Max Verstappen will head a Red Bull front row for this afternoon’s F1 Sprint while Mercedes faltered in a dismal session for the Silver Arrows.

The track was declared wet ahead of the session, but although damp in places, a dry line had emerged from this mornings early running making slicks the tyre of choice.

While the track was drying, the greasy circuit provided an extra element of jeopardy and the opportunity for upset.

Read More: F1 2023 Austrian GP – Sprint Shootout Results

Perez and Leclerc narrowly escaped embarrassment, ending the first session 14th and 15th respectively. Guanyu Zhou, Oscar Piastri, Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant were also knocked out.

The session worsened for Mercedes with George Russell reporting a hydraulic failure on his W14. The team were unable to rectify the issue and the Briton will start the Sprint 15th.

Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries were also eliminated in SQ2.

The final eight minute session gave time for just two runs. With track limits a major talking point in Friday’s qualifying, the pressure was on.

Verstappen held the advantage after the first run ahead of Lando Norris and Sergio Perez.

Verstappen improved on his second run to a 1:04.440 to end the session fastest. Sergio Perez recovered after a disappointing Friday to secure a Red Bull front row lockout, albeit half-a-second adrift of his teammate.

Norris was third fastest ahead of Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg who adds to his collection of strong one lap performances in 2023.

Carlos Sainz will start the Sprint 5th ahead of Charles Leclerc. Alonso heads an Aston Martin fourth row. Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen complete the top ten.

The Austrian GP Sprint Race gets underway at 16:30 local time.

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