On the second shortest track of the 2022 Formula One season, qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix produced as expected a great show in Spielberg, with Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull fighting it out to the nearest thousandths of a second.
The Maranello team missed out on the top slot by a whisker, with Charles Leclerc’s best lap just 29 thousandths off Max Verstappen’s time. Therefore, in tomorrow’s Sprint race, which runs over 24 laps, equivalent to 100 kilometres and starts at 16.30, Charles will start from second place on the grid, with team-mate Carlos Sainz third, 82 thousandths off the pole time.
Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Laurent Mekies gives verdict on the qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring and the prospects for the 2022 Austrian Sprint race on Saturday:
“We knew it would be a very closely fought qualifying, a head-to-head between us and our competitors. During this morning’s free practice, we worked a lot on optimising our package and we were then competitive enough to fight for pole down to the nearest thousandths of a second. We didn’t manage to secure the number one slot, but that’s what can happen when the gaps are so small and it’s all part of the game. We will try and change that in the race. The main aspect of this weekend is that it’s a very long one. Effectively it’s a 400 kilometre race run in two parts. We have seen that our potential is there and that we have started out on the right footing. Now, those of us here at the track and our colleagues back in Maranello can expect a really interesting challenge. The gap to our rivals is minimal, so if we want to reverse today’s result, the slightest detail can make the difference. We will do our utmost to ensure our drivers have everything they need to extract even more performance from their F1-75s.” – Laurent Mekies concluded, as reported by the Maranello team’s official website after the qualifying session in Spielberg.