Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2022

Verstappen snatches sprint race pole as Hamilton and Russell crash

2022 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying

Posted on

| Written by

Max Verstappen took sprint race pole for the Austrian Grand Prix on his final lap in Q3, beating championship rival Charles Leclerc by just 0.029 seconds.

The Red Bull driver finished fastest in qualifying for the third consecutive event at the Red Bull Ring, with both Ferraris of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr lining up ahead of Sergio Perez for Saturday’s sprint race.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crashed out of Q3 after losing the rear of their Mercedes in separate incidents. Russell qualified fifth with Hamilton falling to tenth.


Friday qualifying started under bright blue skies, with air temperatures hovering just under 20C as drivers took to the circuit for the opening phase.

The two Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz Jnr and Charles Leclerc set the early pace during the early runs, the British Grand Prix winner ahead of his team mate on a 1’06.363. However, the stewards deleted Sainz’s time for exceeding track limits on the exit of the final corner. As per F1’s rules, he also lost his subsequent effortas a result. He was far from the only driver to be caught out in this way.

With 10 minutes remaining, Max Verstappen took to the track for his first flying lap and jumped to the top of the times with a 1’06.097. But he became the next driver to have a time deleted for exceeding track limits at the final corner, and his second attempt along with it.

Eventually, with five minutes to go, Verstappen set a legal lap of a 1’05.852, but that was then beaten immediately by the two Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz, who went quicker by over four tenths of a second.

In the final five minutes, the drop zone consisted of Lando Norris in the McLaren, Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin, Nicholas Latifi, Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon. Norris jumped to safety in eighth place, moving Zhou Guanyu into danger in 16th.

Stroll improved to 15th, dropping Daniel Ricciardo into danger in 16th place. Zhou improved, but only enough to go 17th. Albon moved into safety with a lap good enough for 13th, putting Yuki Tsunoda at risk of elimination. Tsunoda improved to 12th, dropping team mate Pierre Gasly into 15th. That left Ricciardo starting at a likely elimination, and hs final effort was not good enough: He was knocked out by just 0.024 seconds, Gasly the last driver to survive.

Stroll improved his lap time but failed to better his position, while Vettel could only manage 17th, leaving the two Aston Martins out in the first phase for the second weekend in succession. Vettel’s final lap was then deleted for track limits at turn one, dropping him down to 20th and last. Ricciardo, Stroll, Zhou Guanyu, Latifi and Vettel were therefore the first five drivers to be eliminated from qualifying.

Q1 result

116Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’5.4198
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’5.6600.2418
31Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’5.8520.4336
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’6.0160.5978
544Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’6.0790.6608
611Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’6.1430.7249
763George RussellMercedesW131’6.2350.8168
84Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’6.3300.91111
920Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’6.3660.9479
1047Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’6.4050.9869
1177Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’6.4421.0238
1222Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’6.4631.04411
1331Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’6.4681.04910
1423Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’6.5161.0979
1510Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’6.5891.17011
163Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’6.6131.19410
1718Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’6.8471.42812
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’6.9011.4829
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’7.0031.5849
205Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’7.0831.66412

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


Ferrari and Red Bull wasted no time getting out onto the circuit as the second session of qualifying began, with Leclerc ahead of Verstappen out on the road, with Sainz followed by Perez behind.

Norris made a mistake at turn four, running wide and ruining his first flying lap. The McLaren driver bailed out and was passed by Leclerc, who was the first of the leaders to complete his lap, setting a 1’05.744. That was immediately beaten by Verstappen, who went quickest of all by over two tenths of a second, with Sainz behind his Ferrari team mate after his first effort.

The two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell indicated they might be in contention for pole position for the first time this year when they completed their first efforts. Hamilton beat Verstappen by three-hundredths of a second to move to the top of the times. Russell jumped into third after his first effort, splitting Verstappen and Leclerc.

Norris’s second flying lap attempt was also ruined by a mistake, this time at turn one, which saw the McLaren run wide and onto the run off. Perez went eighth with a 1’06.273, but he was stripped of his time for running too wide at the penultimate corner, dropping him down to 11th place.

With just over five minutes left in the session, Perez was the first driver at risk of elimination in 11th, with Albon, Gasly, Tsunoda and Norris the other four drivers who had to improve in order to avoid missing out on Q3.

Norris was the first driver in danger to head back out onto the track, but another untidy lap with apparent braking problems saw him kick up gravel on the exit of turn six. That left the McLaren only 13th, until his time was deleted yet again for breaching track limits at turn seven, dropping him to last of the 15 runners.

Gasly improved to tenth, still on the bubble of elimination but knocking Valtteri Bottas into the drop zone as a result. Perez managed to string a lap to move sixth, knocking Gasly back down into the drop zone. Alex Albon improved but only to 12th, leaving him eliminated. Tsunoda’s final effort was rendered worthless when he almost spun at turn one, running off the track.

As the chequered flag flew, Gasly was the first driver eliminated, with Albon in 12th and Bottas out in 13th. Tsunoda was also knocked out in 14th ahead of Norris 15th. However as Q3 began the stewards announced Perez was under investigation for a track limits violation at turn eight, despite his place in the top 10 already being secured.

Q2 result

116Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’5.28718
21Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’5.3740.08712
344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’5.4750.18816
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’5.5760.28918
563George RussellMercedesW131’5.6970.41017
611Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’5.8050.51818
720Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’5.8940.60715
831Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’5.9930.70620
914Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’6.0820.79514
1047Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’6.1510.86415
1110Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’6.1600.87320
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’6.2300.94315
1377Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’6.3191.03214
1422Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’6.8511.56419
154Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’25.84720.56019

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


As the green lights illuminated at the end of the pit lane to signal the start of the final shoot-out for Friday qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, none of the 10 remaining drivers seemed eager to take to the track and chose to happily remain in the pits for the opening minutes of the session.

When the drivers did eventually ventured out, Hamilton abandoned his first push lap and pulled aside before the final corner to allow Leclerc past him. Leclerc set provisional pole with a 1’05.183, a tenth ahead of Ferrari team mate Sainz.

Then it was Red Bull’s turn to set their first flying laps, with Verstappen pipping Leclerc to provisional pole by just under a tenth of a second. Perez could only manage fourth, three tenths of a second slower than his team mate, with Russell going fifth fastest for Mercedes.

After giving up on his first attempt, Hamilton was a quarter of a second off Verstappen’s best lap through the first two sectors of his second push lap. However, Hamilton lost the rear of his Mercedes through turn seven and speared off over the gravel and into the barriers, immediately ending his session and bringing out the red flags.

Hamilton managed to climb out of his car unassisted, with clear damage to the right-hand side of his car. The session was suspended for 10 minutes while Hamilton’s car was removed from the tyre barrier, eventually resuming with just over five minutes remaining.

Russell was the first driver back out on track and had a clear circuit with which to try and improve his lap time and was up at the end of the second sector. However, he appeared to run wide on the exit of the penultimate corner and over the serrated kerbs. As he turned into the final corner, Russell lost the rear of the car and spun, causing him to skid backwards into the outside tyre wall.

For the second time, the session was red-flagged due to a crashed Mercedes, forcing all of the drivers who had just taken to the circuit back into the pit lane. Russell made his way back to the pits by crossing over the track. The stewards subsequently announced he will be investigated for entering the track without permission after the end of qualifying, a rule Vettel transgressed in Australia earlier this year.

Once the second Mercedes had been cleared, the final two-and-a-half minutes of Q3 finally began. All eight remaining drivers took to the track, with Leclerc choosing to go out alone and Verstappen leading team mate Perez at the back of the queue.

Leclerc was the first of the contenders over the line and jumped to provisional pole with a 1’05.013. Sainz was next across the line, but was five hundredths of a second slower than his team mate.

That left the door open for Verstappen, who promptly lowered the benchmark to a 1’04.984, snatching provisional pole from Leclerc by just 0.029s. Perez was the final driver with a chance of taking pole, but he failed to improve on his fourth place, ensuring sprint race pole position for the championship leader.

Leclerc and Sainz will line up behind Verstappen for Saturday’s sprint race, with Perez behind Sainz on the second row. Despite crashing, Russell qualified in fifth just behind Perez.

Esteban Ocon secured ‘best of the rest’ honours of sixth ahead of the two Haas drivers of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher. Fernando Alonso took ninth place for Alpine, with Hamilton dropping to tenth at the end of the session following his earlier accident.

Q3 result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’4.98418
216Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’5.0130.02925
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’5.0660.08225
411Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’5.4040.42024
563George RussellMercedesW131’5.4310.44724
631Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’5.7260.74227
720Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’5.8790.89522
847Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’6.0111.02722
914Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’6.1031.11922
1044Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’13.1518.16720

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

46 comments on “Verstappen snatches sprint race pole as Hamilton and Russell crash”

  1. Russell got lucky no one below bettered his time & Hamilton should be able to pass Haases & Alpines.

    1. Not if there’s a DRS train, this isn’t Mercedes 2021.

    2. He was lucky Alonso had a broken floor in qualifying as I doubt Russell would be able to easily pass both Alpines.

  2. Kravitz crying on air after Hamilton’s accident was very pleasing to me. Ted, as a Hamilton fan, did not let go of his comment so as to ask for the good name of his beloved hero. Too bad the booing at Silverstone didn’t bother him. The whole crew is amazing.

    Really Kravitz outdid himself, that pain, that anger you could just feel. I could feel that grief when he was lost in his own words and didn’t know how to finish his speech.

    Keep doing it, Lewis’ advocate! All that was missing was the comment that it was Verstappen’s fault and that the orange colour should be banned because it distracts Lewis. Maybe George too, hmm… You said on air that something might link these crashes….

    As Lewis said recently – Ted, you are better than that.

    1. Exactly, it was nauseating to hear him say that when these were the same people silent last year. They enabled this when they should have asked this questions back then, not to forget the whole British weekend the same happened.

    2. Don’t get out much eh?

    3. Salty much?

    4. Probably worth you finding another feed to watch.

      1. F1TV Pro
        no more Crofty and Kravitz

    5. I find his “keep in mind Norris will be losing a quarter second a lap” every time he switches to a used engine annoying. Every driver out there is driving on a used engine most of the season.

  3. Wow, just when you thought Mercedes had the car, both their drivers manage to bottle it. Lucky for them its a sprint weekend.

    Max once again on it when it mattered.

  4. Perez’s incident is definitely a penalty. I’d be very surprised if the stewards ignore that. That driving looked really disgusting at this level. Arguably close to how Vettel did at Silverstone 2014 when fighting Alonso

  5. My guess is Hamilton was chasing the data, with the data possibly showing Ham was slow in that corner.

    It will be Hamilton vs Alondo again. With the older guy doing his best to hold up the Hammer.

    With both Mercs in the garage instead of parc ferma there’s no telling how the cars will drive tomorrow.
    They could be better, they could be worst..

  6. Why it didnt take them 10 secs to cancel Norris’s lap but are still looking into Perez’s identical scenario?


    1. They missed it live, were probably alerted to it by a team, and while the obvious ‘solution’ would simply be to scrap all of Pérez Q3 times and put him where his legit Q2 time puts him, there likely aren’t any provisions for doing so in the regulations. So now they have to figure out something to both fix their mistake and avoid being seen as letting Red Bull get away with things at their home track that others were penalized for.

      F1 is a weird sport at times. They throw millions around at seemingly pointless issues, but they can’t figure out how to put simple timing loops around their twenty something FIA Grade A circuits to just automate checking the track limits.

      1. on the streaming i was watching, the guys said “ooops, track limits there…” right on the spot but race control didn’t?
        It was obvious, the lap should be canceled before he crossed the line.

        Red Bull was already handed a whole championship “by mistake”.
        They for sure are working hard to look biased with silly things like this.

        1. A biased misguided way of looking at things. Not sure why good luck and bad luck including controversial stewarding decisions only apply if it happens in the last race. You understand things like Hamilton wouldn’t have won WDC in 2008 if not for crashgate and Romain slamming into Alonso, he would have won the WDC that year. These are things that happen during an F1 season.

          1. You’re reaching there mate. I’m talking about last race, about today, about Brazil and Abu Dhabi last year.

            Recent stuff, easy decisions to take by the stewards, very dubious actions. Not a late race shower.

            Brazil 2008!? What does that have to do with anything?

        2. Red Bull was already handed a whole championship “by mistake”.

          Which one of their four championships was that?

          1. Hesketh’s bear
            9th July 2022, 7:55

            Exactly; Verstappenwas handed the championship in question, not Red Bull.
            Red Bull did it win the Constructors trophy, Mercedes’ did.

  7. Perez should be starting 13th/14th where he was before that last q2 lap!

    1. bcoz when it is a rb car involved, rules are not as clear cut as for others

      1. This didn’t age well.

      2. the stewards must have seen this comment and based on it decided Perez had to move back to 13th to start the Sprint. Well done for holding them accountable.

    2. On the live broadcast the camera switched just at that moment where Pérez ran wide, but it was noticeable enough to rewind and check. Big miss by the stewards, and though I wouldn’t say it’s deliberate, it’s still a bad look that they handed out dozens of penalties but just so happened to miss the Red Bull crossing the lines at the Red Bull Ring. The FIA should be above suspicion, but unfortunately they keep putting themselves in these awkward situations by their insistence on having constantly changing stewards.

      1. but just so happened to miss the Red Bull crossing the lines at the Red Bull Ring.

        Not even for a second that came up to me as a possible reason they missed this one.

        But then again I was slow linking Corona to 5G :s

    3. @asanator even the official highlights package is showing Perez going wide at that corner.

      The official line from the stewards is that they didn’t take action against Perez because they were having to investigate other drivers also cutting other corners, and so Perez didn’t get picked up at the time. The decision from the stewards has been to strip Perez of all of his Q3 times, which means he is starting in 10th place – so, he is receiving some punishment, though at the same time it could be argued that, since he would have started in 13th if he hadn’t done that, it’s still a bit of a net gain for Perez given he’s still 3 places further forward than he might have expected to be.

      1. His fastest Q2 time is deleted as well.

    4. he seems to have lost the positions.

  8. Electroball76
    8th July 2022, 18:43

    HAM’s 1’13.151 should put him ahead of Max’s 1’4.984 ?

    1. I did the same double-take. That is one minute 13 seconds for Hamilton, not a minute 3 seconds. Not used to seeing lap times less than a minute and ten seconds.

      1. How would you otherwise interpret it? Why ignore the ‘1’ in the ‘13’?

  9. Ugh. Didn’t like that session. Should have been a great battle with 3 cars so close at the top but I was too annoyed by the track limit moaning. I hate it. Stop policing it and it will be the same for everyone.
    “But we don’t want cars going there” then put down a strip of grass instead of never ending kerbs. Even the kerbs have kerbs ?!?!
    A car kicking up a bit of dust looks great too, that’s a bonus.

    1. Agreed 1,000%.

    2. I’m glad they finally enforce track limits. It’s up to the drivers to stay within the lines. Even if it means that one day a top driver is eliminated in Q1 due to track limits and unable to set a representative time.

      An automated system would help though; ideally changing the running clock to red digits as soon as the track limits are passed.

      1. While that is a valid opinion, the result of that is the current ‘show’ where in gusty circumstances it’s almost a lottery who can keep a time and who can’t. And some get away with crossing a line and some don’t. The Perez incident was bad. And the bad response would be to ask for more policing but that would make it worse. For me it was annoying to see a good time on the board and not knowing if you could cheer for it. And the solution is incredibly easy

  10. A leading zero for the seconds would make this table much less confusing ;)

  11. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    8th July 2022, 20:37

    I’d say Hamilton and Norris are the only drivers out of position, and in a normal race are the only ones with a real chance to improve their positions for Sunday.
    Off course, anything could happen on the start, and during the sprint race.

  12. Those track limit rules are pointless and embarrassing.

  13. How bad was the TV direction today? Just atrocious. Particularly in Q3. Hamilton on a good lap, probably others going well too? Let’s show Max on a cool-down lap, followed by some shots of his fans, then a wide helicopter shot of said fans. Just what we want to see! Oh, what’s this? Hamilton in the wall? Let’s show half a minute of slow cars and then some random pit lane shots. Perfect.

    1. And then on Verstappen’s pole lap we’re watching his helmet for the last few corners rather than the car! Ridiculous.

    2. You state a good example of the shocking television direction these days.

      Poor direction example 1:
      A driver has spun into the gravel, no damage to car or injury to driver. Timing tower says “Yellow Sector”. A minute later pretty much everything but the incident is shown. Understandable if the incident is serious, but for a simple off into the gravel?

      After that minute, an “arty” montage which always starts with the compulsory default on-board followed by several different angles… I understand it will take time to cue up the separate feeds, but surely more efficient to show 1x front, 1x rear angle quicker than the montage?

      Example 2:
      Drivers going out on track (could be practice, could be qualifying). Can hear cars on track, but there’s a lingering garage shot with not a lot going on

      1. We need to make sure he didn’t chip a nail before showing replays. They act like showing a big crash is similar to watching snuff films. It’s part of racing. I can understand if they want to refrain from a showing a crash over and over again until we know the driver is OK, but we should see what happened.

  14. Does anyone else find these sessions dull? Qualy last weekend was incredible but I just watched this one on fast forward cause it’s not really qualifying… I struggle to get excited.

    1. Also it’s Friday when a lot of people are working. And it lacks the build up of the practice sessions. And the prospect of a knives-out melee for “pole position” on Saturday seems dim since the cars are generally already in order of pace and no one is going to send it from way back to gain one spot and risk a wreck plus starting the actual race last.

    2. It seems people now want a wet track (sprinklers?) during qualifying and a late Safety Car in the race.

      It’s not surprising that Liberty is finding other ‘show elements’ and try to introduce more unpredictability to appease the fans.

Comments are closed.