Max Verstappen wants you to know that all this is more difficult than it seems.
Verstappen will start from pole position at Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. This is not surprising. Verstappen, a two-time Formula 1 champion, has started from pole position in six of the nine races this season. He has won six of them. Go faster than everyone else It’s what Max Verstappen does.
But Verstappen doesn’t like anything, or anyone, to stop him. So he complained Friday after race officials scrapped dozens of the fastest laps in qualifying because drivers had drifted off the strictly defined racing surface. And he complained again on Saturday after poor visibility saw his partner, Sergio Pérez, briefly push it onto the grass during a sprint in the rain.
“I think he looked very silly today,” Verstappen saying of the qualifying problems on Friday. “It almost felt like we were amateurs, the number of laps that were being knocked out.”
“People will say: ‘You should have kept the car on the white lines,'” he added. “If it was that easy, you can take my car and try it.”
how to watch
Time: The Austrian Grand Prix starts at 9 am Eastern time. (Global start times are here.)
TELEVISION: The race will be broadcast on ESPN in the United States. The broadcast is available on ESPN+. Pre-race coverage begins at 7:30 pm Not in the US? A complete list of Formula 1 broadcasters It can be found here.
Sunday starting grid
Verstappen, the plucky Dutch underdog, starts on pole position for the fourth race in a row. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be happy to start in positions 2 and 3, but not as happy as Lando Norris and McLaren will be in fourth.
However, Sergio Pérez’s problems continued: he will start 15th after setting some of his best qualifying times. erased for not staying on the grill.
This week’s story lines
Sour grapes? When Lewis Hamilton suggested in an interview with Sky Sports this week that the sport’s leaders should change the rules to allow other teams to close the design and performance gap to Red Bull, or at least prevent Red Bull from getting a head start on a new (and potentially even faster) car. ) for the next season, received a swift reprimand from Verstappen. “Many things in life are unfair,” Verstappen said dryly. He later noted, in his reply to Sky, that Hamilton was less concerned about the competitive imbalance as his Mercedes team won seven consecutive drivers’ championships.
Track. Red Bull Ring has a reputation for being a fast track, with long sections built to reward speed in a straight line, an area where Red Bull cars have held a significant advantage all year. But it also has some of the biggest elevation changes in Formula 1, and those climbs and descents can affect a car’s grip on the track. Want a real world comparison? Think about that split second when you’re in a car and it goes through an unexpected increase in speed. Now think about doing it at 200 miles per hour and with a curve ahead. In the rain.
The weather The rain almost made a mess of the sprint race on Saturday, especially at the start, and there is a chance that more is in the forecast for Sunday. That will affect tire choices and pit strategies: one pit stop? or two? – and maybe even the result.
what are they saying
“We didn’t talk about it when I was winning everything.” — Verstappenresponding to Hamilton’s suggestion that Formula 1 enact rule changes to limit Red Bull’s dominance.
“It feels good to finally have a clean qualifying again and to be back on the front row. The feeling has been a bit better in the last few races.” — leclercin a position to change the fortunes of Ferrari.
“Two Red Bulls out of the way would be a good way to do that.” — Fernando Alonsoabout what it takes to win in Formula 1 these days.
“I haven’t lost it, you know. You don’t go from winning races to suddenly being a bad driver.” — perezafter having what was a rarity of late for him, a great day, finishing second in the sprint race on Saturday.
Last start: Canadian Grand Prix
If someone stops you on the street and asks you who won the Formula 1 race, your safest answer is still: “Max Verstappen”.