Styria [Austria], June 26 (ANI): Max Verstappen gave Red Bull the perfect start to the first of two races on home soil by delivering a scintillating lap to fend off Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton as he snatched pole position for the Styrian Grand Prix on Saturday.
According to Formula One, the Red Bull Ring has been a happy hunting ground for Verstappen in years gone by, with the two-time winner looking to have his RB16B hooked up beautifully from the start of qualifying, making good progress as the one-hour session built to a crescendo.
Championship leader Verstappen set provisional pole with his first run and his second lap was also good enough to take top spot, as the Mercedes challenge fell short.
Bottas popped ahead of Hamilton into second which a very tidy lap at the death, but he'll drop back to fifth following a three-place penalty for 'dangerous driving' when he spun in the pit lane during practice.
That promotes Hamilton to the second spot, having crossed the line third, with the Mercedes driver opting to do three runs in Q3 having saved a set of soft tyres from the opening segment.
McLaren's Lando Norris ended up a strong fourth - which will become third for the second time at this track, following Bottas' penalty - ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez.
Pierre Gasly showed strong pace throughout - and was quickest of all in Q2 - qualifying sixth for AlphaTauri, his sixth top-six start in eight Grands Prix weekends.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was seventh, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda who made his second Q3 appearance in the last three Grands Prix, but is under investigation for an alleged block of Bottas.
Fernando Alonso was Alpine's sole representative in Q3, after team mate Esteban Ocon was knocked out in the first part of the session, with the Spaniard ninth as Aston Martin's Lance Stroll outqualified teammate Sebastian Vettel for the first time in four races to close out the top 10. (ANI)