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Formula 1: Max Verstappen just ahead of Leclerc;  Lance Stroll 6th in qualifying in Austria

Formula 1: Max Verstappen just ahead of Leclerc; Lance Stroll 6th in qualifying in Austria

SPIELBERG, Austria – Max Verstappen continued his Formula 1 dominance this season after taking the lead on Friday before the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver recorded a time of 1 minute 4.391 seconds during the qualifying session that took place at the Red Bull Arena, the arena of the team of the same name. This was the fourth in a row.

“It was very difficult because of the track limitations. At that speed, it becomes very difficult to judge the limits of the track. Our run was nevertheless very enjoyable,” said Verstappen as he exited the Red Bull.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc unexpectedly set the second fastest time at 48 milliseconds, followed by teammate Carlos Sainz Jr at 0.190.

“It felt good at the end to get a good qualifying lap. We got so close to Max, but he was still a bit missing today,” Leclerc pointed out. “Obviously I didn’t expect to be that close, especially because of Red Bull’s superiority. It was like Risky, but very satisfied.”

Quebecer’s Lance Stroll followed in sixth, 0.502 seconds behind the Dutchman. His Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso set the seventh fastest time.

Drivers George Russell (Mercedes) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) had a disappointing session and will start from 11th and 15th respectively on the starting grid. Thus, Perez missed the third part of the qualifying session (Q3) for the fourth time in a row.

The qualifying session was significantly interrupted after the Alfa Romeo driver lost control of his car at the first corner. Fortunately for Finn, there was more fear than harm. Bottas will start 14.

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Verstappen dominated the free practice session offered on Friday morning, ahead of Sainz fils and Leclerc, in order.

Locklear is Spielberg’s title holder.

Verstappen has won six of the nine races so far this season and leads the drivers’ standings with 195 points. Perez follows in second place with 126, followed by Alonso with 117. Stroll ranks eighth with 37 points.

The Austrian Grand Prix is ​​the second stage to be contested under the sprint format this season. The qualifying session presented on Friday was used to determine the starting grid for the race to be held on Sunday.

First free training session:

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:05.742 (30 laps)

Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP/Ferrari) 1:05.983 (32)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:06.012 (33)

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:06.251 (34)

Sergio Perez (Mexico/Red Bull) 1:06.262 (32)

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:06.340 (29)

Kevin Magnussen (DN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:06.497 (27)

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:06.656 (31)

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:06.696 (28)

Zhou Guanyu (China/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:06.780 (33)

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams Mercedes) 1:06.794 (23)

Oscar Biastri (Australia/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:06.809 (36)

Nico Hulkenberg (Germany/Haas-Ferrari) 1:06.846 (30)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:06.847 (33)

Yuki Tsunoda (Japan/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:06.985 (34)

Nic de Vries (NED/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:07.017 (36)

Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams Mercedes) 1:07.018 (25)

Esteban Ocon (France/Alpine-Renault) 1:07.202 (30)

Pierre Gasly (France/Alpine-Renault) 1:07.287 (28)

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:07.368 (20)

More details to come.