The Saturday in F1 Austrian GP was a hectic one but Max Verstappen led the way from start to finish, while Ferrari duo had a fight among themselves.

The Saturday in F1 Austrian GP saw a cruising performance from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen where he took the win and pole for Sunday’s main race where he left the Ferrari duo to fight among themselves as Charles Leclerc held of Carlos Sainz.

While Verstappen was at a distance, Leclerc had to defend from Sainz multiple times which did cost them some time but they felt the Dutchman had enough in his tank to win the sprint race. The pace was shown by Sergio Perez’s recovery drive from 13th to fifth.

After the penalty on Friday, Perez climbed back well up to a respectable place behind Mercedes’ George Russell, who had a lonely time in fourth. His teammate Lewis Hamilton got involved in Turn 1 incident and had to fight back from 11th to eighth.

Verstappen: “I mean, of course, they also had a little fight in the beginning of the race, so I could pull a gap, and basically then control the gap. But you could see towards the end of the race, we were very closely matched in pace. So I do expect tomorrow to be a tight race. There are still a few things to look at for tomorrow. But overall, the car’s been performing really well, so that’s, of course, always a positive. And yeah, normally these tyres will be used also tomorrow. So it should be alright.”

Leclerc: “I mean, we’ve lost a little bit of time. But again, I think then when Max had the gap, he also managed his pace. So we’ll never know again, but I felt like we were strong towards the end. Probably stronger than at the beginning. Whether it will have been enough, I really don’t know. I think personally I was trying to take care about the tyres. Probably the first lap in itself I was quite surprised by how much Max was pushing on that first timed lap, but yeah, we were more on the cautious side. I think it was pretty close between us three, to be honest, in terms of pace. I was probably the one managing the most at the beginning and the one maybe pushing the most at the end. So yeah, I just tried s;omething different. But it didn’t work out.”

Sainz: “My normal approach to the race, managing the tyre in the first couple of laps like always but we were not doing – at least me – I wasn’t doing anything special. It shows that Max is quick and that is going to beat him but yeah, I was doing my normal approach to the race. there were a few battles going on there at the beginning. First, at the start, and then with Charles around… I don’t know what lap was it – four or five? That was fun, and yeah, a shame that I couldn’t get him in the end. I think he had a pretty good exit there at the exit of Turn 3 and it wasn’t quite enough to get him, but yeah from there on I lost a bit of grip on the tyres, on the front and the rears, and I had to recover the battery, recover the tyres, and then get back into a rhythm. But good fun, like always here.”

Perez: “It was a good race and recovery, I had a good start and kept out of trouble, it was tricky with Lewis and a lot of people going side by side into turn three. We got the most we could out of the Sprint and I feel it is a strong result from us. Once I got past everybody, George Russell was a bit far for me to catch up with, I wish I had got back up to P4 but I can fight from fifth. There are lessons we can take from the Sprint race to make sure we are on the podium tomorrow. Patience will be key on Sunday; I want to get a good start and get in the mix straight away in the race. I made up four places in the first lap today so hopefully tomorrow is the same. We are still to unlock some potential from the car so we can look forward to the race.”

Hamilton: “Firstly, I didn’t have a good start. Secondly, I don’t understand these drivers. Moving across, I don’t know if they know they are moving across, but it was just unnecessary, [Gasly] had so much space on his right. That is unfortunate for sure. I have got some sort of damage there, I don’t know exactly what but it was a big hit to my front. I’m just grateful I could continue. And then I got another one further up, with the Williams and the Red Bull – they did the same thing. I managed to just survive. I hope it’s not like today. We’ll see. But fingers crossed.”

Hamilton had to work hard for eighth where he had to battle Mick Schumacher in the closing stages. The German, though, believed that he shouldn’t have been in that position to fend him off as he was quicker than Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen.

He noted that he asked the team to switch but it didn’t happen, whereas the Dane revealed that no such discussions took place on his side. The team had a decent finish in seventh and ninth where Schumacher kept off Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas in the end.

The Finn was happy to be in the Top 10 where he managed to keep the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at bay. The duo did gain places in a good recovery, especially against Alpine where Esteban Ocon was sixth but Fernando Alsono suffered problems to now start the grand prix from last.

Schumacher: “Yeah, I think that it’s something to be discussed. Obviously, I think the battle with Lewis was fun, but in the first place it shouldn’t have happened. I think in some ways I was quite a bit quicker. I think I had more pace to be in front. It’s something to have a look at maybe for my understanding on why we didn’t swap the positions, because I felt I probably could have attacked Esteban ahead. In some ways I was saving his [Magnussen’s] butt from the attack of Lewis. I was actually hoping he would drop back, which I think didn’t happen. So, that left me vulnerable then to the DRS [of Hamilton].”

Bottas: “It was a good drive with some nice battling, but we ran out of laps to make it higher than tenth – it’s a shame the points only go down to eighth! We struggled a bit in the beginning, with a slight engine issue, but in the end we had better pace than the Haas, even though we were still a bit too slow on the straights – probably a bit too much wing. Tomorrow should be a completely different kind of day, starting from the back: it will be a longer race but I am confident we can make up ground. The pace is there and I absolutely think we can make it to the points: you never know what can happen.”

Norris: “Positive overall, we went forward a good few positions and we should be starting P10 tomorrow, but it wasn’t easy. I had to use the tyres a lot in the first part of the race and they then dropped off a bit halfway through. Apart from that, I’m happy with the result. We did pretty much exactly what we wanted to do.”

Alonso: “Our main concern was to fire up the car, but we couldn’t. It was something electrical on the car, it would switch off all the time, so we will investigate and try to fix it for tomorrow. I mean, it’s very disappointing, very frustrating because [I feel] I’m driving at probably one of my highest levels in my career and the car doesn’t start, the engine, on a race like today, so not many points – but on my side I’m very proud of the job that I’m doing, and if I have DNFs and zero points because it’s my mistake or my something, I will feel bad; as long as I’m trying to do my job I’ll… cope with it.”

Outside the Top 10, it wasn’t a best of time for AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly who had another troublesome outing where he dropped to the back of the field after an early hit. The Frenchman recovered to 15th but with teammate Yuki Tsunoda only 17th, it wasn’t the result the team were hoping for.

In trouble was also Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel when he was spun around by Williams’ Alexander Albon. This left him last as he was asked to pit eventually. The Thai escaped any penalty for the hit against the German, but he was handed a 5s penalty for the Norris moment.

Vettel: “I think Albon was a bit optimistic when we were fighting in Turn 6 and slid into me, which cost us the chance to bank a decent grid position for tomorrow. I made it out of the gravel, but the car had some damage. It means I will start tomorrow’s race almost where we started today. It is a shame because we made some good progress in the early laps, and I think starting on the Softs was the right decision. There is still a long race ahead of us and we will try our best to move up the order tomorrow.”

Gasly: “I’m extremely disappointed, we started the Sprint in the top 10 and before the first corner it was already over. I don’t really know what happened, so I need to review it later, but I was alongside Lewis and all of a sudden, I was facing the wrong way on the race track. The left-hand side of the car was broken after that, so it was horrendous to drive for the rest of the race. Tomorrow will be a long race, so we need to go away tonight and see what we can do to make our way forward.

Albon: “We had a good start but then had to avoid a crash so lost a few positions, which was frustrating. I don’t regret the tyre choice [of softs]; we were generally struggling with pace out there, especially when we were following other cars and the wind changed quite a lot which didn’t help us. We were better when we were in clean air, but we know what we can do better for the race. I feel the penalty I got was a little harsh. I’m braking in a sensible place and I wasn’t trying to push anyone off, I’m staying away as much as I can. But I feel when you put yourself on the outside with a car with limitations, you’re putting yourself at risk. It’s a shame because we lost a few places with that penalty. It was a tough race for us today, but we’ll fight back tomorrow and hopefully come back stronger.”

Here’s how F1 Austrian GP sprint race panned out