Formula 1, Austrian Sprint: Verstappen defeats McLaren

Max Verstappen has done it again: Although he was under severe pressure from Lando Norris in the sprint to the 2024 Austrian GP, ​​the world champion ultimately took the win with ease. A failed overtaking maneuver by Norris was the key to victory for Verstappen, as it allowed Oscar Piastri to overtake his teammate. Piastri could not keep up with the pace of the leader. After an exciting opening phase, the race quickly died down at the front.

The result: At the finish, Verstappen was almost five seconds ahead of Piastri. Norris was obviously faster than his teammate, but had to settle for third place. George Russell finished fourth behind the McLaren duo, but the Mercedes driver could not keep up with the pace set before him.

Carlos Sainz finished fifth ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari. The last sprint point went to Sergio Perez in eighth place. Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll completed the top 10. Nico Hülkenberg finished the race in 14th place, but still has to answer to the stewards because he is said to have forced Fernando Alonso off the track.

The start: The first attempt to start had to be aborted. The reason for this was that photographers were in a dangerous position in turn one. The sprint distance was shortened by one lap to 23 race laps due to the additional warm-up lap.

Everything went smoothly on the second attempt: At the front, Verstappen was able to easily convert pole position into the lead. After a mediocre start, Norris had to defend himself from behind against Piastri, but was able to hold on to second place.

The two Ferrari drivers had a strong opening lap: Carlos Sainz overtook George Russell and took fourth place, Charles Leclerc overtook three drivers and found himself in seventh place. The big losers in the opening phase were the two Alpine drivers: Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly slipped from eighth and ninth to eleventh and twelfth.

The race course: It became clear early on that the McLaren was the faster racing car. As soon as DRS was enabled, Norris was able to put pressure on Verstappen – but he had his teammate Piastri breathing down his neck. The first real exchange of blows took place on lap five: Norris braked past Verstappen in turn four, but even with DRS open he was unable to get away from Verstappen on the following straight.

The world champion aggressively positioned himself next to Norris on the brakes and regained position. Because Norris had to take another line in turn five, Piastri also slipped through on the inside. Piastri was able to win the acceleration duel between the McLaren drivers towards turn six, passing his teammate on the outside with a courageous maneuver.

Unlike Norris, Piastri was unable to keep up with Verstappen’s pace. The Red Bull driver was able to pull away from the McLaren duo and was no longer in trouble. Instead, Norris fought with Piastri for second place. However, Norris never made a serious attempt to overtake.

Behind them, Mercedes and Ferrari were engaged in an exciting battle. On lap eight, Russell regained fourth position from Sainz, which he had lost on the opening lap. Hamilton also looked faster than Sainz at first, but when the Spaniard got DRS from Russell, he was able to keep up with the pace. Leclerc in the second Ferrari was now able to catch up with the small fighting group from behind.

The weather: Hot! Under the cloudless sky, the asphalt of the Red Bull Ring heated up to around 43 degrees, the ambient temperature was measured at just under 29 degrees Celsius. The conditions for today’s qualifying and tomorrow’s race should be similar.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *