Max Verstappen wins the Austrian Grand Prix 2023 ahead of Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen led Leclerc by 0.048 seconds, as Carlos Sainz completed a Ferrari two-three, with Lando Norris fourth in the improved McLaren.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fifth, with Lance Stroll finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull finished outside the top ten for the fourth time in a row.
The Mexican was twice penalized for exceeding track limits and had a number of laps eliminated for running too wide at Turns 9 and 10. He will start 15th in the grand prix on Sunday.
Perez was not the only driver who struggled with track limitations – many drivers had laps removed during qualifying – but he was undoubtedly the one who suffered the most as a result of his mistakes.
“It was very difficult because of all the track limits,” Verstappen remarked after securing his fourth pole in a row. We don’t do it on purpose, but with these speeds and high-speed curves, judging the white line is challenging.
“A lot of people, including myself, were caught off guard.” It dampens the excitement a little, but it’s still a very fantastic lap.”
Leclerc’s lap was arguably the best of the day, with the car dancing on the limits of adhesion through the two high-speed bends at the conclusion of the lap, catching a number of twitches at well over 100mph.
“It feels good to finally have a clean qualifying again and to be back on the front row,” said Leclerc, who has had a rough run in previous races. The last several races have felt a little better.
“It was all about building up to the last lap, and I got everything in.” Very near the Red Bulls. I don’t believe we expected to be so close.”