Verstappen takes a third consecutive pole, Williams reach Q3 for the first time in almost three years and neither Ferrari driver qualifies in the top ten in Austria for the first time since 1984. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN ON POLE
For the second week in a row, Max Verstappen put Red Bull on pole position at their home event. This was Verstappen’s seventh pole position – and his third in a row in the 2021 season. He became the ninth driver to take multiple poles in Austria.
Verstappen secured pole position with a margin of 0.048 seconds. This was the second time pole has been decided by that margin. Nico Rosberg also took pole by 0.048 seconds at the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was fastest in all three stages of qualifying – the first time that a driver has achieved the feat since Lewis Hamilton did so at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. Hamilton is also the only other driver to have been fastest in all three parts of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, having done so at last year’s Styrian Grand Prix.
THE TOP 10
Missing out on pole by just 0.048 seconds, Lando Norris recorded the first front row qualification of his Formula 1 career. Kimi Raikkonen was the last McLaren driver to qualify on the front row in Austria, doing so in 2003. Norris has never failed to qualify inside the top six in Austria.
The 2021 Austrian Grand Prix is the first time that a McLaren driver will line up on the front row since the team locked-out the front row at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. It’s also the first time Red Bull and McLaren share the front row since the 2012 United States Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris all maintained their 100% Q3 appearance rate in Austria. Hamilton and Bottas have surpassed Nelson Piquet as the drivers to have qualified in the top ten on the most occasions in Austria.
The two Mercedes drivers qualified in fourth and fifth, making this the first time since the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix that neither Mercedes driver qualified on the front row at the Red Bull Ring.
With Yuki Tsunoda qualifying in seventh place, the Japanese driver recorded the best qualifying result of his Formula 1 career to date.
For the first time, both Aston Martin drivers reached Q3. It was the first double Q3 appearance for the Silverstone-based team since the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll reached Q3 for the fourth time this year. He has qualified in tenth on every occasion that he has reached the top ten in 2021.
George Russell reached Q3 for the first time in a Williams car. It was the second Q3 appearance of his career, having reached Q3 with Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. This was the first time a Williams driver qualified in the top ten since Lance Stroll qualified in tenth at the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. It was Williams’ first Q3 appearance in Austria since 2016.
Russell’s presence in Q3 made this the first that three British drivers qualified in the top ten since the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta all reached Q3 on that occasion.
OUT IN Q2
For the first time this year, neither Ferrari driver reached Q3 at the Austrian Grand Prix. The team’s last double Q2 exit was at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.
This was the first time since 1984 that neither Ferrari driver qualified in the top ten at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz were both out in Q2, setting a new record for most Q2 exits at the Red Bull Ring. This was the fifth time that both drivers have been out in Q2 at the track.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified in thirteenth place for the third time in the last four races. This is the first time that Ricciardo has been out-qualified by his team-mate at five successive races since the 2018 season.
OUT IN Q1
The same five drivers who were eliminated in Q1 at the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix were eliminated once again in Q1 at the Austrian Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin qualified in the same position as last week.
Esteban Ocon, who qualified seventeenth, made this the first time since the 2019 Spanish and Azerbaijan Grands Prix that Team Enstone have recorded Q1 exits at consecutive races.
Kimi Raikkonen made this the fourth successive race at which at least one Alfa Romeo driver was eliminated in Q1. It’s the longest streak of Q1 exits for the team since at least one driver was in the bottom five qualifiers at every race between the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Qualifying in sixteenth place, Raikkonen became the first driver to record five Q1 exits 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.