The Williams F1 Team has conquered the front row for tomorrow's Austrian Grand Prix. Felipe Massa was the fastest man on the Red Bull Ring, only a couple tenths faster than team mate Valterri Bottas and Nico Rosberg.
The qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix kicked off under cloudy skies at the Red Bull Ring. Kvyat was the first driver to come out on track and was quickly followed by the other drivers.
On the short track in Spielberg, most drivers decide not to wait too long to put down their first run. The Mercedes drivers immediately prove to be in good form as Hamilton is the first to do a lap in 1:09:762 and team mate Nico Rosberg is only 0:362 seconds behind. Fernando Alonso however seems to be a man to watch as well as he puts his Ferrari in third place.
With 6 minutes on the clock, Guttierrez, Chilton, Maldonado, Kobayashi, Grosjean and Ericsson are out. Hamilton has lowered the benchmark by a couple of tenths, but is still faster than Rosberg and Massa. As most drivers switch to Super Soft tyres, Kvyat moves up to second place.
During the first part of qualifying, a lot of drivers have had problems with Turn 8. This could well be a decisive corner in the battle for pole position.
As Q1 comes to an end, Ericsson, Chilton, Kobayaschi, Bianchi, Guttierrez and Sutil are the drivers eliminated.
Hulkenberg is the first driver to take the track as, after a short break, Q2 roars to life. With 10 minutes left in the session, Magnussen sets the fastest lap time, 1:09:524. He is faster than Alonso in his Ferrari and Perez in his Force India. But the other drivers still have plenty of time to improve their time.
Soon the Silver Arrows are back on top as Hamilton puts down a lap of 1:09:92 and Rosberg, just seconds after that, sets the benchmark on 1:08:974. The Red Bull drivers seem to be struggling on their own turf as Ricciardo is currently in 9th position and Vettel is only 12th.
With Q2 coming to an end, the Red Bull Racing Team can be very disappointed as Vettel is unable to qualify in the top 10. The German World Champion will start tomorrow's race from 13th. The others eliminated are Perez, Button, Maldonado, Vergne and Grosjean.
Only 10 drivers left to fight for pole as Q3 kicks-off. Bottas is the first man to put down a fast lap in 1:08:846. He is followed by Alonso and Magnussen.
With 5 minutes on the clock, Bottas remains on top as Hamilton's time has been deleted for exceeding the track limits in Turn 8. Rosberg comes close to pole but still has a gap of 0:098 to close on the Williams driver.
Hamilton, who hasn't put down a fast lap, makes a mistake at Turn 2 and goes off. He can forget about pole position. In the meantime Williams' Felipe Massa sets the fastest lap. The Brazilian will be joined on the first row by team mate Valterri Bottas. Hamilton's mistake caused a yellow flag, which ironically kept Rosberg from improving on his final attempt, leaving him third on the grid.
|3.||N. Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||01:08.944||17|
|5.||D. Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||01:09.466||22|
|7.||D. Kvyat||Toro Rosso||01:09.619||21|
|9.||L. Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||no time||15|
|10.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||no time||23|
|11.||S. Perez||Force India||01:09.754||18|
|13.||S. Vettel||Red Bull Racing||01:09.801||15|
|14.||P. Maldonado||Lotus F1||01:09.939||18|
|15.||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||01:10.073||19|
|16.||R. Grosjean||Lotus F1||01:10.642||21|