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Verstappen takes 40th pole after Austrian sprint win

SPIELBERG, Austria :Red Bull's triple world champion Max Verstappen followed up a Saturday sprint win with a statement pole position for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, with McLaren's Lando Norris again alongside on the front row.

The pole was a career 40th for the Dutch 26-year-old and his fifth at the team's home Red Bull Ring, where he has won more times than any current driver and can count on huge support from his orange army of fans.

Verstappen was in another league to his rivals, with Norris 0.404 slower at the circuit with the shortest lap time on the calendar.

George Russell was third fastest for Mercedes, after McLaren's Oscar Piastri - second in the sprint with Norris third - was ruled to have exceeded track limits and dropped to seventh on the grid.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz will start fourth at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring with Mercedes's seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton fifth and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc sixth after running wide on his final attempt.

"We tried to adjust the car a little bit after the things that we learnt this morning, I think it worked well," said Verstappen, who had been chased hard by the McLaren drivers in the sprint.

Verstappen nailed provisional pole with a lap of one minute 04.426 seconds and then went even faster with a final flying effort of 1:04.314.

He had already been more than half a second faster than anyone else in the second phase of qualifying.

"It has been a while that we have actually been on pole (for a grand prix), so it's great," said Verstappen, not counting top slot in the sprint.

"It's a great feeling. The team has been working really hard to make the car more competitive and I think this is a great statement."


The pole was Verstappen's eighth in 11 races but