Just a week after Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz managed to secure his first-ever win in F1, he has been bought back to earth by last season’s world champion, Max Verstappen. The Dutchman has been fast all weekend, beating out both Sainz and fellow Ferrari driver Charles LeClerc for pole position. Less than 0.03 seconds separated the top-three drivers.
While qualifying for the sprint race was tight, the actual race was anything but. Verstappen took off from pole and no one troubled him. Sainz and LeClerc fought each other in the first few laps which allowed Verstappen to skip clear.
The Dutchman then found the right groove to manage his tires and finished 1.7 seconds clear of LeClerc. This means that he was able to extend his lead at the top of the driver’s championship by a point. Sainz came through to finish third in the sprint.
Well done @Max33Verstappen @redbullracing @Charles_Leclerc @Carlossainz55 @ScuderiaFerrari for this 1-2-3 in the #F1Sprint!#F1 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 pic.twitter.com/53zt9D03fL
— Mohammed Ben Sulayem (@Ben_Sulayem) July 9, 2022
Max Verstappen appears almost untouchable at the Red Bull Ring
Despite LaClerc saying that they were fast and they would get Verstappen tomorrow it is really difficult to see this happening. This has a lot to do with the fact that Ferrari has had good one-lap pace but is struggling in the race. They have also made some huge strategy blunders this season.
Verstappen’s main rival appears to be his teammate Sergio Perez. The Mexican charged from P13 all the way to P5 and looked really good. This means he goes from the seventh row to the third row. He will not be fighting the same amount of cars as during the sprint and could challenge Verstappen.
P13 ⏩ P5 🚀 A trademark @SChecoPerez charge 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ZDvtQooPNY
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 9, 2022
However, the current leader in the world championship is not an easy man to catch, let alone pass. Perez will need to get a good launch off the line in order to pass the Mercedes of George Russell. he then has to deal with the two Ferraris who are in P2 and P3.
Let’s hope that the race does not start out the same way as last week in Silverstone where Zhou Guanyu ended up in the safety fence beyond the barriers on the first corner.
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