It was Valtteri Bottas, not Lewis Hamilton, who captured pole position in the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Bottas: “It feels really good, I’ve missed this feeling – the qualifying shakes! It’s something special when you push the car to the limit and I’ve been waiting for a long time. We seem to be in our own league.”
Verstappen: “I’m happy to be P3, 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 – so hopefully it plays to our advantage. Mercedes seems to be on another level – unfortunately!”
Hamilton: “It’s a great job by Valtteri – it’s a great start to the season and I’m happy to be here. I think we show, year on year, that we continue to the best team – we’re open minded, we’re keeping with the times, and nobody’s too stubborn to admit they’re wrong.“
|03||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:04.024||1:04.000||1:03.477|
|05||Alex Albon||Red Bull||1:04.661||1:03.746||1:03.868|
|06||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1:04.543||1:03.860||1:03.868|
|09||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:04.309||1:03.955||1:04.029|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:05.175|
|19||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:05.224|
Bottas took pole position after setting the fastest lap during the first round of times in Q3, but couldn’t improve on his second attempt after he found himself skating through the gravel in the middle sector.
His teammate Lewis Hamilton, who topped the opening three practice sessions ahead of qualifying, slotted into second place with a time that was 0.012s slower than Bottas’.
Red Bull’s hopes of sealing pole position were dashed as Max Verstappen was over half a second down on Bottas. However, the Dutchman managed to progress from Q2 on the medium compound, meaning he will be on the more durable tyre for the start of Sunday’s race.
Alexander Albon failed to move onto the fourth row of the grid, and was out-pace by the McLaren of Lando Norris, who was two and a half tenths of a second faster than the Red Bull driver.
Following Vettel’s Q2 exit, Ferrari’s woes were deepened after Charles Leclerc could only set the seventh fastest lap in Q3, behind the leading Racing Point of Sergio Perez.
Ferrari understood that it would be off the pace compared to the top teams heading into the weekend, however its dramatic lack of pace will see it ask serious questions as it prepares to introduce an upgrade in Hungary.
Carlos Sainz was eighth for McLaren, ahead of Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo, who rounded out the top ten.
Due to not progressing into the top ten, Vettel will have free choice of tyres for the start of Sunday’s race, lining up ahead of Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauris.
Esteban Ocon’s first qualifying session as a Renault driver ended with a P14 result, ahead of Romain Grosjean who managed to outpace his teammate Kevin Magnussen.
Magnussen will line up on Sunday’s grid in 16th while George Russell recorded a strong result for Williams after a torrid 2019 campaign, slotting into 17th ahead of both Alfa Romeos.
Antonio Giovinazzi succeeded in getting the better of veteran teammate Kimi Raikkonen. The grid’s only rookie Nicholas Latifi rouned out the field in the Williams.
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Anniversary GP||9 Aug|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|