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Formula 1: Verstappen pips Piastri, Norris to win Austrian Sprint race in Austria

Spielberg (Austria), June 29, 2024
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen outperformed the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris to win the Sprint race at the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Verstappen held the lead since the start before Norris soon closed in and briefly moved into P1 with a bold overtake, only for the reigning world champion to reclaim the position moments later in a squabble that enabled Piastri to pass his teammate.

Behind the top three drivers, who maintained that formation to the chequered flag despite some more moments of excitement, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton sandwiched Carlos Sainz, followed by the recovering Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Sainz got the jump on Russell with a fine move around the outside of Turn 4, as Hamilton held sixth over the fast-starting Leclerc, Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll -– the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly dropping out of the top 10 places.

Having kept Piastri behind him, Norris went on the attack, lighting up the timesheets to close in on Verstappen and, on Lap 5, bravely sent his car up the inside of the Red Bull at Turn 3, just about slowing it down at the apex to emerge with the lead.

But more excitement swiftly followed as Verstappen responded with a lunge at Turn 4, where Norris’ exit was compromised and Piastri managed to slip past his teammate, with Sainz, the two Mercedes drivers and Leclerc all watching on.

Talking about his performance after the Sprint, Verstappen said, “It was a good first lap, I would say, but then once the DRS opens it’s very hard to get out of it – (it) took a few laps. A few exciting battles as well, but I think once we cleared the DRS then I could do a bit more of my own race and it looked all a bit better.

“You could see they [McLaren] have two cars that are pushing flat-out trying to of course make it difficult for me, and we had to work for it in that race.

A few things to think about where we could do better, for tomorrow especially. I think tomorrow is also going to be a longer race and harder on the tyres, so it’s going to be quite interesting to see how that will evolve,” he added.(Agency)

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