Austrian GP: Full house for Verstappen

Austrian GP: Full house for Verstappen

Max Verstappen, who started from pole position and was only knocked out of first place for one corner, won the sprint race of the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring. The three-time world champion finished ahead of the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon finished outside the top 10.

Max Verstappen on the top step and the two McLarens to accompany him on the podium. The third sprint race of the season, this Saturday noon during the Austrian Grand Prix, held no surprises. The three-time world champion who had already won the first two sprint races of the season did not hesitate to continue his success by achieving the pass of three on this Red Bull Ring circuit where he had already won in the exercise last season before doing it again on Sunday during the Grand Prix.

History does not yet say whether the Dutchman, who is racing at home in Austria on his adopted land, will achieve another double. “Mad Max” has in any case advanced his pawns in this direction, with this new demonstration this Saturday which allows him to pocket _ precious points and to further increase his lead over his rivals in his quest for a fourth consecutive title. Starting from pole position, as had already been the case in 2023, the local hero kept the lead after the start and then led the race until the end of these 23 laps of the race (Editor’s note: And not 24 due to a problem linked to photographers poorly positioned at the start).

The two Alpines ejected from the points

In reality, under pressure from the DRS of the two McLarens chasing him, the Dutch driver gave up first place for a turn during the 3rd lap, Lando Norris, aware that he would have no chance once the tires overheated, having taken advantage of a superb braking maneuver to overtake the future winner. But a few seconds later and it was Verstappen who had taken the lead again, helped by his British rival. “I left the door open, like an amateur,” regretted Norris after the finish, finally 3rd behind an Oscar Piastri who was just as aggressive in this lap 3 which could have cost Verstappen dearly.

This was not the case and the three-time world champion was able to add a new victory to his rich collection by winning with a 4″6 lead over Piastri at the finish. Followed by George Russell (4th), Carlos Sainz (5th), Lewis Hamilton (6th), Charles Leclerc (7th), starting from 10th place, and Sergio Perez (8th) in the same order as the current world championship ranking. . The two Alpines, in the virtual points at the start, finished outside the Top 10. Pierre Gasly finished 12th, while Esteban Ocon had to be content with 11th place.

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