Formula 1 Commentary

F1 Austrian GP Live commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Live updates from final practice and qualifying for the Formula 1 Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring.

F1 Austrian GP Live commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

By: Lewis Duncan, Haydn Cobb

Summary

Summary
  • Verstappen takes pole for the Austrian GP
  • Norris takes first front row, missing pole by 0.048s
  • Hamilton only fourth in the leading Mercedes
  • Q2 incident between Vettel and Alonso to be investigated
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Norris, McLaren
  3. Perez, Red Bull
  4. Hamilton, Mercedes
  5. Bottas, Mercedes
  6. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  7. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  8. Vettel, Aston Martin
  9. Russell, Williams
  10. Stroll, Aston Martin
Status: Stopped
It is time to say goodbye, until tomorrow's live coverage of the Austrian GP of course, as we head off to listen to 'Three Lions' on repeat in preparation for tonight. Oh, and chase up the latest news and reaction from the F1 paddock, yes, also that.
Need a recap of the action from qualifying? Well, look no further as here's the Austrian GP qualifying report: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-austrian-gp-verstappen-edges-norris-to-pole-hamilton-fourth/6624801/
 

Verstappen receives huge cheers from the orange-clad army as he picks up his mini-Pirelli tyre trophy for securing pole position. That's Verstappen's fourth pole of the year and third in a row.

Perez on P3: "It has been a really hard weekend up to know. It didn't come easy but in the end we got a good lap and a good starting position for tomorrow and I believe we have a better race car than in quali."

Norris on his P2: "I feel epic. It was cool. I guess after the last race I wanted to do that one more step, and I did two more. It is probably one of the best laps that I have done."
A solid job also by AlphaTauri with Gasly in sixth and Tsunoda in seventh. Vettel, who will probably pick up a penalty for his Q2 incident with Alonso, is eighth ahead of Russell and Stroll.
So Verstappen takes pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix! Norris joins him on the front row ahead of Perez. A good day to be in orange.
...but it isn't enough as Hamilton and Bottas do not improve! Hamilton qualifies in fourth place with his Mercedes team-mate in fifth place. Blimey.
Perez jumps up to P3, but here come the Mercedes drivers...
...so close for Norris! A 1m03.768s is just 0.048s off Verstappen!
Norris is quickest in sector one...
Russell has made it out for a one-lap effort in Q3.
Final lap time in Q3. All or nothing. Send it. Take off. Or whatever phrase you like to use to say 'go quicker'.
Verstappen has a 0.238s gap to Norris and is almost three-tenths faster than Hamilton. Around such a short lap that is a fairly sizeable gap, while Norris is  creating an unexpected headache for Mercedes.
Verstappen takes provisional pole with a 1m03.720s, while Norris stays second! Hamilton can only reach third just ahead of Mercedes team-mate Bottas with Perez in fifth.
From the early laps Norris goes top with a 1m03.958s, but here come the Red Bulls and Mercedes.
No drivers are opting for a three-run strategy in Q3 this weekend, with the pack taking their time ahead of the opening laps. All are now out on track apart from Russell.
The Williams mechanics are busy at work tending to Russell's front wing at the start of the session. They'll still be buzzing, mind, reaching Q3 for the first time in forever.
Here we go for Q3 - who are you backing for pole position?
 
Out in Q2: P11 Sainz, P12 Leclerc, P13 Ricciardo, P14 Alonso, P15 Giovinazzi

The incident involving Vettel and Alonso will be investigated after qualifying but that looks fairly clear-cut. Alonso had to totally back out to avoid the Aston Martin.

Verstappen tops Q2 from Hamilton and Bottas, as Russell makes it into Q3 for the first time as a Williams driver. Ferrari's decision to stick with the mediums doesn't work out with Sainz P11 and Leclerc P12.

Alonso, on a quick lap, gets held up by Vettel at the final corner, with the Aston Martin driver waiting to start his own final flying lap. That wreck's the Alpine driver's lap while Vettel missed the chequered flag to start his lap.
Final Q2 run time. Ferrari sticking to the mediums for both drivers despite being outside the top 10. Bold.
Alongside the two Ferrari drivers are Alonso, Ricciardo and Giovinazzi who need to find gains to reach Q3 on the final runs in this session.
The medium tyre run for Ferrari hasn't worked out, with Sainz in P11 and Leclerc in P12. They will need to go again on the softs.
Not for long as Verstappen puts in a 1m04.208s to regain top spot. Then Norris, Perez and Vettel shuffle Hamilton down to fifth.
Lots of C4 yellow-walled medium tyres on show for the Mercedes, Red Bulls, Ferraris and McLarens. Hamilton goes quickest with a 1m04.501s.

The Perez qualifying show ends as the rest of the Q2 contenders come out, almost in unison.

"I think we lacked the tow there," Perez says over team radio as he pits. He's not wrong.

Perez puts in a 1m04.554s - which would have been good enough for P6 in the first session of qualifying - but fully expect the pace to increase so that might not be enough to secure a Q3 slot.

Perez has the freedom of the Red Bull Ring, well he does drive for the home team after all, as he begins his first timed lap as the only driver on the track.

Perez comes out on to the track immediately on the medium tyres. He preferred to use the soft tyre last weekend to reach Q3 so this could be crucial to his strategy for the race.
Q2 is underway - time to decide the top 10.
 
Out in Q1: P16 Raikkonen, P17 Ocon, P18 Latifi, P19 Schumacher, P20 Mazepin.

Ricciardo will be one relieved driver as he has a lap time deleted for track limits right at the end of Q1, but his earlier lap sees him scrape by in P15 fractionally ahead of Raikkonen.

And Ocon is shuffled out again - improvements from Russell, Tsunoda and Leclerc mean the Alpine driver is pushed back to P17. That's exactly where he qualified this time last week.