Qualy: Bottas pips title rivals to Austrian pole


Valtteri Bottas will start the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position having edged title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

Going into qualifying aware that he is facing a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, Hamilton put his race strategy into play as he used the supersofts in Q2.

He was the only driver to do so and will start Sunday’s Austrian GP on the red-marked tyres. Title rival Sebastian Vettel, as well as Bottas, used the ultras.

With the protagonists into Q3, the pole position shoot-out, Bottas held the advantage ahead of Vettel and Hamilton.

The Finn posted a 1:04.251 to edge Vettel by 0.042s with Hamilton a further tenth off the pace.

Yellows brought out for the stranded Romain Grosjean, as well as an off for Max Verstappen, meant none of the drivers were able to improve in the final minute of qualifying and Bottas grabbed pole.

Although third, Hamilton will start P8 because of his penalty.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in qualifying ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Verstappen and Grosjean.

Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz completed the top ten.

Kevin Magnussen’s qualifying ended after six laps as he broke the rear suspension of his Haas on the kerbs. He was P12 at the end of Q1 but could not participate in the second segment due to the damage.

It was a wretched Saturday for Williams who, having locked out the front row of the grid in 2014, failed to get either car out of Q1. Felipe Massa was P17 to Lance Stroll’s P18.

1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:04.251
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:04.293 0.042
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.424 0.173
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:04.7790.528
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:04.896 0.645
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:04.983 0.732
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:05.480 1.229
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:05.605 1.354
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:05.674 1.423
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:05.726 1.475
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:05.597
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:05.602
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:05.741
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:05.884
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas No time
16 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:06.345
17 Felipe Massa Williams 1:06.534
18 Lance Stroll Williams 1:06.608
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:06.857
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:07.011