Formula 1: Unstoppable – Verstappen wins the sprint race in Spielberg

Formula 1: Unstoppable – Verstappen wins the sprint race in Spielberg

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Unstoppable – Verstappen wins the sprint race in Spielberg

As of: 6:57 p.m. | Reading time: 3 minutes

Verstappen wins sprint race in Spielberg – Hulkenberg sixth

Max Verstappen is still unstoppable. The Formula 1 World Champion easily won the sprint in Spielberg and continued Red Bull’s winning streak this year. After all, Nico Hülkenberg scored three World Championship points in sixth place.

One day before the Austrian Grand Prix, the dominator of Formula 1 strikes again: Red Bull driver Max Verstappen wins the sprint race and increases his lead in the world championship standings.

At the next demonstration of power by Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg rewarded himself with three world championship points for a brave drive in the rain in Austria. The only German driver in the field was surprisingly strong second in the sprint in Spielberg on Saturday, but had to settle for sixth place in Styria in wet conditions. For the second time this season, the 35-year-old from Emmerich took something countable with him.

Behind the 25-year-old Dutchman Verstappen, who now has a 70-point lead in the World Championship standings, Sergio Perez finished second in the second Red Bull. Third place went to Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari. “It was a good race,” said Verstappen, but also criticized Perez for a hard maneuver at the beginning of the 100-kilometer run: “It wasn’t very nice. How he did it is not okay.” Perez immediately explained his behavior: “Max was angry, but I didn’t see him. When I noticed that, I made room.” Sending the others out onto the grass in wet conditions is not entirely in the spirit of good teamwork, but this was emphasized by Red Bull’s motorsport boss Helmut Marko on the Sky broadcaster.

Max Verstappen (left) talks to his teammate Sergio Perez

What: AP

World Championship second Perez got off to the best start and pushed aggressively past pole setter Verstappen. The two Red Bulls raked each other unusually hard, Verstappen even had to swerve off the track briefly before he took the lead again. “He pushed me down. What the hell?” Cursed double champion Verstappen on the radio. After crossing the finish line, however, he recovered and said: “It was a hairy moment. When you’re pushed into the grass, it’s very slippery.”

inferior to Haas cars

Hülkenberg made clever use of the team-internal duel and moved up from fourth on the grid to second. In the past few weeks, the veteran had fought for good positions in qualifying time and time again, but was regularly passed way down the field in the races. But the slippery course in Styria suited the Rhinelander in the early stages. Although dominator Verstappen pulled away effortlessly and as expected, Hülkenberg initially cleverly stayed directly behind.

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Only in the twelfth of 24 laps did Perez pass on a slowly drying track – and then Sainz came along, who passed shortly afterwards. It became clear that the Haas could not keep up with the front runners in one race. At this point, Verstappen already had a lead of more than ten seconds and stayed out of the hustle and bustle.

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With six laps to go, Hülkenberg came into the pits to change tires and was rewarded for this risk. He caught up place by place and fought his way up to sixth place. He has only scored points once this year in seventh place in Australia. In the end, Hülkenberg even turned the fastest race lap of all 20 drivers.

The main race in Spielberg takes place on Sunday (3 p.m., Sky). Verstappen has the chance of his seventh Grand Prix victory in the ninth World Championship race in first place on the grid. Last year he finished second behind Vice World Champion Charles Leclerc, although he had previously celebrated a total of four Grand Prix victories at the Red Bull Ring.

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