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Checo and Verstappen, on the front row of the sprint race in Austria

Checo and Verstappen, on the front row of the sprint race in Austria

EFEJuly 1, 2023, at 08:36 a.m. ETReading: 4 minutes.

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The Mexican is 69 points behind the 195 points with which the Dutch lead the tournament.

and Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull)the outstanding leader of the championship, will start first this Saturday in the sprint test Austrian Grand Prixninth of Formula 1 World Cupdisputed in Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (Styria); The circle in which he will participate in the front row with his Mexican partner Sergio Perez which the Spaniards Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) And Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) They will start fifth and seventh, respectively.

Verstappen -who signed the “pole” for Sunday’s race on Friday – dominated the qualifiers (“shoot-out sprint”) of the second Grand Prix of the season held in sprint format; And he will face the short tests – 24 laps, more than a third of Sunday’s way – from the front row, next to “Checo”: second in the world championship, 69 points out of 195 that the Dutchman leads.

The insatiable Mad Max set the best time in the decisive third round, covering 4318 meters of the Styrian track on a soft compound tire in one minute, four seconds and 440 thousandths. 493 less than “Czech”. So the Red Bulls will start this afternoon from the first row, ahead of England’s Lando Norris (McLaren) and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), who will do so from the second row.

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Sainz He will start from third place, along with his teammate, Monaco’s Charles Leclerc, and the two-time world champion from Asturias – who, with six podiums in the first eight races, and a third place in the world championship, 78 points behind Verstappen – will start with his team. , Canadian Lance Stroll, from the fourth row of the sprint net.

Seven-time English world champion Lewis Hamilton and Finn Valtteri Bottas – now in Alfa Romeo – who, in the glory days of Mercedes They caught a good handful of ‘doubles’ for Team Brackley, and fell in the first round of a ‘quick penalty shootout’, a reduced qualification, also with three loops (Q1, Q2 and Q3), but of shorter duration – 12, 10 and 8 minutes – from the main timed session, the Friday session, which ordered the starting line-up for the Sunday race.

Sainz started with problems, with smoke coming from the back of his car (presumably from the brakes), but the talented Madrid driver only needed a final lap of work to set the best time for the lap, before Verstappen.

your partner Leclerc He was investigated for allegedly disturbing the Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren)-Save him a thousand from eliminating him in the first exchange, andczechHe passed a 14th-place finish in the second round of qualifying, which started with a wet track, caused by rain earlier, before gradually drying out. On the fifth shortest track in the World Championships, with one of the fastest laps in the same time.

The other Mercedes, English George Russell, He fell in the second round, where the Frenchman was also eliminated Pierre Gasly (Alpine) And in that exchange of positions with respect to the former, the world championship leader set the best time, ahead of Sainz.

In the deciding round reserved for the top ten, Verstappen not given a choice andczech– who starts 15th on Sunday – amended his performance on Friday, as he was eliminated in the second quarter of the main time trial, after three laps to be canceled.

Norris and Hulkenberg will occupy the somewhat unusual second row, and Sainz, who starts third on Sunday, will race from fifth.

Alonso will start from seventh, the same position he will occupy on Sunday, in the long race: scheduled for 71 laps, to complete 306 and a half kilometers. The great Asturian pilot, in his second youth four weeks after turning 42, will try to add again in the race, which awards points to the top eight. The winner will add eight; The second seven and the third six. So, in turn, up to the eighth: this one will add one to your fund.

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