2024 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Race: Max Takes The Win

Max Verstappen held off an intense early challenge from the McLaren's to secure victory in the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint for Red Bull.


By Ben Bush
Updated on July 3, 2024

Oscar Piastri Max Verstappen Lando Norris 2024 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Race
Oscar Piastri (3rd), Max Verstappen (1st), and Lando Norris (3rd) for the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Race // Image: Copyright Red Bull Racing Ltd

Max Verstappen, starting from pole position, clinched victory in Saturday’s Sprint at the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing, outdueling Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris for McLaren in thrilling wheel-to-wheel combat.

Verstappen initially maintained his lead at the race start, but Norris closed the gap and briefly surged ahead into first place with a bold overtake. However, the reigning world champion swiftly regained the lead in a skirmish that allowed Piastri to slip past his teammate.

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The top three drivers held their positions until the checkered flag, despite further moments of intense racing. Behind them, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton flanked Carlos Sainz, with Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez recovering positions behind them.

The 2024 season featured a modified format where Sprint Qualifying on Friday afternoon determined the grid for the 100km sprint race. Points were awarded to the top eight finishers, ranging from eight points for first place to one point for eighth.

In a gripping battle for pole position during Sprint Qualifying, Verstappen narrowly edged out Norris, while Piastri secured third ahead of Russell, Sainz, and a disappointed Hamilton, who lamented a “disastrous” session due to a crucial mistake on his final timed lap.

Before the race began, there was a reshuffle as Alex Albon was relegated from 19th on the grid to the pit lane. This change came after extensive setup adjustments on his Williams, following a lacklustre performance in SQ1 compounded by limited practice time.

As the drivers prepared for the formation lap, it was revealed that all 20 drivers would start on the medium C4 tyres. Positioned between the harder C3 (white-marked) and the softer C5 (red-marked) compounds available for the weekend, this choice added an intriguing strategic element to the race.

Following an aborted start, Verstappen executed a flawless getaway when the race finally started, retaining his lead over Norris into the first corner. Norris, in turn, had to defend aggressively from his McLaren teammate Piastri as they approached Turn 3.

Further back, Sainz seized an opportunity to pass Russell with an impressive move around the outside of Turn 4. Meanwhile, Hamilton maintained sixth place despite pressure from a fast-starting Leclerc, with Perez, Magnussen, and Stroll in pursuit. The Alpines of Ocon and Gasly slipped out of the top 10 positions.

With Piastri held at bay, Norris launched an assault on Verstappen, setting fast lap times to close the gap. On Lap 5, Norris made a bold move, diving inside Verstappen at Turn 3 and managing to brake just enough to secure the lead at the apex.

However, the action continued unabated as Verstappen retaliated immediately at Turn 4. Norris’s exit was compromised, allowing Piastri to slip past his teammate. Meanwhile, Sainz, the Mercedes duo, and Leclerc closely monitored the unfolding battle.

“I’m clipping way too much,” Verstappen radioed as he sought to build a gap over Piastri and escape the Australian’s DRS range. Meanwhile, Russell mounted a comeback against Sainz, executing a clean pass between Turns 3 and 4 to reclaim fourth position.

As the race progressed to 23 laps following the aborted start, Verstappen managed to break free from the critical DRS zone, gradually extending his lead over Piastri. Meanwhile, Norris slipped back to third as the race settled into a rhythm.

However, Norris soon picked up his pace, putting pressure on Piastri, causing concern among the McLaren pit crew aiming for a dual podium finish.

At the front, Verstappen capitalised on McLaren’s internal battle to widen the gap, ultimately crossing the finish line 4.6 seconds ahead of Piastri. Norris, after a late charge, trailed by a further seven-tenths.

In the midfield, Hamilton and Russell maintained fourth and sixth positions, respectively, sandwiching Sainz’s Ferrari. Leclerc recovered from his Sprint Qualifying troubles to secure seventh, while Perez secured the final point in eighth.

Magnussen displayed determination in his Haas to claim ninth place, ahead of Stroll’s Aston Martin and the Alpines of Ocon and Gasly, who failed to capitalize on their qualifying positions.

RB’s Tsunoda and Ricciardo finished 13th and 15th, respectively, with Hulkenberg’s Haas in between. Aston Martin’s Alonso settled for 16th after an incident with Hulkenberg at Turn 3.

Williams and Kick Sauber had uneventful races, with Sargeant leading Albon home after the latter’s pit lane start. Bottas finished ahead of his teammate Zhou Guanyu.

Verstappen’s victory in the Sprint race further extended his championship lead, with 71 points separating him from Norris in second place, and Leclerc trailing by an additional six points in third.

Austrian GP Sprint Race Results

2024 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Race, 29 June 2024

11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT2326:41.3898
281Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes23+4.616s7
34Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes23+5.348s6
463George RussellMercedes23+8.354s5
555Carlos SainzFerrari23+9.989s4
644Lewis HamiltonMercedes23+11.207s3
716Charles LeclercFerrari23+13.424s2
811Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT23+17.409s1
920Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari23+24.067s0
1018Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes23+30.175s0
1131Esteban OconAlpine Renault23+30.839s0
1210Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault23+31.308s0
1322Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT23+35.452s0
143Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT23+39.397s0
1514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes23+43.155s0
162Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes23+44.076s0
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes23+44.673s0
1877Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari23+46.511s0
1927Nico Hulkenberg1Haas Ferrari23+48.423s0
2024Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari23+53.143s0
1Hulkenberg received a 10-second time penalty for forcing another driver off the track.

Source: formula1.com

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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