Austrian GP Qualifying: Max Verstappen on pole, Lando Norris shock second with Mercedes adrift

Max Verstappen claimed pole position for the Austrian GP after edging out surprise closest challenger Lando Norris in a thrilling climax to qualifying, with Mercedes forced to settle for fourth and fifth.

Much like last weekend at Red Bull’s home track, Verstappen was quickest right through the hour-long session but very nearly lost out on pole on the last lap of Q3 as the in-form McLaren driver Norris came charging.

Norris eventually missed out on his first F1 pole by just 0.048s, with Verstappen’s opening Q3 effort – a 1:03.720 – enough for his third consecutive pole.

Norris’ incredible performance sealed McLaren’s first F1 front row since 2012.

An even bigger boost for championship leader Verstappen is the fact title rival Lewis Hamilton only managed fourth place in the lead Mercedes, three tenths off the pace, with Valtteri Bottas just behind in fifth.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez was third.

More to follow…

When is Sunday’s Austrian GP?

The second race at the Red Bull Ring in the picturesque Styrian hills takes place at 2pm on Sunday, live only on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event. The build-up show starts at 12.30pm.

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