Lewis Hamilton’s ‘natural ability is fantastic’ says Button
Styrian Grand Prix: Summary
- Max Verstappen starts on pole, with Hamilton second
- Three-place grid penalty relegates Valtteri Bottas from second to fifth
- Lando Norris’ strong qualifying puts him on Row 2
- Verstappen leads Drivers’ Championship by 12 points from Hamilton
- Red Bull leads Constructors’ Championship by 37 points from Mercedes
Max Verstappen will start from pole position at the Styrian Grand Prix
Styrian Grand Prix: Live Race Updates
Lap 26: Big moment for Lewis Hamilton, who very nearly lost the back end of his Mercedes as he exited Turn 5. It shows just how hard the seven-time world champ is pushing to keep pace with Verstappen, who is now five seconds up the road. It’s looking like Red Bull have things well under control at this stage in proceedings. But, don’t forget, it all looked comfortable for Verstappen in Baku… until it wasn’t.
Lap 20: Both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have been on the radio complaining about handling, but it’s the Red Bull man who holds the advantage after 20 laps of this 71-lap Grand Prix. He leads by four and a half seconds over the world champion, with the window for pit stops about to open. Red Bull have had the edge in strategy and pit work in recent races, but Mercedes need something special here to bring Hamilton into striking distance. The next few laps could be fascinating…
Running order after 20 laps:
Lap 13: Norris has been passed twice. First, Sergio Perez blew past him with ease, then Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas followed suit. But any worries about the McLaren man’s car appear unfounded at this point. It seems he’s just trying to run a sensible early pace to get as much out of his tyres as possible and potentially go long in his first stint. Up front, Verstappen is holding his lead, with the Red Bull man around 2.8 seconds clear of Hamilton, who is holding steady in second.
Lap 8: Lando Norris is reporting that there’s a lot of debris on the track, and has asked his team to keep an eye on his tyre pressures to make sure he hasn’t picked up a puncture. The opening lap shenanigans in the midfield have caused some shards of wing to be left on the track. Norris’ team-mate Daniel Ricciardo suffered a loss of power and has dropped down the pack.
Lap 4: Lewis Hamilton reported that “something heavy” hit his car. Could that have been a piece of Verstappen’s car? Or perhaps debris from the opening lap? Watch this space. Charles Leclerc faces a mountainous task in Austria after damaging his front wing on the first lap. He’s going to have to battle his way through the field. He’s pitted and changed his wing and is now languishing back in 18th.
Lap 1: Verstappen gets away cleanly and leads, with Hamilton slotting into second. Sergio Perez has started superbly and squeezed past Lando Norris, who later retook the Red Bull to secure third. Pierre Gasly’s race is likely, however, after suffered a puncture and suspension damage to his rear-left.
1:55pm: We’re just five minutes from the start, and things could get VERY interesting on the first lap. Not only do we have the battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who will duel it out for the apex in Turn 1, we also have the prospect of a racy Lando Norris looking to pull a fast one from third on the grid.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, even his face mask couldn’t hide Lando’s grin when he was asked about going for it and taking the fight to the front two in the first few corners. Make no mistake, the McLaren man is going to try to throw the cat among the pigeons from the start.
The cars are just about ready to embark on their warm-up lap, then it’ll be lights out in Austria!
Styrian Grand Prix: Starting Grid
1. Max Verstappen | 2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Lando Norris | 4. Sergio Perez
5. Valtteri Bottas* | 6. Pierre Gasly
7. Charles Leclerc | 8. Fernando Alonso
9. Lance Stroll | 10. George Russell
11. Yuki Tsunoda** | 12. Carlos Sainz
13. Daniel Ricciardo | 14. Sebastian Vettel
15. Antonio Giovinazzi | 16. Nicholas Latifi
17. Esteban Ocon | 18. Kimi Raikkonen
19. Mick Schumacher | 20. Nikita Mazepin
*Bottas penalised three grid places for “dangerous driving” during Friday’s free practice.
**Tsunoda penalised three grid places for blocking during Saturday’s qualifying session.
The gripping title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton continues in Austria, with Red Bull looking strong at their home circuit this weekend.
Verstappen took pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session, with Hamilton only good enough for third-quickest.
But the Brit received an unexpected bonus with the three-place grid penalty meted out to teammate Valtteri Bottas, who span in the pit lane during free practice earlier in the weekend.
It meant the Finn was demoted from second on the grid to fifth, as Hamilton was bumped up from Row 2 to the front row, alongside title rival Verstappen.
It means the scene is perfectly set for a thrilling race at the short, technical Red Bull Ring, where passing opportunities are available around the relatively short lap in Austria.
The race gets underway at 2:00pm, and we’ll bring you regular updates throughout the Grand Prix. Will there be another twist in the title race, or can Red Bull and Verstappen extend their lead over Hamilton and Mercedes in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships, respectively? We’ll find out this afternoon!
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed