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Max Verstappen Overcomes McLaren Surge to Win F1 Sprint In Austria

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 19: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 19, 2024 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405190437 // Usage for editorial use only //

McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri came to Austria loaded up and ready to take the fight to Max Verstappen.

They did on Saturday’s (June 29) Sprint, but lost the war after a six-lap battle.

But what a battle it was.

Norris and Piastri were able to keep with Verstappen at the start of the Sprint, with both still within the Dutchman’s DRS range to start lap six. Norris made a lunge into turn 3 and made it stick, taking the lead from Verstappen.

But Verstappen was able to come back in the very next turn and pass Norris back, with Piastri following right behind.

The three ended up finishing where they came out of the battle. Verstappen was able to build a second gap on Piastri, who came out ahead in a late-race battle with Norris for second. Norris had to settle for third.

“I could see they were battling quite hard,” Piastri said in the podium interviews after the race, talking about the lap six climax. “The move was quite late. I knew there would be an opportunity on the exit, I was hoping I would get both. Just bided my time and tried my best. Only one opportunity to try and get Max, the lap after, but didn’t quite have the pace after that.”

For much of the Sprint, fourth through seventh was a four-car parade, with George Russell leading and finishing ahead of it in fourth.

Carlos Sainz finished fifth and Lewis Hamilton was sixth. Charles Leclerc made three passes on the grid start to move up to seventh, which is where he finished.

Sergio Perez was able to finish eighth and take the last point of the Sprint.

There were no incidents during the race. There was an extra formation lap, reportedly due to photographers in an improper position in turn 1, but that was the only hiccup on the day.

Now that the Sprint is over, it’s time for the main event. Lights out for the Austrian Grand Prix will come on Sunday, June 30, at 9 a.m. ET. Coverage will be on ESPN.

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