Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Austrian GP commentary and updates - FP2 & Sprint

Minute by minute updates from the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix Saturday practice and the sprint race.

Live: F1 Austrian GP commentary and updates - FP2 & Sprint

The sprint race weekend format returns at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

Max Verstappen will start the sprint race from pole, having seen his lead in the F1 world drivers’ championship trimmed to 34 points in a dramatic British GP last time out, as Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez finished as runner-up to maiden winner Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclerc lost out in a Ferrari strategy call to drop to fourth place in the Silverstone race, putting him 43 points behind Verstappen in the standings.

By: James Newbold, Haydn Cobb, Lewis Duncan

Summary

Summary
  • Verstappen wins F1 sprint at the Red Bull Ring to secure pole for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, leading home the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz
  • Perez makes up ground from grid penalty for Q2 track limits breach, advancing from 13th to fifth behind Russell
  • Gasly finishes 15th after contact with Hamilton causes spin at the first corner
  • Vettel retires after being spun into Turn 6 gravel by Albon
Leaderboard 
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Russell, Mercedes
  5. Perez, Red Bull
  6. Ocon, Alpine
  7. Magnussen, Haas
  8. Hamilton, Mercedes
  9. Schumacher, Haas
  10. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
Status: Stopped
With Sprinty McSprintface over, it is time to call time on this live text commentary. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for the main event: the Austrian GP. The race gets underway at 2pm BST. Until then, have a lovely weekend!
 
The final sprint race of 2022 will take place in Brazil, just as it did last year. Given Verstappen's advantage in the standings, it could be when he clinches the title, but there's a long way to go before that - a whole 10 races, in fact! Wow.
So, that was the second sprint of the season, and fifth in F1 history. What do you make of them? Are they here to stay and increase, is it time to end the experiment or does the variety add the right kind of spice?
That sprint race win also extends Verstappen's lead in the F1 drivers' world championship to 38 points over team-mate Perez, with Leclerc a further six points back in third.
 
Here come the sprint medals! They are all silver, which feels like Verstappen, Leclerc and Sainz all get equal appreciation. We are missing the classic fake wreaths from last year, though. Gutted.
 
Schumacher and Ricciardo have been placed under investigation for a start procedure infringement. It wasn't spotted on the live feed, so more news on that when we get it.
Schumacher just misses out in ninth but finishes ahead of Bottas, Norris and Ricciardo. Albon is relegated back to 16th due to his five-second penalty.
Russell takes fourth ahead of Perez, Ocon and Magnussen, with Hamilton the final points finisher in the sprint with eighth.
Verstappen wins the Austrian GP sprint race! He takes the chequered flag by 1.6s ahead of Leclerc, with Sainz in third.
Vettel is told to pit on the penultimate lap due to damage from his earlier crash with Albon.
Verstappen starts the final lap of the sprint with a 2s lead. He's pacing this one to victory.
Schumacher doesn't get DRS on lap 21 and that gives Hamilton the opening to get the move done at Turn 4. He's up to eighth.
Once again Schumacher defends resolutely from Hamilton between Turns 3 and 4. "Tell Kevin to slow down so I can get DRS," Schumacher tells his Haas team over the radio.
Perhaps this isn't so odd, but this exact situation happened to Hamilton in the Imola sprint race. He clearly had the pace to move up the order but got stuck in a DRS train so could not gain the top speed advantage at the end of the straights.
Perez is chasing down Russell for fourth but at his current pace won't catch the Mercedes before the finish. Further ahead, the front three look to have settled for their positions with the gaps stabilised.
Hamilton remains stuck behind the Haas duo heading into the final five laps of the sprint.
The Haas pair are DRS-training to keep Hamilton behind in ninth place, as the Mercedes driver looks for a way around the outside at Turn 4, switching back for Turn 6, but wisely backs out of it.
Verstappen is keeping hold of a 2.5s lead at the front, while Sainz has dropped 3.1s off Leclerc after his earlier attacks.
Perez keeps up his charge, getting by Ocon at Turn 3, to climb up to fifth place. He only needs one more place to totally erode his grid drop from qualifying.
Albon has punted Vettel into the gravel! Vettel was attacking into Turn 7, but two into one doesn't go and the contact sends the Aston Martin off. Vettel gets going again, reversing out of the gravel, but in down in 19th.
A lap later Perez overtakes another Haas at Turn 3, this time Magnussen around the outside, to move up to sixth place.
Perez makes a super move up the inside at Turn 3 on Schumacher to take seventh place.
Albon has been given a five-second penalty for forcing a driver off the track - that was for his battle with Norris at Turn 3. Norris and Ricciardo have already got by the Williams driver, but that'll hurt his finishing position late on.
Next lap around Sainz tries it again, up the inside at Turn 3 and then around the outside at Turn 4, but Leclerc hangs him out to dry and his team-mate has to back out of it. Verstappen must be loving this, he's 2.8s ahead.
Leclerc isn't attacking Verstappen at the front, he's needing to defend from Ferrari team-mate Sainz. The British GP winner has a look up the inside at Turn 3 but backs out of it late on.
Shoutout to Vettel as well who has made up six places in the sprint so far. He is up to 14th chasing the McLaren pair.
At the front, Verstappen is already 1.8s out in front, so out of DRS range of Leclerc.
At the start of lap four, Hamilton fights back to take 10th place off Albon up the inside at Turn 1. That invites Norris into the fight, but he has to take to the kerbs at Turn 3 as he is run out of room.
Replays of the start show Gasly tripped over Hamilton, squeezing the Mercedes driver to the outside with Albon even further over. It creates wheel-to-wheel contact and pops Gasly into the spin.
Perez made a mega start to get up to eighth place having been 13th on the grid.
But Leclerc bites back to regain second up the inside at Turn 4! Further back at the first corner Gasly was pinged into a spin and he's dropped to 18th place.
Off we go! Verstappen defends the inside line into the first corner which allows Sainz around the outside on Leclerc into second place.
Alonso is wheeled towads the garage - he won't make this start - so it is just Zhou to start from the pitlane.
Just as the second formation lap gets going Zhou's car fires back up and he joins the back of the snake, but he will start from the pitlane behind Alonsp. This will be a 23-lap sprint.
...or not as Zhou's engine has stopped. Start aborted.
The formation lap is complete with Alonso in the pitlane. Here we go...