Friday was a busy day for fans and contestants alike. In the morning, motor racing enthusiasts descended on the F1 Fan Zone, where Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris and several other big names in the sport were on the event stage to answer questions put to them by presenter Karina Toth. One or two team bosses also put in an appearance ahead of the qualifying session which began at 17:00 on the dot.
For 60 minutes, the drivers battled it out for prime positions on the grid for Sunday’s main race. The session ended with Max Verstappen securing pole position ahead of the two Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, much to the delight of his many fans at the circuit and watching at home on TV. “It was difficult today because of the track limits. The high-speed corners are very difficult to judge and it’s always tight here. It was important to simply survive qualifying and at least get one good lap. That takes away some of the fun, but of course I’m happy with pole,” said Verstappen.
Last year’s winner Charles Leclerc will also start from the front row on Sunday. “That feels good. We didn’t expect it to be that tight. That was a good step forward,” admits the Ferrari driver. The race goes on as usual. The programme for Saturday is, however, slightly unusual as, for the second time this F1 season, all eyes will be on the sprint race. “The cards will be reshuffled on Saturday,” emphasizes Sainz, alluding to the weather forecast for the sprint.
It wasn’t just Verstappen’s performance in booking pole position that got the fans in a party mood, but also the musical performances in the two Fan Zones. In the F1 Fan Zone, MEDUN and Alle Farben kept spirits high. In the Steiermark Village, Grenzenlos and Markus Krois were more folksy but no less upbeat.
Opening hours F1 Fan Zone & Steiermark Village:
Saturday: 08:00 – 22:30
Sunday: 07:00 – 20:00
The great atmosphere promises to continue throughout a great weekend. For all those travelling to the Red Bull Ring on Saturday or Sunday, we recommend coming by bus, train or bike. If you travel by car, please make optimum use of the space in your vehicle and form car pools where possible.