Mercedes couldn’t qualify in the top three while their main rivals Red Bull got pole and P3.
Increasingly, it looks like Lewis Hamilton will not be overtaking Michael Schumacher’s record of 7-world titles in 2021 as Max Verstappen and Red Bull continue their unrelenting charge leaving behind the once-dominant Mercedes in the dust. This pattern continues in Austria for the second week in a row as Verstappen took another commanding pole with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez joining him in P3. Perhaps the surprise of the session was Lando Norris managed to qualify in P2 in the McLaren.
Lewis Hamilton managed just P4, after having re-signed with Mercedes for another 2-years. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas just managed P5. The AlphaTauri duo of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda managed P6 and P7 respectively.
Birthday boy, Sebastian Vettel again hauled the Aston Martin in Q3 at P7, though he will be subject to an investigation by the stewards later on for impeding Fernando Alonso in Q2. George Russell finally made it to Q3 in the Williams marking off an incredible performance in what is easily the second slowest car just ahead of the Haas. Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll, who is also the son of the owner of Aston Martin F1, managed P10.
Critically, the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc were just P11 and P12 despite showing great pace in practice and the last race. The Ferrari duo remains confident of the race pace having free tyre choices after qualifying outside of the top 10 and will be rapid. This will be critical for Ferrari’s chances of coming P3 in the world constructors championship considering McLaren’s Norris has managed P2.
The good news for Ferrari is that Daniel Ricciardo is still struggling in the McLaren and just managed P13. He was ahead of Fernando Alonso who also looked fast but his Q2 lap was ruined because of Vettel. The Alpha Romeo duo of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen came P15 and P16 respectively. Alonso’s teammate Ocon continued his struggles in the Alpine and just amazed P17.
As usual, the last three was made up of Latifi in the Williams ahead of Mick Schumacher in P19 and the last being the mercurial Russian Nikita Mazepin in the Haas.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:03.720
2 Lando Norris McLaren +0.048s
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.270s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.294s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.329s
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 0+.387s
7 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +0.553s
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +0.850s
9 George Russell Williams +0.871s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.898s
11 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:04.559
12 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.041s
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 0.160s
14 Fernando Alonso Alpine 0.297s
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 0.524s
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 1:05.009
17 Esteban Ocon Alpine 0.042s
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams 0.186s
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 0.416s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 0.952s