Red Bull ended up 1-3 with Max Verstappen on pole in F1 Austrian GP and Sergio Perez third, while McLaren’s Lando Norris was second.
The first part in F1 Austrian GP qualifying saw Aston Martin and AlphaTauri try out the medium tyres for their first run but switched to soft. At the front, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen led the way from McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.
Such was the difference that the Top 18 were all covered within 0.946s, where Norris’ teammate Daniel Ricciardo just managed to make it into Q2 after lap deletion, while it wasn’t smooth for Esteban Ocon (1m05.051s), who ended up 17th eventually.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m05.009s) was ahead of him in 16th, while Williams’ Nicholas Latifi (1m05.195s) ended up 18th ahead of the Haas pair of Mick Schumacher (1m05.427s) and Nikita Mazepin (1m05.951s).
The second part of F1 Austrian GP qualifying saw Red Bull have Sergio Perez go out for his first run early on the medium tyres. Likewise Verstappen, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren also opting for the yellow-walled tyres for their first run.
The Top 15 were covered by 0.875s after their first run, with the grid jumbled up. The second run saw Ferrari remain on the medium tyre along with Verstappen and Mercedes, as Williams’ George Russell also switched to the yellow-walled tyres.
A bold move but Russell eventually ended up 10th by 0.006s margin over the Ferrari duo, who were knocked out in the end, with Carlos Sainz (1m04.559s) 11th from Charles Leclerc (1m04.600s), while McLaren’s Ricciardo (1m04.719s) was 13th in the end.
A furious Alonso (1m04.856s) was only 14th after he got blocked by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel on the start/finish line. The German apologised to the Spaniard, but it didn’t calm him down. The incident was put under investigation by the stewards.
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi finished 15th, with the Top 15 covered by around one second, as Red Bull’s Verstappen headed the pack from the Mercedes duo Hamilton and Bottas, while Perez made it in Q3 on the medium tyre.
The third part of F1 Austrian GP had Red Bull’s Verstappen on provisional pole with a 1m03.720s lap as he led McLaren’s Lando Norris, who managed to get ahead of both the Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Bottas, with Red Bull’s Perez in fifth.
The second run did not see any improvement from F1 Austrian GP pole-sitter Verstappen, as Norris (1m03.768s) retained his first-ever front-row, finishing just 0.048s behind the Dutchman. It was Red 1-3 with Perez (1m03.990s) improving to third.
Mercedes were only fourth and fifth, with Hamilton (1m04.014s) ahead of Bottas (1m04.049s), as they led the AlphaTauri duo of Pierre Gasly (1m04.107s) and Yuki Tsunoda (1m04.273s). Behind them, Vettel (1m04.570s) was eighth as Russell (1m04.591s) cleared Lance Stroll (1m04.618s) for ninth.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 3, 2021
UPDATE: Following the investigation into what happened with Vettel and Alonso, the stewards adjudged the German as the guilty party and handed him a three-place grid drop for F1 Styrian GP along with one point on his superlicense.
“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 5 (Sebastian Vettel), the driver of car 14 (Fernando Alonso) and team representatives and reviewed video evidence. ALO was on his fast lap just before the end of Q2. When he approached the last two corners (9 and 10), there was still a queue of 3 cars preparing for their final qualifying lap. VET was the last car in this line and impeded ALO and as a result, ALO had to abort his final qualifying lap.”
After Vettel’s call, the stewards summoned Bottas and Sainz for driving unnecessarily at Turn 9 and Tun 10. The Finn was left off, as was the Spaniard. With Vettel’s penalty, he will now start F1 Styrian GP from 11th, allowing Russell, Stroll and Sainz to move up place to eighth, ninth and 10th.
“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 77 (Valtteri Bottas) and team representative and reviewed video evidence. At the end of Q2 BOT slowed down at the entry of T9 to create a gap for his final lap. This is contrary to the Race Directors event notes 24.2a,” said the stewards.
“However, given the situation that many drivers ended up queuing at this part of the circuit, the Stewards determine that too many drivers contributed to the situation and therefore the driver concerned is not fully to blame.”
Meanwhile for Sainz, the stewards stated: “The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 55 (Carlos Sainz) and team representative and reviewed video evidence. At the end of Q2 SAI slowed down at the entry of T9 to create a gap for his final lap. This is contrary to the Race Directors event notes 24.2a. However, given the situation that many drivers ended up queuing at this part of the circuit, the Stewards determine that too many drivers contributed to the situation and therefore the driver concerned is not fully to blame.”