Verstappen takes pole for Styrian GP ahead of Hamilton

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claimed pole for the Styrian GP ahead of Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton, who moved to the front row due to teammate Valtteri Bottas' grid penalty.

Red Bull

Dutch racer Max Verstappen put Red Bull Racing on pole position for the 2021 Styrian Formula One Grand Prix (File Photo).   -  Getty Images

Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen took pole position for the Styrian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Red Bull driver became the first this weekend to complete a lap below 1 minute, 4 seconds as he timed 1:03.841 in Q3 to beat Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas by .194.

With Bottas getting a three-place grid penalty from a pitlane incident in Friday’s practice, Verstappen will share the front row with defending champion Lewis Hamilton, who trailed his Mercedes teammate by .032 in third.

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McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will start from row two.

It’s Verstappen’s second straight pole and third of the season, compared to Hamilton’s two.

At the French GP last week, Verstappen completed a hat trick of pole, fastest lap, and victory.

Red Bull has won the last three races, while Hamilton is looking for a first triumph since winning the Spanish GP seven weeks ago.

Charles Leclerc had the seventh-fastest time after both Ferraris finished outside the top 10 in practice on Friday. Leclerc earned pole position in two of the last three GPs.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo finished 14th and went out in Q2, a day after he was runner-up to Verstappen in the second practice.

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