Verstappen lurking behind the two Mercedes

“We can expect a thrilling Grand Prix at Spielberg just like every year,” is the forecast of former Formula 1 driver and TV pundit Alexander Wurz after qualifying at the Red Bull Ring. Max Verstappen is sure to play a big part in that, as he is to start the first race of the season from third in the grid behind Valtteri Bottas in pole and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The Dutchman is the only driver in the top 10 to have opted to start with a different tyre mixture on Sunday, however...

Quickest pole ever at Red Bull Ring

Interestingly, despite the long break and the late start to the 2020 season, the F1 stars have clearly lost none of their speed. Bottas even went better today than Spielberg lap record holder Charles Leclerc in last year’s qualifying, posting a new Red Bull Ring best in Q3 of 1:02.939.

Views on qualifying

Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes): “I missed this feeling of the tension of a big race. It is something special to be able to drive to the limit. We have prepared as best as we possibly can for this day. We are driving in our own league with two great cars.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes): “Valtteri drove superbly, congratulations to him! It is a great start to the season for us. We show year after year that we are the best team. We are an incredibly strong unit, learn every day and keep on pushing out our lim-its.”

Max Verstappen (NED / Red Bull Racing): “I was only third today, but I was the only driver in the top 10 to pick different tyres for tomorrow, and I will try to make the most of that. Mercedes were unstoppable today - at a different level. My job will be to make it as hard as possible for them tomorrow.”

Fans there at Spielberg virtually

The Austrian GP has a few unique surprises in store for F1 Fans again in 2020. At the Virtual Styrian Green Carpet there were a selected group of fans at an online meeting as the Formula stars came to the Red Bull Ring on Saturday. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were among those who used the opportunity to have a brief chat with the fans on the screens. The second edition takes place on race day from 9.00 am.

Virtual Green Carpet ©Getty Images Red Bull Content Pool

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