For the Austrian Grand Prix 2023, Max Verstappen held off a challenge from Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Verstappen and Leclerc had a mere 0.048-second gap between them, with Lando Norris securing fourth place in the upgraded McLaren and Carlos Sainz finishing third in the Ferrari, completing a two-three for the team.
Lance Stroll unexpectedly placed ahead of Fernando Alonso to place fifth among the Aston Martins, behind Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez failed to make the top 10 for a fourth straight race. The Mexican repeatedly fell foul of restrictions on track limits , and he had a series of laps deleted for running too wide at Turns Nine and 10 and will line up 15th.
Qualifying determined the grid for Sunday grand prix, Saturday will dedicate to the shorter ‘sprint’ event,featuring a qualifying session known as the ‘sprint shootout’ at 11:00 BST and the sprint itself at 15:30.
“Tomorrow is raining,” Leclerc said. “It will be exciting.”
The much awaited Austrian Grand Prix 2023 will begin on April 2.
Track limit rules concern drivers
Perez was not the only driver to struggle with track limits – many drivers had laps deleted through qualifying – but he was certainly the one to suffer most for his transgressions.
Verstappen, who passed a stewards’ investigation regarding whether he had impeded Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, stated, “It was very difficult due to all the track limits.”, We don’t do this on purpose but with these speeds and high-speed corners it is very difficult to judge the white line.
“A lot of people were being caught out, including me. It takes out the joy a little bit but still a very good lap.” Verstappen criticized the frequency of deletions. He expressed that “the amount of times being deleted looked very silly – we almost looked like amateurs, and some of them were very, very marginal.”
Sainz added: “We need to find a way to correct it and we will sit down [with the FIA] and try to do that.”
High-speed final corners
Leclerc arguably achieved the lap of the day. He skillfully navigated the two high-speed final corners. This is with the car dancing on the limits of adhesion. He expertly controlled a couple of twitches. It was at the speed of over 100mph.
Leclerc, who has had a difficult run in recent races, said: “It feels good to finally have a clean qualifying again and to be back on the front row. The feeling has been a bit better in the last few races.
“It was all about building up to the last lap and I managed to put everything in. Very close to the Red Bulls. I don’t think we expected to be that close.”