Verstappen takes Red Bull’s first home pole, Gasly records his team’s best qualifying result at the circuit and Russell misses out on Q3 by just eighth thousandths of a second. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN ON POLE
Max Verstappen secured pole position for the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix. It marked the first time that Red Bull have taken pole position at their home race. Verstappen became the 21st different driver to take pole at the Spielberg venue, while Red Bull are the tenth team to take pole at the track.
This was Verstappen’s sixth pole in Formula 1. He is now 40th in the all-time pole list, with the same number of poles as Phil Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Alan Jones, Carlos Reutemann and Ralf Schumacher. Verstappen becomes the first driver to take three poles in the 2021 season.
This is the first time that a Honda-powered car has taken pole position in Austria since Nelson Piquet was on pole with Williams at the 1987 Austrian Grand Prix.
THE TOP 10
Thanks to a grid penalty for team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton will start on the front row at the Styrian Grand Prix. He qualified in third place – only the second time in the last eight races at the circuit that he has not qualified in the top two.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris all maintained their 100% Q3 appearance record at the track.
Lando Norris missed out on qualifying on the front row by just 0.053 seconds. Nevertheless, with fourth place (third on the grid after Valtteri Bottas’ penalty), Norris recorded his best qualifying result of the season so far.
For the first time, both of the Red Bull junior team’s drivers reached Q3 at the Red Bull Ring. Qualifying in sixth place, Pierre Gasly recorded his team’s best ever qualifying result at this circuit. Their previous best result here was seventh, for Daniil Kvyat in 2014 and Max Verstappen in 2015.
With eighth place, Yuki Tsunoda equalled the best qualifying result of his career to date. He also qualified eighth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He will start eleventh, however, after a three-place grid penalty for impeding Valtteri Bottas.
Fernando Alonso equalled his best qualifying result of 2021. The Styrian Grand Prix is the third race in a row at which Alonso has qualified in ninth place. This was only the second time that Alonso has qualified in the top ten in Austria. He qualified fourth with Ferrari at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll reached Q3 for the third time in the 2021 season. On all three occasions that he has reached Q3 this year, Stroll has qualified in tenth place. This was the first time that Stroll has out-qualified his team-mate since the Spanish Grand Prix.
OUT IN Q2
George Russell missed out on reaching Q3 by just eight thousandths of a second. Russell equalled his best qualifying result with Williams. He also qualified eleventh at this year’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
With twelfth place, Carlos Sainz recorded Ferrari’s second Q2 elimination of the 2021 season. This was his fourth Q2 exit at the Red Bull Ring, equalling Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean as the driver with the most Q2 eliminations at the circuit.
Twelfth place is Sainz’s – and Ferrari’s – worst qualifying result of the season so far.
Sebastian Vettel qualified in fourteenth place, recording his worst qualifying result at the Red Bull Ring to date. His previous worst was thirteenth with Red Bull in 2014. It is only the third time he has failed to reach Q3 here.
Antonio Giovinazzi reached Q2 at the Styrian Grand Prix, managing to do what neither Alfa Romeo driver did at either of last year’s Red Bull Ring races.
OUT IN Q1
Nicholas Latifi became the first Williams driver to qualify in sixteenth place at the Spielberg venue. This is the first time that both Williams drivers have qualified in the top sixteen in Austria since the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon qualified in seventeenth position, recording the Enstone team’s first Q1 exit at the Red Bull Ring since Jolyon Palmer qualified sixteenth for Renault in 2017. Ocon recorded Alpine’s third Q1 exit of the season. It was his second Q1 elimination of the season and the first time that he has failed to reach Q2 at this circuit.
Qualifying in eighteenth place, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his worst Saturday result of the season to date. It is not his worst qualifying result at the Red Bull Ring though. He also qualified eighteenth at the track in 2015, and qualified nineteenth for last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Haas locked out the back row, with Mick Schumacher nineteenth and Nikita Mazepin twentieth. It marked the first time that the Haas team have recorded a double Q1 exit at the Red Bull Ring.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.