case you missed any of the action from qualifying, you can find the full report here.

Speaking after his first pole since Imola - with Leclerc (Monaco), Russell (Canada) and Norris (Spain) taking turns in the intervening races - Verstappen remarks: "It has been a while since we have been on pole, so it is a great feeling. The team has been working really hard to to try and make the car more competitive. And I think this is a great statement and hopefully we can of course also shown it tomorrow and in the race."

 

Speaking after a trying day for Aston Martin, Alonso remarks that the results are no worse than he feared. "No, no, I suspected," he replied after qualifying 15th. "And in Silverstone it is gonna be the same. So I can answer the Silverstone post qualifying [questions already]." He adds that a huge number of parts were changed, but to little effect.

If the fight for victory is expected to again be between Verstappen and Norris, what can we expect from the fight for the podium places? Mercedes appears to be strong in Austria, with Russell leading its charge in third ahead of Sainz in the best Ferrari. Can the silver arrows and the prancing horse keep a recovering Piastri behind?

But what may hamper McLaren is the absence of Piastri from the lead fight following his track limits penalty. It will now lose the element of strategic variation it could have employed to box Verstappen into a corner.  

So its the same front row as we had for the sprint race today, and for last week's Spanish GP. Red Bull seemed to find another gear in qualifying today for Verstappen to pull such a big gap on the field, but don't fall into the trap of assuming that the Grand Prix is a done deal, with Norris fired up to avenge his sprint defeat.

Perez is 0.888s down on his team-mate in a lowly eighth place, while Hulkenberg beat Ocon to ninth spot.

Piastri ends up seventh after running ever so slightly too wide at Turn 6. That's a marginal one, but a costly one for the Australian who would otherwise have started third.

Russell is boosted to third, Sainz to fourth, Hamilton to fifth and Leclerc to sixth. The Monegasque had already skirted the gravel at Turn 6, then at Turn 9 had the back end step out on him, sending him over the kerb and gravel before rejoining via a bumpy trip across the grass. He radios concern that he has broken some components on the floor.

Pole then for Verstappen, while Leclerc takes the scenic route running wide at Turn 9 and bumping over the grass.

Piastri briefly went second, but is usurped once more by Norris - who is 0.404s behind Verstappen. Piastri then loses his time to track limits and is shuffled back to seventh.

Another improvement for Verstappen - a 1m04.314s - surely solidifies his pole position. 

Everybody comes out for one last run at it. Will traffic play a role?

Now we're in a little lull as teams consider fine-tuning set-ups for the final qualifying laps of the weekend. It looks like it will take something truly special to topple Verstappen, but can anyone bridge the gap he holds to Norris in second place?

Hamilton meanwhile has been noted for an unsafe release - not in front of anybody, but for dragging a rear jack outside his garage - that will be investigated after the session.

Here's your order then after the first runs: it's as you were from sprint qualifying at the front, with Verstappen heading Norris, then Russell, Leclerc, Piastri and Hamilton. Sainz is seventh, ahead of Perez, Ocon and Hulkenberg.

Russell now elbows his way into third, ahead of Leclerc, but Verstappen has daylight ahead with a 0.361s gap back to Norris in second.

Piastri takes his turn at the head of the timesheets before Verstappen punches in a 1m04.426s, fractionally quicker than he managed in Q2. Norris is the closest man to him, then Leclerc in third as things stand. 

Ocon dips under it to take the top spot away on a 1m05.940s, but then Sainz surges to the top on a 1m05.235s. 

The first effort to beat from Hulkenberg is a 1m06.004s. Somehow, I don't think that will last long.

Q3 is go in Austria. Can anyone catch Verstappen?

After the best sectors in Q1 were shared around, Verstappen was dominant across all three in Q2. His margin in that session was 0.547s over Sainz and Russell, who set the same time but could not join the Red Bull driver in dipping under the 65s barrier.

Hulkenberg was the man who delivered when it counted for Haas to escape the drop in ninth, while Ocon just kept himself on the right side of elimination in tenth. Those watching from the sidelines for Q3 then are Ricciardo, Magnussen, Gasly, Tsunoda and Alonso as Aston Martin's miserable weekend continues.

Gasly was already out, and now loses his best time to track limits after running wide and skimming the gravel at Turn 6. That also costs him a spot to Magnussen, who also misses out.

The chequered flag is out. Ricciardo, Gasly and Alonso are too.

As Verstappen lowers his best effort again to a 1m04.469s, what can the guys in the drop zone do?

Sainz stays home, but everybody else - including Verstappen - has come out to play for one more time in Q2.

As the cars prepare for their final flyers in Q2, Hulkenberg has been noted by the stewards for failing to follow the race director's instructions. We believe that's for him cutting into the queue exiting the pitlane ahead of Perez earlier on.

As a recap of our order then, Verstappen has a handy buffer over Sainz, Russell, Piastri, Norris and Leclerc. His team-mate Perez is seventh, while Hamilton, Ocon and Ricciardo are set to join them in Q3 as things stand.

Gasly improved last time around, but it was only good enough for 11th. He's joined provisionall