Austrian GP Sprint: Max Verstappen rampant to win ahead of Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton’s comeback halted after bypass

Max Verstappen extends his lead in the title by adding a maximum of eight points, he will start from pole position at the Austrian GP ahead of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz; Lewis Hamilton gains a place to eighth, was beaten by Pierre Gasly at the start; Watch Sunday’s race live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm

Last update: 07/09/22 6:27 pm

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Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly collide at the start of the Sprint, causing the AlphaTauri driver to spin.

Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly collide at the start of the Sprint, causing the AlphaTauri driver to spin.

Max Verstappen pulled away from Charles Leclerc to take a commanding win at the Austrian GP Sprint and claim pole position for Sunday’s race, while Lewis Hamilton’s comeback was hampered by a spin at the first corner.

Buoyed by a sea of ​​orange at the home Red Bull track, Verstappen slammed the door on Leclerc at the start and then pulled away from rival Ferrari to comfortably take the checkered flag at the end of lap 24.

By winning the Sprint grid, Verstappen extends his title lead to a maximum of eight points and seals pole ahead of the Ferraris for Sunday’s Austrian GP, ​​shown live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm.

The top four held position in Saturday’s mini race, despite Carlos Sainz’s best efforts to pass Leclerc, as the Monegasque aggressively forced his team-mate early on into Turn 4.

Ferarri drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc battle for second position in the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint.

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Ferarri drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc battle for second position in the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint.

Ferarri drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc battle for second position in the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint.

George Russell was fourth for Mercedes, ahead of Sergio Perez at Red Bull, as he enjoyed a fine comeback from 13th on the grid.

Hamilton’s recovery was less successful, as he made contact with Pierre Gasly at the start.

Gasly squeezed Hamilton, who started a spot ahead of him in the ninth, off the line and the pair made contact, launching the AlphaTauri through the air.

Max Verstappen secures pole position for race day at the Austrian Grand Prix.

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Max Verstappen secures pole position for race day at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen secures pole position for race day at the Austrian Grand Prix.

That dropped Hamilton to 11th and he was then frustrated by the Haas cars, eventually overtaking a struggling Mick Schumacher on the penultimate lap and claiming the final scoring position in eighth.

There was drama before the Sprint as Fernando Alonso’s car failed to start on the formation lap, and the Alpine had to retire after electrical problems, before Zhou Guanyu’s car stopped before the first start attempt.

Zhou started from the pit-lane and finished 14th, gaining places thanks to Alex Albon’s five-second penalty he received for forcing Lando Norris out. Norris ultimately finished 11th, ahead of his McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Albon also made contact with Sebastian Vettel on Saturday, forcing Vettel into the gravel and retiring early.

Sebastian Vettel makes contact with Alex Albon and spins off the track into the gravel at the Austrian Sprint Grand Prix.

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Sebastian Vettel makes contact with Alex Albon and spins off the track into the gravel at the Austrian Sprint Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel makes contact with Alex Albon and spins off the track into the gravel at the Austrian Sprint Grand Prix.

Austrian GP Sprint Result: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull (8 points)
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari (7 points)
3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari (6 points)
4) George Russell, Mercedes (5 points)
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull (4 points)
6) Esteban Ocon, Alpine (3 points)
7) Kevin Magnussen, Haas (2 points)
8) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (1 point)
9) Mick Schumacher, Haas
10) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo*

*will start Sunday’s race at the back of the grid due to an engine penalty

The perfect start for Max in Austria | Will Merc be able to keep up with the race?

Verstappen won both races at Spielberg last season and has continued in that form this weekend, which has started perfectly.

On Saturday he followed up with pole position in qualifying to secure it for Sunday’s race, and had no trouble en route to victory by 1.5sec.

Max Verstappen retains the lead on the first lap of the Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix.

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Max Verstappen retains the lead on the first lap of the Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen retains the lead on the first lap of the Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s performance is not only crucial in terms of getting the optimum spot on the grid for the 71-lap race, but also extends his championship lead from 34 points to 38, over Red Bull team-mate Perez. .

The hope for Ferrari comes from the fact that Leclerc was gaining ground on Verstappen towards the end of the sprint, although Red Bull says the Dutchman was controlling the pace, while they also could and should have been closer if their drivers hadn’t fallen out. for the positions. Early.

“Red Bull will love this,” Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle said at the time, and Sainz felt Leclerc’s defense at Turn 4 was too aggressive. The British GP winner ultimately finished a distant third.

Lewis Hamilton passed Alex Albon for tenth in the Sprint before the Williams driver forced McLaren's Lando Norris off the track.

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Lewis Hamilton passed Alex Albon for tenth in the Sprint before the Williams driver forced McLaren’s Lando Norris off the track.

Lewis Hamilton passed Alex Albon for tenth in the Sprint before the Williams driver forced McLaren’s Lando Norris off the track.

Perez’s form means he could also be a factor from fifth in Sunday’s race, while Mercedes have some work to do to get into contention.

While Russell held fourth position, he was much slower than the three drivers ahead, while Hamilton will only start the Austrian GP one position higher than in the Sprint, making start-up collisions even more likely. .

“I didn’t necessarily learn anything in the race, except that we’re slower than the Haas on the straights!” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 afterwards. “But now I have one in front of me and not two.

“We have to wait to get off the DRS train to try to reposition our car.”

Of Gasly’s collision, Hamilton added: “Obviously I was surrounded by two at Turn 1 and Pierre cut me off, and there was nowhere I could really go. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think I could have done anything.”

Sky Sports F1 live schedule for race day

Sunday
7.30am: F3 main race
9am: F2 main race
12.30 am: Sunday Grand Prix: preparation for the Austrian GP
14:00: AUSTRIA GRAND PRIX
16:00: Checkered flag: Reaction from the Austrian GP
5:00 p.m.: Ted’s Notebook

F1 2022 hits the halfway mark with the Austrian GP from the high-speed Red Bull Ring on Sunday. All the action is live on Sky Sports F1, with race build-up from 12.30pm and lights out at 2pm.

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