Max Verstappen takes second pole in a row in qualifying Styrian GP: 'Super happy'

Published on 26 June 2021 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen took pole position for the second time in a row in the qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman set a time of 1:03.841 as fastest time on the 4.318 kilometre long Red Bull Ring, a little over two tenths ahead of Valtteri Bottas. However, the Finn received a grid penalty, after the spin in the pitlane yesterday during FP2, and he will start from P5 on the grid. Lewis Hamilton will therefor start from P2 and Lando Norris and Sergio Pérez will start from the second row on the grid.

“It has been a very good weekend”, says a happy Verstappen after qualifying. “The car was really good to drive. It was not easy to deal with the traffic in the last few corners to get a clean run, but I think that first lap in Q3 was good enough. I am super happy to have a Red Bull here on pole at home.”

Even though the lap is short, it is not easy to get a good lap together on the Red Bull Ring. “There are not that many corners, but the corners you have on the track are quite difficult. It is a short track, but it is really hard to get a good lap out of it. I think that first lap in Q3 was not too bad. It is never perfect, but it was good enough”, says the Dutchman.

Even though the Red Bull Racing driver scored a convincing pole, he is not expecting the victory to be handed to him easily: “It is never easy, I wish sometimes it was easy, but in the end that is good for racing. And I am sure tomorrow will be very tight, hopefully it will be as interesting as in France again.”

At 15:00 the lights go green at the end of the pitlane and qualifying gets underway. Nicholas Latifi is the first driver to enter the track, followed by both Haas cars. After about four minutes Max Verstappen also leaves the pitlane. The Dutchman sets a 1:04.489 (P1) in his first lap. After two cooldown laps Verstappen goes again, but he cannot improve his time.

Max stays in the pit box for the remainder of the session and is the fastest to go through to Q2. Nicholas Latifi, Esteban Ocon, Kimi Räikkönen, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin come short for a place in the top fifteen and form the first group to drop out.

At the start of Q2 both Verstappen and the two Mercedes have medium tyres on their cars. The Red Bull Racing driver sets a 1:04.540 in his first run, which puts him in P1. Sergio Pérez, on soft tyres, is half a tenth behind in P2. Not much later Pierre Gasly takes first position on the soft tyres by setting a 1:04.429.

Verstappen comes out at the end of the session on soft tyres as a precaution, but it is not needed to set another time, as the margin to go through to Q3 is safe enough. Sergio Pérez finishes Q2 as fastest with a 1:04.197, set on soft tyres. In the top ten only Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will start the race tomorrow on the medium tyres. George Russell, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Antonio Giovinazzi do not make it through to Q3.

Then it is time for the twelve minutes lasting battle for pole position. Lewis Hamilton comes out straight away and seems to go for three runs. The seven time world champion sets a 1:04.205 in his first flying lap. Max improves this time with no less than 3 and a half tenths of a second to a 1:03.841, after which Hamilton reduces that to two tenths in his second run. Behind them form Lando Norris (+0.403), Valtteri Bottas (+0.470), Sergio Pérez (+0.483) and Pierre Gasly (+0.612) the provisional top six.

Max cannot improve his time in his last run, but as both Mercedes do not go under the 1:04, they have to settle with P2 (Valtteri Bottas) and P3 (Lewis Hamilton). Verstappen takes his sixth pole position in his Formula 1 career. Because of a three place grid penalty for Valtteri Bottas, the first three rows on the grid will be completed by Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, Sergio Pérez, Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly.

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Results qualifying Styria:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:04.4891:04.4331:03.841
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:04.5371:04.4431:04.035
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:04.6721:04.5121:04.067
4Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:04.5841:04.2981:04.120
5Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:04.6381:04.1971:04.168
6Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:04.7651:04.4291:04.236
7Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:04.7451:04.6461:04.472
8Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:04.6081:04.6311:04.514
9Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:04.9711:04.5821:04.574
10Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:04.8211:04.6631:04.708
11George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:05.0331:04.671
12Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:04.8591:04.800
13Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:05.1421:04.808
14Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:05.0511:04.875
15Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:05.0921:04.913
16Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:05.175
17Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:05.217
18Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:05.429
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:06.041
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:06.192