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F1 | Austrian GP | Sprint: Verstappen dominates the sprint race, claims P1 for Sunday

After an intense sprint race, Verstappen claims P1 for Sunday,  followed by two Ferrari drivers: Leclerc and Sainz.

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F1 | Austrian GP | Sprint: Verstappen dominates the sprint race, claims P1 for Sunday
Fuente imagen: f1.com

In the second sprint race of the season happening at Red Bull Ring, we’ve got Verstappen on
P1, followed by Leclerc and Sainz. The rest of the drivers who completed the top 10 for tomorrows race were: Russell, Perez, Ocon, Magnussen, Hamilton, Schumacher and Bottas in P10.

Before the sprint race even started, it’s important to note that due to track limits, Perez, who was supposed to start the spring in top 5, was demoted to P13, promoting George Russell to P4 despite his crash in Q3. 

Fernando Alonso appeared to have a problem with the start of the formation lap - his car still with tyre blankets, not getting away like the rest of the grid. It seems that the team was aware of the issue, and his car was fast put back in the pitlane. Guanyou Zhou appeared to have an issue with the drive, and the start of the sprint was aborted - something we have not seen any time recently in F1. Zhou had to begin his race from the pitlane as well, just like Alonso but as it would turn out - the Spaniard would not start the race. 

Light out and away we go, and Verstappen gets away from the Ferraris. Both Leclerc and Sainz tried to get him, but it seemed like a more of a fight between themselves than against Red Bull. Perez had a great start as well despite being demoted to P13, as he gained 5 positions at the start. Gasly had a bit of a tough start, as he got contact with Hamilton, but both were able to continue their race. Both Haas drivers continued so far their phenomenal drives - with Magnussen in P6 and Schumacher in P7. The McLarens were able to jump into P12 and P13, but so far that didn’t really seem promising for neither of them. Albon in P11, where he started, was able to hold his position for the start of the race. 

5 lap in and Verstappen slowly checked out from the race, leaving the rest far behind. The fight between Ocon and Magnussen allowed Perez to get closer to the Haas cars, phenomenal start from the Mexican.

Leclerc was passed by Sainz, but that was on the line of having contact. The Spaniard was clearly the one with better pace though, for the first time this year. But soon enough they swapped positions, once again on the borderline of crashing. This time it was Leclerc who sent it and hold onto 2nd place. It appears the Ferrari drivers focused a bit too much on the fight between themselves and forgot about Verstappen, possibly because he was already far gone from them. 

Perez got the move done on Schumacher brilliantly, and continued the hunt for Magnussen, whom he passed soon after and jumped into P6, from his initial P13 start. Hamilton seemed to gain pace again, jumping into P9 after passing his old teammate Bottas. 

Yellow flag on lap 11 and it’s Vettel out in the gravel, but he managed to escape and get back going. He initially got a whack form Albon, which sent him spinning, but he was able to continue with his race. Perez gets a move done on Ocon in a split of seconds, and continues his incredible drive into P5, with an astonishingly great pace. Hamilton caught up with the Haas’ cars ones that put no fight with Perez once he caught them. Hamilton seemed to struggle with passing though, as Schumacher and Magnussen worked together to get good points in the bag. 

By lap 15, Verstappen’s got a 2.7s gap over Leclerc in 2nd, so it seemed not much could change here. Sainz and Russell seemed to cruise comfortably in 3rd and 4th, and the real fright seemed to be only playing over further to the middle of the grid. Perez on P5 decided to chase Russell on P6, as each sector he chipped seconds away closer to the the Brit in Mercedes. Hamilton seemed to struggle profoundly with the two Haas drivers in front of him for many laps, not able to pass. The Merc is just incapable of delivering the same speed as the Ferrari powertrains. Lap 21 and Hamilton still incapable of passing Schumacher on P8. One lap before the end of the sprint and Hamilton was finally able to claim P8 from Mick. That took a painfully, ridiculously long time. 

Last lap of the sprint and Vettel was called in to the pits, with his car suffering from damage. Smooth sailing for Verstappen who claims the victory in the sprint, and a P1 for tomorrows race. Followed by the two Ferraris, here is the final classification after the sprint race in Austria: 

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