Formula 1: Max Verstappen at the pole against the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the speed race scheduled for Saturday

Moods marked a chaotic qualifying session on Friday at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. Not always for good reasons. The “orange army”, grouped as has become a custom in the stands of the Red Bull Ring, loudly hailed the 16th pole position of the career of its hero, Max Verstappen, after an intense suspense . But a few minutes earlier, he had manifested himself in a not very fair play manner, rejoicing at the Mercedes accidents of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. The imprint of the stigma that has left the 2021 season against the seven-time world champion, but in no way justifiable.

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Fans of the Dutchman will always be able to say that it is a loan to return, that the reigning world champion had been booed last week at Silverstone, the lair of the Mercedes driver. They were probably in the wrong opponent and in the wrong cause because it was at the end of a high-flying session, where the slightest mistake in this short circuit, that their idol finally beat the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

One last winning attempt

The track reopened for 2 minutes and 31 seconds, the batsman had to defend his pole position, or rather go for it, with like each of his other seven rivals, a single lap to his credit. Because the drivers had no intention of admitting defeat to Red Bull’s favorite track.

Despite his frustrations of the last five Grands Prix that he can no longer hide, Charles Leclerc lowered the reference time to 1’05 “013, and his teammate Carlos Sainz calmly rejected Max Verstappen from the front row, just a few According to the Maranello.

Austrian and Italian single-seater in a class of his own, Sergio Pérez completed the Top 4 of the “sprint” race grid held on Saturday, 0 “420 from his leader.

Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen after the qualifying session of the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

Ocon shines, the Haas say

Lucky in his misfortune and though absent from the restart, George Russell (Mercedes) was able to maintain his fifth place, while Esteban Ocon (Alpine) was the other big winner. The Frenchman, defeated in the last four qualifying sessions by Fernando Alonso, signed his second best result on the lap after Jeddah (5th) with a sixth position that reflects the advance of the A522, further improved with the incorporation of new pieces.

Lando Norris 15th for a break in free practice 1, which prevented him from adjusting his McLaren, and disappointing Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 13th despite a new engine, outsiders took the opportunity to shine. Seventh ranked with his Haas, Kevin Magnussen even joined the fourth row by Mick Schumacher, released for his first points scored at Silverstone, while Fernando Alonso (Alpine) settled for ninth and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes ) dessert.

Disappointed but still satisfied with the difficulties of his AlphaTauri in Austria despite an original Honda engine that appreciates altitude, Pierre Gasly lost the mark in Q3 with 0 “009 against Mick Schumacher (Haas). ’11 is ranked, and is Therefore, it is the third time this season that occupies the worst place.

Three rows ahead of his Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who couldn’t help but get angry when he found out about his 15th time. Much less phlegmatic than Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), who have left the game without trembling with the 16th and 20th times.

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