Max Verstappen third in qualifying Austria: 'A great result'

Published on 29 June 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen has qualified in an excellent third place for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman did well throughout qualifying and was in the end with a time of 1:03.439 only four tenths of a second slower than Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque qualified in pole position for the second time in his career. Lewis Hamilton finished in second place.

“I am very happy”, says Max after qualifying, accompanied by loud cheering from the many Dutch fans. “This is a great result for us, on a track that is not easy for us. We did not expect this. Prior to the weekend I was dreading qualifying, because we knew it would be difficult. Partly because the upgrades we brought, the car is performing better the whole weekend. I was very happy with the car during qualifying and in the corners we are very competitive. Also Honda was able to get some more power from the engine. So I am very happy to be in the top three.”

Verstappen starts tomorrow, together with the Mercedes, on the medium tire, while polesitter Leclerc will have to start the race on the soft compound. Max is not sure yet if that is an advantage: “We will have to wait and see if it is the right choice. We have not done a long run and normally I will always trust how it feels. Now it is more like a gamble and hopefully because of the warm weather it will be better for our tire.”

Besides the good result is Max also very happy with the many Dutch fans on the grandstands: “It is great. It brings a big smile on my face and hopefully I can give the fans tomorrow a good result.”

With a temperature close to 30 degrees, the qualifying gets underway. Verstappen comes out last of all the drivers for his first run on soft tires. Max’ first lap is a 1:04.565 which puts him in fifth place. Subsequently Verstappen improves and sets a time of 1:04.339 moving him into P2. In the final phase the Dutchman comes out again for a quick lap and with a time of 1:03.807 he finishes Q1 in first position. Dropouts after the first qualifying session are both Williams of Robert Kubica (P20) and George Russell (P19), Daniil Kvyat, who was severely hampered during his quick lap, becomes eighteenth and both cars of Racing Point end in sixteenth (Sergio Perez) and seventeenth position (Lance Stroll).

In Q2 comes Verstappen, together with both Mercedes, as the only ones out on the medium compound tires. Max sets a 1:03.835 and is in third position behind both Ferraris who set their times on the soft tires. The Dutchman does not come out again in the second qualifying session. Fourth position is in the end more than enough to go through to Q3. Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Alexander Albon, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz end in P11 through to P15 and will not go through to the third part of qualifying.

At the start of Q3 there are some technical issues with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. The German does not enter the track and qualifies in a mere tenth position. Meanwhile Max sets a time of 1:03.861 putting him in third position. Leclerc sets the quickest time. The nine remaining drivers all come out during the final minutes for a flying lap. Max improves his time (1:03.439) and keeps his third position. Leclerc claims pole position, while Hamilton will start next to the Monegasque on the first start row. Valtteri Bottas finishes fourth. Kevin Magnussen ends fifth with Lando Norris in P6, Kimi Raikkonen in P7, Antonio Giovinazzi in P8 and Pierre Gasly in ninth place.

Austrian GP contest: win a 1:43 scale model of Max' victory in Austria 2018!

Results qualifying Austria:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:04.1381:03.3781:03.003
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:03.8181:03.8031:03.262
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:03.8071:03.8351:03.439
4Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:04.0841:03.8631:03.537
5Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:04.7781:04.4661:04.072
6Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:04.3611:04.2111:04.099
7Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:04.6151:04.0561:04.166
8Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:04.4501:04.1941:04.179
9Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:04.4121:03.9881:04.199
10Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:04.3401:03.667
11Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:04.5521:04.490
12Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:04.7331:04.516
13Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:04.7081:04.665
14Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:04.6471:04.790
15Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:04.4531:13.601
16Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:04.789
17Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:04.832
18Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:05.324
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:05.904
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:06.206