Latest F1 updates and build-up – follow Austrian Grand Prix LIVE

Latest F1 updates and build-up - follow Austrian Grand Prix LIVE
Live updates from Round 9 of the 2021 F1 calendar with Max Verstappen starting on pole position

Sir Lewis Hamilton has work to do to get himself to the front both in this race and in the seasons standings, with the Mercedes driver starting in fourth at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Max Verstappen has an 18-point lead heading into the ninth race of the season at the Red Bull Ring and starts in pole, after finishing just 0.048 seconds clear of Lando Norris in qualifying – with the 21-year-old McLaren driver taking his highest-ever placing on the start grid with that second place.

Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate, is on third ahead of Hamilton, whose own team-mate Valtteri Bottas starts sixth.

Hamilton isn’t expecting to pass the chequered flag in first place and sounded pessimistic about closing the gap to Verstappen, suggesting he’ll have an “easy” time of things in Austria.

“Is a win out of the question? I would say so,” Hamilton said. “In terms of pure pace, it is definitely out of the question. It will be an easy cruise win for Max. I have to get ahead of at least Perez and try to limit the damage. It will be even more of a challenge than it was last week. We have tried everything to get more out of the car but we continue to lack pace. We have really got to find performance in the following races.” Follow the build-up and race at the Austrian Grand Prix here:

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New contract for Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes

There will be no repeat of talks dragging on for months as they did last year – Hamilton is signed up with Mercedes for another two years. The seven-time world champion’s contract with the Silver Arrows was due to expire at the end of the season.

How much will he earn? Could he have gone elsewhere? Who will his team-mate be next year? Find out everything right here.

The key questions about Lewis Hamilton’s new Mercedes contract

How was it resolved so quickly, how much will he earn and will it be his last contract?

Karl Matchett4 July 2021 12:54
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Austrian Grand Prix live at the Red Bull Ring

The ninth race of the Formula One season is fast approaching and there’s a big job on for Lewis Hamilton if he doesn’t want Max Verstappen to extend his lead at the top of the standings. The Red Bull racer has an 18-point lead ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix and starts on pole position – with Hamilton down in fourth.

Verstappen won in France and a week ago here in Styria to take the past two races, giving him four victories in all this season – and he’s favoured to make it an Austrian double this time out, at the same track as he was celebrating last time out.

All eyes remain on Lando Norris, too, after he secured a career-best second place on the grid for Sunday.

It’s Verstappen who leads the way, though, and he’ll be hard to stop on the evidence of the weekend so far.

Karl Matchett4 July 2021 12:41

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