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Austrian GP: Max Verstappen wins sprint with Lando Norris third

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen fought off an early onslaught from the McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to win the sprint race at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Norris challenged Verstappen hard in the early laps before losing second place to Piastri as the Briton challenged the Red Bull for the lead on lap five.

Norris came back at Piastri in the second part of the race but could not get close enough to mount an attack.

The Australian led Norris in a McLaren two-three ahead of George Russell’s Mercedes.

Russell passed Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari into Turn Four on lap eight but team-mate Lewis Hamilton was not able to follow him through and had to settle for sixth.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took seventh from 10th on the grid after a technical problem in qualifying and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez the final point in eighth.

The first half of the race saw six cars nose-to-tail at the front of the field as Verstappen led Norris, Piastri, Sainz, Russell, Hamilton and Leclerc, who made three places on the opening lap.

The McLarens look threatening behind Verstappen, their pace in the slow corners and long straights of the first sector offset by the Red Bulls in the sweeping faster corners of the second and third.

Norris mounted an attack on Verstappen, threatening him into Turn Four on lap four before his big move on lap five.

Norris attacked into Turn Three, leaving his braking very late, and claimed the lead into the corner only for Verstappen to come back at him and mount a very similar move into Turn Four.

That led to both running wide through the corner and Piastri took advantage to get alongside Norris on the exit.

The McLarens ran side by side towards Turn Six, and although Norris was on the inside, Piastri was slightly ahead on the outside and the Briton backed out to give his team-mate the place.

Norris bided his time and came back at Piastri in the closing laps but with his tyres now beginning to suffer could not quite challenge.

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Written by Joseph

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