Dakar Rally News: Verstappen Claims Pole Position for Austria Sprint

    Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has secured pole position for the Sprint race at the Austrian Grand Prix, edging out the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in a tight qualifying session.

    In a busy Sprint Qualifying session, Verstappen delivered a blistering lap of 1m 04.686s to take the top spot, just 0.093s ahead of Norris in second. Piastri claimed third place, with Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz rounding out the top five.

    “It’s great to be first here in front of, basically, my home fans, my home Grand Prix,” a delighted Verstappen said. “It was a good day so far, and the car has been working really well, so a good start to the weekend.”

    The session saw some high-profile casualties, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc failing to set a time after stopping in the pit lane and being unable to cross the line before the chequered flag. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll also missed out on the top-10 shootout.

    The Sprint race, which determines the grid for Sunday’s main event, will take place at 12:00 local time on Saturday. Fans can tune in to the RACE HUB to catch all the action as the drivers battle for crucial championship points.

    With Verstappen’s dominant performance in qualifying, the Red Bull driver will be the favorite to clinch victory in the Sprint and further extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. However, the McLaren pair of Norris and Piastri will be eager to challenge the defending champion and make their mark on the weekend.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source