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Formula 1 Austrian GP

F1 Austrian GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 & Qualifying

Friday's action from the ninth round of the 2023 Formula 1 season

F1 begins its ninth round this weekend and its second sprint race of the season at the Austrian GP.

It means Friday will see just one free practice session (12:30pm-1:30pm BST) followed by qualifying at 4pm BST that will set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

Saturday is effectively a standalone event, with sprint qualifying and then the sprint race.

Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ standings by 69 points from Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez after his fourth win in a row last time out in Canada.

By: Megan White, James Newbold

Summary
  • Max Verstappen takes fourth consecutive pole for Red Bull at F1's Austrian Grand Prix
  • A late effort from Charles Leclerc puts him on the front row at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz and McLaren's Lando Norris
  • George Russell, Esteban Ocon, Oscar Piastri, Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez out in Q2
  • Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, Logan Sargeant, Kevin Magnussen and Nyck de Vries out in Q1
  • The Red Bull Ring is hosting F1's second sprint event of 2023
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Norris, McLaren
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Stroll, Aston Martin
  7. Alonso, Aston Martin
  8. Hulkenberg, Haas
  9. Gasly, Alpine
  10. Albon, Williams
Status: Stopped
Thanks for joining us on the live blog today. We'll be back tomorrow with all the action from qualifying and the sprint race. In the meantime, make sure to keep tabs on the website for all the news and reaction to qualifying, including the inevitable track limits debate!
He had his scares, but Max Verstappen secured pole position for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, his 26th in F1 to draw level in the all-time stakes with Mika Hakkinen. Here's the full report from Alex Kalinauckas: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-austrian-gp-verstappen-sees-off-leclerc-for-pole-by-0048s/10489562/
One team that will certainly hope to see an improvement is AlphaTauri, the only operation to lose both cars in Q1. De Vries brings up the rear of the grid in 20th, while Tsunoda will start Sunday's Grand Prix in 16th.
A little over a tenth between Russell and Albon, but it was all the difference between making Q3 and not for the 2022 Brazilian GP winner. Tomorrow we'll do this all again to decide the sprint race grid - will the results change?
And an encouraging day for Ferrari as Leclerc comes within a whisker of snatching pole away. Sainz in third makes it a strong team result, as the Prancing Horse seeks to close its deficit to Aston Martin in the constructors' standings.
That's a fourth pole in a row for Verstappen, who last missed out on the top spot in Miami at the start of May.
Hulkenberg ends up eighth, 11 positions ahead of his team-mate, then Gasly and Albon complete the top 10.
Stroll redeems himself after losing the banker time to track limits as he outqualifies Alonso - for only the second time this year - in sixth and seventh positions. Back on a high downforce track, Aston appear to have regressed a little.
Leclerc leaps back ahead of Sainz, who takes third, while Norris is fourth ahead of Hamilton. A strong return to form for the McLaren driver who started on the front row in 2021.
Verstappen takes pole. But goodness, it was close though! Leclerc is just 0.048s down after a blistering effort.
Verstappen improves again and sets a 1m04.391s. Surely that won't be beaten!
Time for the final runs then, as everyone bar Albon heads out for their last whirl of the dice (until tomorrow's sprint qualifying that is).
The answer is yes! Albon moves up to sixth, usurping Alonso and Gasly. But only for a split second - he's done the same as Stroll and loses that lap for running too wide at Turn 9.
Now with an empty track, Albon is going again. Can he lift himself up from eighth?
Stroll becomes the first driver to fall foul of track limits in Q3. He's run too wide at Turn 9 and is docked his banker lap.
Hamilton ends up fifth after his first run. Interestingly, he was fastest in sector one, and Leclerc the benchmark through sector two. But it's sector three pace-setter Verstappen who averaged out best across the lap.
Verstappen's advantage is 0.206s for the time being over Leclerc, who is himself two tenths ahead of Sainz.
Gasly and Albon slot in ahead of Stroll and Hulkenberg. Hamilton is yet to set a time and is now on his outlap.
Drivers are gunning for their first flying laps of Q3 now, and Verstappen as you'd expect is turning the splits purple. A 1m04.503s puts him fastest.
We're green for Q3 and Albon is the first man out.
Well, we wondered aloud whether track limits would become a talking point of the day. Perez being booted out for repeated track limits in Q2 appears to have answered our question.
Your 10 drivers to compete for pole are Verstappen, Sainz, Norris, Leclerc, Stroll, Alonso, Hamilton, Gasly, Hulkenberg and Albon. A good effort then from Hulkenberg too, as both he and Albon lost team-mates in Q1.