With the long straights at the not ideal for Verstappen’s engine, the Dutchman had been bracing himself for a pretty tough time in the battle against and .

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But despite a troubled practice day on Friday that was impacted by a high-speed crash at the final corner, Verstappen bounced back in style to grab third place on the grid behind and .

He could also move up to the front row if Hamilton is given a penalty for impeding Kimi Raikkonen in Q1.

Reflecting on his strong performance, Verstappen said: “I think just in general our whole weekend, the performance has been a lot better.

“Before we came here, I was not really looking forward to qualifying because I knew it was going to be hard.

“But actually with the new updates that we brought to the car, we gained a bit of performance. I was really happy with the car throughout the qualifying and in the corners again we looked really competitive

“We do know that we are lacking quite a bit of pace to and even to on the straights, but knowing that this is not a good track for us, this is still a great result in qualifying.”

’s biggest update in Austria revolved around a new front wing, which Verstappen says has helped make a notable lift in performance in cornering.

“The things we brought they just gave me more grip,” he explained. “I didn’t really have big problems before with oversteer or a lot of understeer, but just not enough overall grip. I think that seems to be improve again and that is really positive.”


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