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Verstappen warned of a "different challenge" on Sunday if storms hit Red Bull Ring

Verstappen warned of a "different challenge" on Sunday if storms hit Red Bull Ring

F1 News

Verstappen warned of a "different challenge" on Sunday if storms hit Red Bull Ring

Verstappen warned of a "different challenge" on Sunday if storms hit Red Bull Ring

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned thunderstorms predicted to strike the Red Bull Ring on Sunday could provide pole-sitter Max Verstappen with a "different challenge" in Sunday's Styrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen stormed to a dominant pole in qualifying with a time of one minute 03.841secs, finishing 0.226s faster than championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

Other than a brief rain shower in second practice on Friday, the weekend has taken place in unexpectedly dry conditions given the forecasts, although for the race rain is due.

"We could have a different challenge tomorrow," Horner told Sky Sports F1. "The weather is supposed to be a bit more around us, thunderstorms are forecast so that could be an added dynamic.

"Traditionally this race has been a one-stop so we will just have to see how it goes. You can see ourselves, with Max, and the two Mercedes have gone for the medium tyre for the start and let's see how it pans out."

Of the qualifying sessions, the first topped by a Red Bull driver at the team's home circuit, Horner added: "That was our first ever pole here so a fantastic qualifying from the team.

"For Max to get two laps that were good enough for the pole when it is so, so close is a great performance."

Red Bull expected greater Mercedes threat

Hamilton had topped the final practice session of the weekend on Saturday morning and but for a track-limits violation in FP2, he would also have topped that session.

Horner reflected: "We thought they had a little bit more in hand but the temperatures got up a little bit and affected the cars.

"It's such fine margins at the moment between the two teams. We've just managed to get within a window that certainly Max is very happy with and extracted a good lap.

"I was a little concerned because obviously Lewis had an extra set of tyres available in Q3 but experience told us before that you can end up being a bit rushed with your out laps and so on.

"So in the end I was happy with the strategy we had."

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