If there is a thorn for Red Bull, this is Lando Norris: Max Verstappen’s pole position was never in question, but the McLaren driver gave the whole Milton Keynes team a cold sweat, because the young Englishman up to turn 9 was in the pole position and had to surrender to the front row for only 58 thousandths of a second.
Norris brings the Woking team back next to the Dutch poleman and it hasn’t happened since 2012, a sign that McLaren seems capable of returning to the top team after being only a weak lapse for years. Lando was able to get the most out of his car which is constantly growing, but the front row is much thanks to him, as his teammate Daniel Ricciardo paid a second.
Norris got in the way like a mosquito between the two dominant Red Bulls. Max Verstappen doesn’t seem too worried about the McLaren threat: Max hit the fastest lap on soft tires in 1’03 “720. The Dutchman complained over the radio that he was sent to the track first in the second and final run of Q3 inviting the team not to repeat these mistakes. In the end he did not end up in any ambush because he managed to pull Sergio Perez behind him in third place, creating a real … worth it with the Mercedes, the great defeats of this exciting session qualification.
Sergio Perez has fully done his duty: 24 thousandths are enough to put Lewis Hamilton behind him. The Englishman could do nothing with a W12 that melts in the heat: the epta champion managed to stay ahead of the knight servant, Valtteri Bottas and must play waiting for Brackley to decide to bring updates for the black arrow that is unsuccessful with the RB16B.
Beautiful performance of the AlphaTauri capable of occupying the sixth and seventh position with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda: the team from Faenza has achieved its goal of bringing both drivers into the top ten. Sebastian Vettel made a good performance with Aston Martin, but the German’s eighth place is very at risk because Seb was the protagonist of a block against Fernando Alonso which, almost certainly, will cost him three positions on the grid.
George Russell’s performance with Williams was excellent: the Englishman used the power of the Mercedes engine to climb ahead of the Ferraris. The boy is on the ball waiting for the call from Brackley’s team. Closes the top 10 Lance Stroll with the second Aston Martin: the car with the updates (a sort of version B) did less well than the standard one.
The two Ferraris are unable to overcome Q2 with yellow tires, even beaten by a Williams with the same shoes (it hasn’t happened since 2015!): Carlos Sainz is 11th and Carlos Sainz 12th, so tomorrow the two Cavallino drivers will be in the race. they will be able to shoot with the averages for a race that will have to be attacking. The expectations for the second Austrian race were very different, but with the heat the Reds began to slip and the unloaded aerodynamic set-up that worked yesterday in free practice put the two Cavallino riders in difficulty, who absolutely did not want to try to overtake. the cut with soft tires, judged too soft for the stroke and, therefore, to be discarded. We will see tomorrow if this strategy decided by the Scuderia’s wall will pay off in the race.
Behind the Reds there is a disappointed and disappointing Daniel Ricciardo with the second McLaren who does not find the key to getting out of a crisis that is becoming more and more serious GP after GP. Fernando Alonso is 15th with the Alpine: the Spaniard is furious with Sebastian Vettel who was proceeding very slowly in the last two corners: the blocking of the German, who immediately apologized to the Asturian, most likely prevented Fernando from leaving the Q2.
Antonio Giovinazzi is satisfied with having passed the gate of Q1 with Alfa Romeo: the Italian in the good lap saw the race direction cancel the time, so he must be satisfied with 15th place, while previously he had given the impression to deserve entry into the top 10. Too bad.
Disappointing Kimi Raikkonen who with the other C41 did not come out of Q1 and is only 16th, but the gap to pass the trap was just 32 thousandths. The Finn suffers a heavy 7 to 2 in qualifying from Giovinazzi.
Worse went to Esteban Ocon who is in full involution: after the three-year renewal of his contract he didn’t get it right. On the grid he will be only 17th with the Alpine. It is a big disappointment. Behind him there are only Nicholas Latifi 18th with Williams and the two Haas of Mick Schumacher who trimmed Nikita Mazepin half a second.