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Verstappen beats the McLarens to take Austrian sprint win

SPIELBERG, Austria : Red Bull's Max Verstappen held off a McLaren challenge to win the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race from pole position on Saturday and stretch his Formula One lead to 71 points.

Australian Oscar Piastri finished second, 4.6 seconds behind, with McLaren team mate Lando Norris, Verstappen's closest championship rival, third.

Norris passed Verstappen at turn three on the fifth of 23 laps but then lost out to both drivers at turn four.

"That was spicy, wasn't it," said Verstappen over the team radio after taking the chequered flag for his third sprint win out of three this season.

George Russell was fourth for Mercedes and Carlos Sainz fifth for Ferrari. Their respective team mates Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were sixth and seventh with Red Bull's Sergio Perez eighth.

The top eight finishers in the 100km sprint score points, with the winner taking eight.

Qualifying for Sunday's main grand prix follows later on Saturday.

Read more on channelnewsasia.com