Verstappen stamps domination in Austrian F1 Sprint

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Wet conditions made for a very exciting Sprint but even though Max Verstappen was briefly surpassed by his teammate at the start, the Dutchman returned to the lead before the end of lap one and sailed off to win the sprint race. Sergio Perez finished second while Ferrari's Sainz completed the podium.

Weather conditions made the F1 Sprint at Austria extra interesting with quite a bit of rain falling 30 minutes ahead of the start. This saw the tents come out to keep the drivers and cars dry as they sat on the grid. Though it stopped raining heavily, drizzle continued and was set to continue for the entire span of the sprint race.

The lights went out and immediately there spectacle with Perez gaining the advantage ahead of Turn 1 to take the lead of the race. As they powered up towards Turn 3 Perez defended hard but Verstappen then took the inside of the sharp right hander and took the advantage, albeit while sliding wide and forcing Perez to avoid a collision.

As the Red Bulls lost a bit of speed there Hulkenberg enjoyed it all and ended up slipstreaming Perez and passing him at Turn 5. Norris was the biggest loser here as he was blocked behind the Red Bulls and dropped to 10th after having to nearly come to a stand still to not run into the back of Verstappen.

Sainz therefore moved up to 4th, Stroll also passed Alonso into 5th, Alonso maintained 6th and Albon gained 4 positions to take 7th. Hamilton gained most at the start by moving up 5 places into 13th, slotting in just behind Russell who had also moved up from 15th to 12th.

Valtteri Bottas on the other hand ended up dead last after starting the sprint race on mediums. The Alfa Romeo's gamble soon proved a big mistake, forcing him to come back to the pits at the end of the first lap to switch to intermediates.

As Verstappen recorded faster and faster laps the Haas drivers started to struggle a bit. Magnussen put up a strong defence but over the course of lap 8 and 9 got passed by Russell and Hamilton. Nico Hulkenberg meanwhile got company of Perez again and fell to third on lap 12 before also getting passed by Sainz for third.

On lap 14 drivers started to move over to the side on the main straight as a large dry line was forming there. Two laps later Russell was the first to make a switch, taking on soft tyres and rejoining 5s behind Bottas. At the same time, race control enabled DRS. Piatri pitted on lap later, just when Russell did a purple first sector, 0.3s faster than Verstappen's.

On lap 18, Hulkenberg and Magnussen switched to medium tyres as many others followed.

Alonso and Verstappen on the other hand continued to set personal bests though these were 1.5s slower than what Russell managed. By this time, the latter had again moved up into 10th position.

With 3 laps left Hulkenberg was he best placed slick runner but he found himself still 8 seconds behind Norris. Norris himself was still closely behind Ocon but ahead of them another gap of 8s to the battling Aston Martin duo.

Hulkenberg still managed to move up into 6th and secured fastest lap as the front runners cleverly worked out that there wasn't enough laps left for them to make a switch to slicks work out for them.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt2430:26.7308
211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt24+21.048s7
355Carlos SainzFerrari24+23.088s6
418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes24+29.703s5
514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes24+30.109s4
627Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari24+31.297s3
731Esteban OconAlpine Renault24+36.602s2
863George RussellMercedes24+36.611s1
94Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes24+38.608s0
1044Lewis HamiltonMercedes24+46.375s0
1181Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes24+49.807s0
1216Charles LeclercFerrari24+50.789s0
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes24+52.848s0
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari24+56.593s0
1510Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault24+57.652s0
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt24+64.822s0
1721Nyck De VriesAlphatauri Honda Rbpt24+65.617s0
182Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes24+66.059s0
1924Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari24+70.825s0
2077Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari24+76.435s0