Verstappen hopes for ace up sleeve against "different level" Mercedes
Max Verstappen is hoping Red Bull has played a tactical masterstroke in qualifying that will allow him to pull off a third successive Formula 1 victory in Austria.
Verstappen will start from third on the grid at the Red Bull Ring after finishing half-a-second behind Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, a seismic gap around what is the shortest track on the calendar in terms of lap time.
But the race may yet to come to Verstappen, who will be the only driver in the top 10 starting on the medium compound tyre compared to the soft runners around him.
"I'm happy to be P3," said Verstappen. "But also we have a different starting tyre, so it's going to be interesting, and it's going to be quite a bit warmer tomorrow, so I hope that's going to play to our advantage."
The race was run in sweltering conditions last season when Verstappen triumphed by being on fresher tyres late on compared to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, with the heat badly affecting Mercedes.
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