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What the teams said – Sprint day and Qualifying in Austria

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: A general view of the pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand

Red Bull

After a good start from pole, Verstappen faced an early challenge for the lead in the Sprint from the McLarens of Norris and Piastri. He fended this off and went on to claim an assured victory. Perez started further back in P7 and dropped one position to a final result of P8, taking home the final point on offer.

In Qualifying, Verstappen proved to be unbeatable to anyone other than himself, having bettered his own initial benchmark in Q1 to seal pole position. Perez was caught up in a pit lane incident with Hulkenberg before going on to take P8 on the grid.

READ MORE: Verstappen hails ‘statement’ Austrian GP pole after dominant qualifying display

Max Verstappen – Sprint: 1st, Qualifying: 1st, 1:04.314

“It was a good day today. I am extremely happy that we got P1 in the Sprint and put it on pole in Qualifying and am really proud of the Team that we were able to be so competitive. We definitely saw some good improvements after the Sprint race, it all connected and the balance of the car felt a lot better, so hopefully we can keep that going. I could really push to the limit and it felt great to be that competitive in qualifying. The whole session went really well and the car was in a better window; I could push harder, the car was sticking and I am actually quite surprised by the gap! It shows that small changes that you make to the car can really make a difference. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We have had a really good weekend so far but the most important part has to happen tomorrow, so let’s see what the race brings.”

Sergio Perez – Sprint: 8th, Qualifying: 8th, 1:05.202

“It’s been a tricky weekend, and we have to just keep chipping away. We didn’t have the margins early on in Q1 and Q2, and we ended up using more new sets of tyres than we wanted and went into Q3 with only scrubbed sets left. We had much better pace than we were able to show today but unfortunately we weren’t safe enough throughout the sessions to save a new set for Q3. We’ve done the right changes going forward, and learnt quite a bit from today’s Sprint race which is positive. I think it is going to be really close on track tomorrow and should be an interesting battle where anything can happen.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“It is always great to be back in Austria for our home race and in front of a home crowd. Today in both the Sprint race and Qualifying, Max put on an incredible performance and especially on a track where the margins are so small. It is great to be on Pole here at Red Bull Ring. Checo used all of his new tyre sets in Q1 and Q2, so expectations were lower of what was achievable in Q3 as there were only scrubbed tyres available. We are going to need Checo to have a strong race tomorrow as the McLarens, Ferraris, and Mercedes cars are right there with us. All to play for tomorrow.”

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing stops in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

McLaren

Norris and Piastri were looking feisty in the Sprint, with the pair battling for P2 before Norris attempted to snatch the lead from Verstappen. The Briton’s move failed to pay off and allowed Piastri to slip through for second place. While Norris was hot on his team mate’s tail for the rest of the event, he had to settle for third.

Despite feeling unwell this weekend, Norris was again pushing hard in qualifying and proved to be the closest challenger to Verstappen, though his time of 1:04.718 was four tenths away from the Red Bull man’s. Piastri had a frustrating Q3, having looked to be on course for a top three result before his lap time was deleted owing to track limits.

READ MORE: Norris happy with P2 against Verstappen while Piastri rues ‘frustrating’ track limits issue in Austria qualifying

Lando Norris – Sprint: 3rd, Qualifying: 2nd, 1:04.718

"It was nice to score a strong number of points as a team in this morning’s Sprint. The car felt good which gave us confidence going into the Quali session, and despite the tricky conditions, I’m happy to be on the front row again as Max was clearly quicker than us today.

"Looking to tomorrow, we’re going to need to find a little extra to beat the pace of the Red Bulls but we’re usually stronger in races than we are in Qualifying, so I’m excited and we’ll try our best."

Oscar Piastri – Sprint: 2nd, Qualifying: 7th, 1:05.048

"It was great to score some important points in the Sprint this morning, it was an interesting race and our pace as a team looked strong. Turning to Qualifying, it’s disappointing to have had my lap deleted due to track limits, a decision that I find quite surprising. My attention is now on gaining places from P7 in tomorrow’s race. We’ll work hard overnight to see where we can make some small improvements and head into Sunday ready to score strong points for the team."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal

"After a positive result in the Sprint where we scored a good haul of points, we needed to go again for the Qualifying session, which proved to be trickier than Sprint Quali yesterday. It was tough to put good laps together. Lando and Oscar did a very good job of maximising what was available. Oscar had his best lap in Q3 - which was worth a P3 starting position - deleted by what looks to be a questionable approach to enforcing track limits. Especially, in a place like Turn 6, in which track limits are enforced by the track configuration itself. It’s a long race and we will do our best to finish higher than the current P7 spot on the grid. For Lando, P2 gives him real opportunities. We were competitive in the Sprint today and hopefully can find a way to go one better in tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix."

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Third placed Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren looks on in parc ferme during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Mercedes

Russell lost out to Sainz for P4 on the opening lap of the Sprint, before reclaiming the position a few tours later and holding on to the chequered flag. Hamilton managed to maintain his starting place of sixth at the launch, despite some moves around him, and that is where he ultimately finished.

In Qualifying, Russell built on the promise displayed by Mercedes in recent weekends by sealing P3 on the grid. For Hamilton, there were struggles with understeer in the session and he went on to make an error in the middle sector of his final lap, leaving him in P5.

READ MORE: Russell expects ‘a real fight’ during Austrian GP as Hamilton shares problem that plagued his qualifying

Lewis Hamilton – Sprint: 6th, Qualifying: 5th, 1:04.903

"The Sprint was a little frustrating. I was able to get close to the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz but wasn’t quite able to challenge him. We therefore made some changes to the car after the Sprint and that helped. We were able to improve its overall balance and that enabled us to make a step forward. My final lap in Q3 was decent although my middle sector was a little bit down. P5 was better than we managed in Sprint Qualifying though so overall, it was an OK day.

"The adjustments we made to the car should help us in tomorrow’s race. I am therefore hopeful that we will have better race pace than we showed in today’s Sprint. It will be important to get past the Sainz if we are to be in the fight for the podium. Let’s see what we can do."

George Russell – Sprint: 4th, Qualifying: 3rd, 1:04.840

"We can be pleased with P3, and a second row start for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. The car has been feeling great which is fantastic to see given how hard the team has worked to bring our recent updates. We’ve got a real fight on our hands with those around us, in particular Ferrari. We look to still be slightly behind the McLarens and Verstappen, but things are moving in the right direction for us.

"We made a few adjustments, including the wing level, after the Sprint. That should help with our tyre degradation tomorrow. We were happy to sacrifice a little of our single lap performance to help our race tomorrow. Verstappen and Norris do seem to have that edge on us so realistically, our race is likely with those behind us. It’s important that we don’t compromise our race too much battling with those guys but let’s see what happens. Either way, it is encouraging that this is the third race in a row that the team has qualified in the top-three."

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"It has been a solid day for us all in all, but also showed us what we are currently lacking to be able to race right at the sharp end. George and Lewis delivered strong performances in the Sprint – as usual, it’s not easy to make up places when everybody is on the same tyres, but George drove nicely to regain position on Sainz and finish P4, with Lewis just behind in P6.

"We made some set-up changes for Qualifying to try and give the drivers a better-balanced car for tomorrow’s race. Like we saw yesterday, Max was untouchable in the high-speed corners in the second half of the lap, and the two McLarens remained annoyingly close but not quite within reach. Our drivers are separated by just six hundredths of a second – and there’s another car between them. We have inherited a position from Piastri, which puts both cars on the clean side of the grid for the start, and we hope to be able to race hard from there to score as many points as possible. The Sprint showed it’s very closely matched between the top four teams, and a tenth of pace at the right part of the stint can be decisive, so hopefully we can keep the positive momentum going in tomorrow’s Grand Prix."

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

"We had a decent Sprint earlier today. It was good to be able to pick up some additional points over Ferrari and gain some good understanding of the long run ahead of the race tomorrow. Our pace was OK, but not quite on a par with the McLarens. We therefore made some changes for Qualifying that may have cost us a little bit this afternoon, but hopefully will put us in a stronger position tomorrow. We benefited from the misfortune of Piastri having his lap deleted which moved us from P4 and P4 up to P3 and P5. That result is another indication that we're heading in the right direction, even if the gap to Max today was larger than it has been in previous races. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s race and hopefully we can challenge for the podium."

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Ferrari

While he gained a place on Russell at the start of the Sprint with a move around the outside at Turn 4, Sainz later slipped back to his original starting position of P5. Leclerc, meanwhile, recovered well after lining up in P10, having made up places to cross the line in P7 and score two points.

With the likes of Verstappen and Norris seemingly untouchable in Qualifying, Sainz still took the fight to Mercedes by setting a time just over one hundredth of a second away from Russell, putting the Spaniard in fourth between the two Silver Arrows cars. Leclerc made an error on his final flying lap and went off track as a result, giving him a final position of sixth.

READ MORE: ‘It always hurts’ – Leclerc ‘disappointed’ as he explains mistake behind final-lap error in Austria qualifying

Charles Leclerc – Sprint: 7th, Qualifying: 6th, 1:05.044

"Today did not go particularly well. Our performance in the Sprint race this morning wasn’t great, after which we worked on changing the car set-up looking for those few precious tenths we were lacking both for qualifying and for the race tomorrow. I think that work paid off and we can move up the order tomorrow.

"In Q3, after an encouraging first run on used tyres, I had a good feeling and tried to push as hard as possible. Unfortunately I made a few mistakes in turns 4 and 6 and so I have to start from sixth. But there were some good points today and I believe we can aim for the podium. It seems we are working in the right direction and I hope we can do something good in the race."

Carlos Sainz – Sprint: 5th, Qualifying: 4th, 1:04.851

"It was a more positive day than yesterday: we have gained more speed and made some changes that have definitely helped us overall. We are still struggling in fast corners but we are working very hard with the team to understand how to address it. We are where I imagined we could be, but I feel that we are improving and we were very close to P3. The goal for tomorrow is clearly the podium: we know it will be difficult, but we will give it our all, as we always do."

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal

"Overall, we have made a small step forward compared to yesterday, but in the end we were hoping to be a bit further forward on the grid. We improved in the last sector but we are still suffering a bit in a couple of corners.

"Carlos drove a solid qualifying and was just a hundredth of a second slower than (George) Russell while Charles was on a good lap, much faster than his previous one, before locking up at turn 4. It was a shame he had to do his first Q3 run on a scrubbed set rather than the on a new one.

"As for the race, we saw today that DRS trains develop and if you are in the right position in it, then you can gain quite a bit. The counter effect of this is that if you are at the back of that train it’s easy to overheat the tyres and the car in general. So a lot will depend on the start and on lap 1, but compared to the Sprint, strategy and pit stops are involved and everyone will play a bit with these factors."

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-24 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Haas

Magnussen enjoyed a strong Sprint in Austria, climbing up from P11 on the grid to a final result of P9 after overtaking both Alpine cars. This meant that the Dane only just missed out on the final point on offer. Hulkenberg also gained from P17 and eventually overtook Alonso for P15 in the latter stages. However, the stewards later handed him a time penalty for forcing the Aston Martin off track, dropping the Haas driver down to P19.

Later on in Qualifying, Magnussen exited in Q2 and will start from 12th on the grid. Hulkenberg progressed to Q3 to take ninth, but the German found himself under investigation after the session for two separate pit lane incidents. One resulted in a team reprimand, while there was no further action for the other.

READ MORE: Hulkenberg hit with 10-second time penalty over Alonso incident in Austria Sprint

Nico Hulkenberg – Sprint: 19th, Qualifying: 9th, 1:05.385

“Q1 was still a bit of a stretch but it was a process of getting my feeling with the car progressively better. In Q2 we kept finding time, especially on the final lap when it really mattered, and that brought us into the top 10. In Q3 it wasn’t perfect, but either way, the top eight cars in front of us are not in our race tomorrow, so I think we maximized everything. This morning Kevin had very decent pace, he was actually able to drive away from Aston Martin and Alpine, so I don’t think we have to be afraid or hide, I think we have a decent package for everyone in the midfield."

Kevin Magnussen – Sprint: 9th, Qualifying: 12th, 1:05.347

“It was so tight out there, nothing happened, I just didn’t hook it up on the first attempt. It was a clean qualifying again which is a really big positive. I’m not finding myself as competitive on the soft tire compared to the other compounds so that’s something to look at. In the race, I hope we’re not on the softs, but we’re in a decent starting position to go for some points tomorrow.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal

“The Sprint was very good from Kevin’s side. I think that was actually the best consistent run we’ve had this season, there was very low degradation, and Kevin managed his tires pretty well. That was very competitive and finishing P9 as well is great – being the fifth quickest team – but unfortunately there are no points to show for it. We then moved on to qualifying and we knew if we did well, we’ll have a decent chance. Nico qualifying P9 and Kevin P12, that was a decent show. It’s very difficult to get all the laps perfect here but I feel like both did a good job, it’s a strong place to start.”

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Alpine

While Ocon and Gasly had managed to get themselves into the top-10 on the grid for the Sprint, both drivers lost out on Saturday, with Magnussen and Stroll overtaking them. Ocon ended the event in P11, while Gasly followed in P12.

The squad’s recent improved form has given them higher hopes for Qualifying of late, but Gasly’s session came to an end in Q2, where he had his final lap time deleted after a trip through the gravel en route to a final position of P13. Ocon progressed to Q3 and rounded out the top-10.

Esteban Ocon – Sprint: 11th, Qualifying: 10th, 1:05.883

“It’s been a busy day in Austria with the Sprint Race followed by Qualifying. It was always going to be a tough ask to score points as only the top eight score in the Sprint and we had to use an old set of tyres in the race. I’m pleased with our Qualifying performance where we were in Q3 again, like yesterday. That said, today’s session was much closer in the midfield with very small margins separating a number of cars. We have consistently been at the top end of the pack and in the mix for the top ten. In the end, we settle for tenth place, though, really, only ninth place was possible as the top four teams are too far in front. We decided to use three new sets of Softs in Q2 in order to ensure we advanced through to Q3 and that meant we could not fight Nico [Hulkenberg] for ninth. The goal tomorrow is to hold onto the top ten and score more points.”

Pierre Gasly – Sprint: 12th, Qualifying: 13th, 1:05.359

“It’s not been the smoothest of days for us in Austria. Firstly, in the Sprint Race, we had a difficult start, some wheelspin off the line, which meant we lost places. From then we were just stuck in traffic and there was not much more we could do to advance towards the points. We changed the set-up after the Sprint in order to chase higher speed on the straights. The balance did not feel great from the first lap. The car was sliding a lot and across Qualifying we did not quite it all together. Sometimes these changes play out, sometimes not. Hopefully the changes we made will bring some benefit tomorrow in order to race closer to the points and I think we definitely have the pace to compete for the top ten. It’s positive we are in the mix and we will see what we can achieve in the race. It’s a close fight for ninth and tenth and I’m sure we will go for it.”

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

RB

Tsunoda and Ricciardo both made up places in the Sprint after starting the event on used mediums, but ultimately it was not enough to put them close to the fight for points, with their final positions being P13 and P14 respectively.

The team changed the set-ups of both cars for Qualifying and this seemed to be a positive for Ricciardo, who only just missed out on reaching Q3 after taking P11. Tsunoda will start a few places behind in P14.

Daniel Ricciardo – Sprint: 14th, Qualifying: 11th, 1:05.289

“We knew that it would have been hard to get into the points in the Sprint, but it was important to race and learn for tomorrow. There are some positives from the battles we had this morning and the way the car responded was not too bad. Of course, it’s frustrating to miss out on Q3 by just a few milliseconds this afternoon, but at the same time, it’s a more positive one as I think we made some progress since yesterday and it’s something we have to be proud of. I think we still need to find something a little bit extra for tomorrow but today’s qualifying put us in a much better position for the race. It’s going to be a longer one with pit stops and tyre differences, so there’s no reason to believe we can’t be a top ten car tomorrow.”

Yuki Tsunoda – Sprint: 13th, Qualifying: 14th, 1:05.412

“After the Sprint this morning, we still needed to find more performance, but at the same time, we weren’t in a bad position. I think there was the pace to make it to Q3 this afternoon, but I wasn’t able to put it all together, so it’s my bad. The team pushed hard and did a good job because we used all the data we gathered to make the best car out of all the previous sessions. The setup was good, so it’s my fault and a big shame. We’ll push tomorrow and hopefully finish in the top ten.”

Claudio Balestri, Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance

“For the Sprint, we decided to start on used mediums with both cars and were able to show a good pace, gaining positions with both drivers. Yuki finished P13 and Daniel P15; the difference in pace in comparison to the other competitors seems to be very small. The Sprint offers, as always, a good amount of data to better understand how the car operates with different levels of traffic and looking at this precious data we decided to change the setups on both cars for qualifying. The main target was to improve the balance in the high speed without penalising the low-speed performance. We finished the qualifying session with Yuki in P14 and Daniel in P11, very close to making it to Q3. This proves that the changes we made were in the right direction. Our focus now is on race preparation. Tomorrow will not be easy, but we will still aim for some more points.”

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB prepares to drive on the grid prior to the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Aston Martin

It has been a difficult weekend so far in Austria for Aston Martin. While Stroll made up two places in the Sprint to P10, Alonso slipped backwards from his starting position of P13. He was overtaken by Hulkenberg for P15 in the latter stages before Ricciardo also got ahead. Hulkenberg was later handed a 10-second time penalty for forcing Alonso off the track, which promoted the Spaniard back up to P15.

The team’s fortunes did not improve much in Qualifying. Stroll was eliminated in Q1 after ending the segment in P17, while Alonso only just made it through to Q2 and reported nearly crashing during his final lap. The two-time world champion was again 15th.

Fernando Alonso – Sprint: 15th, Qualifying: 15th, 1:05.639

"We were expecting a difficult Qualifying session here in Austria and unfortunately fifteenth position was the best we could achieve today. We made some changes to the car between the Sprint Race and Qualifying, and huge credit to the team who worked flat-out to get everything ready. However, we didn't get much reward for this hard work. Let's see what we can do tomorrow, we will stay focused and try our best to achieve the maximum result possible."

Lance Stroll – Sprint: 10th, Qualifying: 17th, 1:05.819

"It's an incredibly tight field out there but, unfortunately, we seem to be on the back foot. Yesterday we managed to out-qualify the car, but today we've struggled in both the Sprint and this afternoon's Qualifying session. Realistically, tomorrow's going to be a tough day."

Mike Krack, Team Principal

"A challenging Sprint and Qualifying session today. This is a phase of the season we knew would be difficult and Silverstone is likely to be similar. Lance and Fernando gave it everything today, but we are not giving them the right tools they need to compete for the point-scoring positions. Tomorrow is going to be a long race, but we will focus on being there to take any favourable opportunities."

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: 15th placed qualifier Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1 Team walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Williams

Albon started from the pit lane for the Sprint but made some ground to claim 17th place, while Sargeant lost a position to end the event in 16th. Come Qualifying, Albon only narrowly missed out on progressing to Q2, giving him a final position of P16. Sargeant was unable to replicate his stronger showing in Friday’s Sprint Qualifying and will start from the back row in P19.

Alex Albon – Sprint: 17th, Qualifying: 16th, 1:05.736

"When you start a Sprint weekend not being in a happy place with the car, you’ve got more catching up to do. We’ve been making bigger changes than we normally do all weekend and I think we’ve done a decent job for the most part, however I’m just struggling a lot with balance, especially in Turn 3 and 4.

"My lap for Q2, Lewis let me pass like normal, but I think I got some dirty air and locked up, so this was the difference with it being such fine margins for us. Either way, I’m happy with how we turned the car around, however we need to understand where the balance is going ahead of the tomorrow."

Logan Sargeant – Sprint: 16th, Qualifying: 19th, 1:05.856

"It’s been a frustrating day. We’ve had such a swing of balance from session to session and we are so reliant on the right conditions to be quick. The temperature increased massively today, and we tend to struggle when that happens.

"I was happy with my qualifying lap this afternoon and I pretty much got the most out of it, but the ultimate result is disappointing and starting from near the back is never fun. The positive is that we learnt a lot in the Sprint Race today that we can apply tomorrow, also making a change following the Sprint that will hopefully help for the race and move us in the right direction."

Sven Smeets, Sporting Director

"With Alex starting from the last row for the Sprint Race and being unhappy with the car set-up, we decided to make some changes resulting in a pitlane start. This has allowed us to gather valuable insights which will help us for the Grand Prix tomorrow.

"For Qualifying, the wind and the temperature picked up and we saw both drivers struggling more with the balance of the car. Alex missed out on Q2 by less than a tenth, with the midfield being so tight. Tomorrow we will see how the race evolves but with the high forecasted temperatures, it will become a big tyre battle in the midfield."

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Logan Sargeant of United States driving the (2) Williams FW46 Mercedes leads Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46 Mercedes during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Kick Sauber

The struggles continue for Kick Sauber, with both drivers effectively using the Sprint as an extended test session. Bottas and Zhou finished the event in 18th and 20th respectively, and claimed these same positions in Qualifying later in the day, despite making some positive changes to the car after the Sprint.

Valtteri Bottas – Sprint: 18th, Qualifying: 18th, 1:05.847

“It hasn’t been the easiest Saturday for us. We knew it was always going to be difficult to get into the points from the positions where we were starting from in the Sprint, so we opted to treat it as a test session ahead of Sunday. Due to the extremely hot temperatures on track, we suffered some overheating on the tyres, which definitely didn’t help our cause. We quite lacked pure pace, too, but still managed to try out different settings and learn a few things, which will hopefully help us tomorrow. Unfortunately, qualifying was once again a difficult one for us; we still managed to make the car slightly better in terms of lap balance, but when it comes to pure performance, we are not quite there on this track. We made some progress, and it seemed like we had a chance to get better, but we eventually couldn’t achieve that. Unfortunately, that’s how it is today – but there is still tomorrow to go, and we are not going to give up. We will try the best we can during the race, squeezing everything out of the car and looking for any opportunity that may arise”.

Zhou Guanyu – Sprint: 20th, Qualifying: 20th, 1:06.061

“Today was in equal parts challenging and disappointing. The sprint race didn’t go the way I was hoping for, as I struggled with the pace throughout. Despite making some changes between sessions, this also held true for qualifying. I believe the track layout doesn’t suit us as well as Barcelona, and unfortunately, we lacked the pace today to get out of Q1. It’s crucial for us to stay focused and continue improving our car and overall package. The changes we’ve implemented have made the car feel more predictable, which usually helps during the race. It won’t be easy but we will give it our best shot. I hope we can fight for some higher positions tomorrow.”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative

“Quite simply, today’s results – both the sprint and qualifying – have highlighted how we are at the bottom of the pecking order this weekend. We tried different set-up options to find extra performance, changing both the aero and mechanical balance, but this didn’t have any effect on the end result. Barcelona had proven to be a better weekend, which shows we can extract a better performance, but this weekend we struggled with our pace and we have to be extremely honest with ourselves: this has to spur us into working harder to recover. We must improve in all areas of the car: this will take everyone’s commitment, both here and at the factory, for us to get out of the critical situation we are in.”

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29, 2024 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by James Sutton - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Pirelli

Mario Isola, Motorsport Director

“Yet another pole for Verstappen, who really seems unbeatable here, especially over a single timed lap, given that this is the seventh consecutive time he has been fastest in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring. Today’s high temperatures, with the track hovering around the 50 °C mark, was an additional difficulty to deal with, but at least it gave teams the chance to try the Medium tyre in these conditions, providing important information regarding strategy. According to our calculations, two pit stops will be required, with a mix of C3 and C4. Clearly, those who chose to use extensively, and therefore give back a set of C3s, will favour the Medium more, while the others will have a greater degree of flexibility. A one-stop is not a realistic choice, not because of tyre wear, but in terms of degradation and pace, although a three-stop could work if there is a Safety Car in the second part of the race, or if degradation is higher than expected. In this case, even the C5 could come into play, albeit not in a major way.”

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