World Champion Max Verstappen fronted a Red Bull 1-2 during a wet/dry F1 Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Heavy rain fell during the build-up and ensured the drivers had to take the start on the green-shod Intermediate compound.

READ MORE: F1 2023 Austrian GP – Sprint Results

Verstappen emerged on top in a fierce opening lap battle against team-mate Sergio Perez in which they swapped positions on several occasions and complained about the other’s conduct.

Verstappen emerged ahead exiting Turn 3 while Perez, who was edged wide on the run to Turn 4, was overhauled by Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg held second spot for the first half of the 24-lap race before finally being overhauled by Perez.

By the time Perez cleared the Haas driver Verstappen had already opened a 10-second advantage at the head of the field.

Conditions dried as the race wore on, prompting some drivers to pit for slick tyres, but the front-runners stayed out on Intermediates.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19.
Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Saturday 1st July 2023. Spielberg, Austria.

Verstappen continued to display devastating pace up front and his margin of victory over Perez was 21 seconds after 24 laps.

Verstappen, who will start Sunday’s race from pole with Perez 15th, now leads his team-mate by 70 points.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third, having overhauled Hulkenberg, who pitted for slick tyres once he was passed by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

Hulkenberg dropped down the order but surged through to finish sixth, falling just a second shy of the duelling Aston Martins, who came across the line separated by just four-tenths of a second.

Esteban Ocon was seventh while George Russell, who was out of the top 10 on Intermediates, was the first to pit for slicks two-thirds of the way through proceedings.

He put them to good use to claim the final point in eighth spot and came across the line side-by-side with Ocon, who prevailed by just 0.009s.

Lando Norris was the loser on a frantic opening lap, tumbling from third to the foot of the top 10, and he wound up ninth, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Sunday’s 71-lap Austrian Grand Prix is scheduled for 15:00 local time

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