Verstappen will start ahead of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Lando Norris (McLaren) after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) was second quickest in Q3, but his grid drop for spinning in the pitlane in practice demotes him to fifth.
Styrian Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole from Hamilton
What happened in Q1?
Verstappen set the benchmark at 1m04.498s, 0.048s quicker than Bottas and 0.095s faster than Norris at the halfway point of the session. Hamilton was the best part of two tenths off the pace in fourth.
Only the top four didn’t run again, such was the tightness of the times in the midfield. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda then vaulted up to fourth, with Perez jumping to fifth, the duo demoting Hamilton to sixth.
Falling at the first hurdle were Williams’ Nicholas Latifi (missing Q2 by 0.033s), Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (who took a trip through the gravel at Turn 4) and the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, who were the only cars over a second off the pace but separated by 0.151s.
Styrian Grand Prix Q1 results: Verstappen fastest from Bottas
What happened in Q2?
In Q2, the pole position protagonists went out on medium tyres to start with. Bottas set the initial pace at 1m04.724s, which was beaten by both Verstappen’s 1m04.540s and Perez, who ran the soft from the start.
Hamilton was only sixth at this point, after running wide at Turn 3 on his first run. That forced him to take a second push lap and he rose to third.
Verstappen also took a second push lap on the mediums, lowering his P1 time to 1m04.433s. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly then took the top spot on softs with 1m04.429s. Bottas improved to third on mediums, 0.014s off Verstappen, with Norris 0.024s off that time on softs.
These improvements meant that Hamilton again slipped back to sixth and only a few tenths off the cut-off line. He ran again on a second set of fresh mediums, producing 1m04.512s for P5 but at least within a tenth of Gasly.
On the final runs, Norris grabbed P1 for a moment at 1m04.298s before Perez produced 1m04.197s to set the fastest time of the session by a tenth of a second.
Knocked out at this point were Williams’s George Russell (by just 0.008s), Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (who lost his time for exceeding track limits), McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (who also lost his fastest time for track limits) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo).
Styrian Grand Prix Q2 results: Perez fastest from Norris
What happened in Q3?
In the top-10 shootout, Hamilton set the benchmark at 1m04.205s but that was blown away by Verstappen’s 1m03.841s.
Norris was third after the first runs, ahead of Bottas and Perez (who was on the softs he used in Q2). On a second push lap on these tyres, Hamilton improved to 1m04.067s but remained second.
On the second runs, Hamilton ran off track at the penultimate corner, but was on a slower lap anyway. Verstappen produced another lap good enough for pole, but didn’t quite improve his time, while Bottas jumped up to second with 1m04.035s, but his three-place grid drop will mean he starts fifth.
Hamilton, Norris and Perez will all move up as a result, with Gasly starting sixth ahead of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Tsunoda (who will be investigating for hampering Bottas), Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin).
Styrian Grand Prix Q3 results: Verstappen takes pole