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Max Verstappen starts on pole position for today’s Styrian Grand Prix and will be looking to secure back-to-back wins after out-qualifying title rival Lewis Hamilton in Austria. The Red Bull driver claimed victory at the French Grand Prix last weekend to move 12 points clear of the defending champion in the drivers standings, before he stormed to a second pole position in a week thanks to a strong performance on Saturday.
The Dutchman finished 0.194 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas to claim pole, but the Mercedes driver has been bumped down to fifth following his spin in the pit-lane on Friday. It means that Hamilton starts behind Verstappen on the front row for the second week in succession, as the title race continues to deliver in a wildly unpredictable season. Hamilton said following the qualifying session that he will be hoping for rain on Sunday, in what is Red Bull’s home track.
“Well done to Max. They have been so fast this weekend. It wasn’t the greatest of sessions but we are on the front row,” Hamilton said. “I did everything I could and I go into tomorrow’s race up for the fight. Max has had a quarter of a second on us all weekend so it will be interesting to see if we can manage it. I don’t think we have the raw pace to overtake them. I go into the race for a fight and I will be giving it everything. Maybe we will get a surprise. Maybe it will rain.” Follow all the build-up and race updates ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix this afternoon.
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Mercedes’ message to Hamilton
“Lewis, this is all about who makes it to the end.
“We have got 42 laps remaining.”
That’s the radio message from Mercedes to second-placed Lewis Hamilton, who seems a little frustrated.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:46
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Quick stop for Verstappen
Sergio Perez’s Red Bull team-mate – race and championship leader Max Verstappen – enjoys a much more clinical pit stop than the Mexican.
Verstappen is sorted in a couple of seconds and back out on track in Austria, four seconds ahead of rival Hamilton in second.
Most of the drivers have pitted once at this point, 34 laps in.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:43
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Bottas ahead of Perez
A slow pit stop for Sergio Perez costs the Red Bull driver a place, as Valtteri Bottas capitalises for Mercedes.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:39
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Leclerc overtakes Ocon
A fine bit of driving by Charles Leclerc, and the Ferrari man overtakes Alpine’s Esteban Ocan to claim 14th place.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:33
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: 20 laps down
Here’s how the top 10 look after 20 laps:
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:32
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Russell vs Alonso
In eighth place, George Russell looks like he’s considering making a move to overtake seventh Fernando Alonso…
But the Williams driver is told on his car radio to “convert to Plan B”.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:30
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: What’s happening out front?
From pole position, championship leader Max Verstappen has extended his lead over second-placed Lewis Hamilton to three seconds.
Meanwhile, Sergio Perez is in third, 10 seconds behind Hamilton, and Valtteri Bottas has regained some ground to go fourth.
After a fine start, Lando Norris is back down to fifth.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:23
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Gasly and Leclerc incident
So, an incident on turn 3 of lap 1 saw Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc come together with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
Leclerc immediately headed into the pits, seemingly with some wing damage, while one of Gasly’s rear tyres was wrecked, bringing his race to an early end.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:21
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Ricciardo starts strong
Daniel Ricciardo has started well for McLaren. He’s up four places into ninth.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:15
F1 Styrian Grand Prix: Hamilton complains on radio
Lewis Hamilton is still in second – two seconds behind Max Verstappen – and has complained over his car radio about an early issue…
“Argh, something hit my front right tyre. Something heavy came off [Verstappen’s] car,” the world champion said.
Alex Pattle27 June 2021 14:14