Defending champion Verstappen qualified in the qualifying session on Friday evening, with both Mercedes crashing in the third qualifying session (Q3) after Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez was knocked down from P13 on the grid for this sprint. was given. This new sprint format awards points to the top eight instead of the top three for 2022.
When Fernando Alonso’s alpine failed to get off the grid – to kick him out of the race – the race got off to a slow start, before Zhou Guanyue’s brief pause at the final corner near the grid, when the yellow flag formation took place on the lap. Come out. The second formation lap and Alfa Romeo forced the driver to start from the pits. The other 18 cars navigated a haze of orange smoke and eventually began a sprint of 23 laps instead of 24.
The top 10 started on medium tyres, with only four drivers opting for soft. From pole, Verstappen enjoyed a rapid start and closed the door on Leclerc, who attempted a pass on his right hand side – briefly giving Sainz P2 at his teammate’s expense before Monegasque came back.
Sainz and Leclerc were again on lap 6, while Verstappen extended his lead by more than two seconds, with Sainz attempting to pass on Turns 2 and 3 on the following lap, thwarted by Leclerc, who saw him dogged defending. closed with. The British GP winner withdrew and soon Leclerc made a difference with his teammate.
Verstappen maintained a comfortable lead and eventually won by 1.6 seconds over Leclerc, who began to close at the very end.
Jorge Russell started for Mercedes and finished fourth, while Perez fought from 13th to fifth, the Mexican taking five places in the opening six laps, the next two from the Haas drivers by lap 10 and the second from Alpine on lap 12. K Esteban away from Ocon – although Russell proved too far to catch up, according to a report on the F1 website.
Lewis Hamilton’s attempts to cross him were thwarted by the Haas pair, with Ocon finishing a comfortable sixth. Hamilton, who was squeezed into Turn 1 and tapped Pierre Gasly’s (P15) AlphaTauri in a spin, worked his way back into the top 10 and spent the second half of the race chasing the Haas pair, His efforts yielded no result until he finally got the better of Mick Schumacher at Turn 4 on lap 22.
Couldn’t catch seven-time champion Kevin Magnussen, with the Danes finishing seventh and ahead of the Silver Arrows.
Valtteri Bottas was passed over for P9 early by Hamilton and when Haas drivers halted Mercedes’ progress, but finished 10th overall for Alfa Romeo behind Schumacher.
After a difficult qualifying session, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo entered the top 10 in the sprint, with the Briton ahead of his Australian teammate despite running wide in an earlier attempt to pass Alex Albon.
The Williams driver was given a five-second penalty for forcing Norris off the track on lap 4, who had finished 13th on the flag, but lost to Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (P13) at Alfa Romeo and Moving down from P16 to the advantage of Zhou (P14). ,
Gasly finished behind Albon, but was promoted to P15 on the flag, with Yuki Tsunoda finishing P17 on a rough day for Alphatauri.
Sebastian Vettel was the second retiree to be tapped into a spin by Albon at Turn 6, which left him last – Aston Martin brought him into the pits for a late exit with car damage.
With a sprint win, Verstappen starts P1 for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix as he hopes to sweep the weekend and keep the Red Bull Ring crowd on their feet.
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