Valtteri Bottas dazzles Lewis Hamilton by pushing Mercedes team-mate to Austrian Grand Prix pole … but it’s disastrous for Sebastian Vettel, who is only 11th for Ferrari for season opener
- Mercedes was by far the fastest ahead of the opening of the Austrian Grand Prix
- Valtteri Bottas was only a hundredth of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton
- Bottas was well off the track in his last lap, but teammate couldn’t improve
- Max Verstappen third for Red Bull, with British Lando Norris fourth for McLaren
- Ferrari was far from the tempo and Sebastian Vettel did not make the top 10
Lewis Hamilton missed out on pole position from his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas during the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Briton was twelve hundredths of a second short, despite dominating practice here at the Red Bull Ring event that took place behind closed doors after the Covid-19 hiatus.
Mercedes was super fast. Ominous. The gap between Bottas and Max Verstappen’s third-placed Red Bull was a half a second yawn. Ferrari was simply blown away. Charles Leclerc was only the seventh fastest and Sebastian Vettel the 11th.
Valtteri Bottas celebrates winning pole position for Mercedes at the Austrian Grand Prix
The Finn made fun of teammate Lewis Hamilton for the F1 season opener in Spielberg
Hamilton congratulated Bottas before they took off their helmets and put on the mandatory masks.
It was a good day for McLaren. 20-year-old Briton Lando Norris delivered his best qualifying performance in fourth place, beating Alex Albon’s second Red Bull.
British George Russell, who won the esports series during the lockdown, was thrown back into reality by qualifying 17th for Williams (an improvement from last year).
The team is for sale and struggling for money.
Their other driver, Nicholas Latifi, was the last on his debut, indicating another difficult season ahead of the fallen giants.
AUSTRIAN GP QUALIFICATION TIMES
POOL POSITION SHOOTOUT
1 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1: 02.939
2 Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1: 02.951
3 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1: 03.477
4 Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1: 03.626
5 Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1: 03.868
6 Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1: 03.868
7 Leclerc (ma) Ferrari 1: 03.923
8 Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1: 03.971
9 Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1: 04.029
10 Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1: 04.239
ELIMINATED FROM Q2
11 Vettel (Ger) Ferrari Ferrari 1: 04.206
12 Gasly (Fra) Alpha Tauri 1: 04.305
13 Kyvat (Rus) Alpha Tauri 1: 04.431
14 Ocon (Fra) Renault 1: 04.643
15 Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1: 04.691
ELIMINATED FROM Q1
16 Magnussen (Den) Haas 1: 05.164
17 Russell (Gbr) Williams 1: 05.167
18 Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo 1: 05.175
19 Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo 1: 05.224
20 Latifi (Can) Williams 1: 05.757
Hamilton (left) looks on after finishing second in qualifying, with Max Verstappen third
It was a disaster for Sebastian Vettel, who did not make the Ferrari top 10 on the Red Bull Ring
Relive all qualifying actions of the Austrian GP here …
The 2020 Formula 1 season will finally kick off with the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend, and Lewis Hamilton will want to start the season from the front in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.
With the first nine races of the season postponed or canceled, the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg will cast the curtain on a campaign Hamilton hopes to end by topping Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships.
Follow all the action of qualifying as Hamilton strives to reach pole position for Sunday’s race, and the drama kicks off from 2pm BST.