Valtteri Bottas enjoyed a trouble free run to pole position during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. As others pushed too hard or had technical trouble, the Finn went fastest, ahead of Vettel and Hamilton. The latter will however start from 8th on the grid due to a penalty for a gearbox change.
Qualifying kicked off with both Sauber cars taking the track early on, rapidly followed by the Ferraris who opted for super softs, rather than the even faster ultra soft tyres they everybody else went for. Both Ferraris required two flying laps to get the tyres properly heated up, but it enabled Vette to progress to Q2 without any problem at all. Raikkonen was a bit slower - due to being hindered by Palmer -, and therefore opted to get out again on ultra softs at the end of the session, securing his position in Q2 with a time that would end up to be second fastest, 4 tenths faster than what Vettel managed on the harder tyres.
For Haas, the first part of qualifying turned out to be extremely animated. Romain Grosjean only nearly missed out on an encounter with the barriers after going slightly wide on the double high speed left handers in S3. The Frenchman got his car back and in the end managed to go through to Q2 with an 8th fastest time. Kevin Magnussen didn't get that far, as his wide run out of the penultimate corner pushed him on the yellow sausage kerbs, breaking his left rear suspension and ending his qualifying run.
Fastest in Q1 was eventually Lewis Hamilton. While Bottas opted for the red super softs - like Ferrari -, Hamilton likely chose to go out immediately on the ultra softs due to his brake problems in FP3. Better safe than sorry...
Lewis Hamilton interestingly chose the super softs in Q2 and recorded a 1:04.800s. The Briton was out as soon as the session started as the threat for rain continued to be present. Valtteri Bottas opted for ultras and went another 0.160s faster. Vettel ended up a tenth slower, followed by Verstappen, Raikkonen, Grosjean and Ricciardo.
In the closing minutes, Vettel chose to run again, using another new set of ultra softs. The German Ferrari driver ended up second, 0.134s down on Bottas.
Behind them, positions changes were few, resulting in Nico Hulkenberg going 11th fastest, just 0.005s faster than Fernando Alonso - who was using Honda's older specification engine. Stoffel Vandoorne, using Honda's 'Spec 3' followed up 13th. Kvyat ended up 14th while Kevin Magnussen was 15th, as he did not run in Q2.
At the start of Q3, drivers were again eager to go out, even though the sun joined the party. Max Verstappen queued at the end of the pitlane, and hence was the first to set a lap. He did however cut the apex at Turn 3 slightly too eagerly, and ended up with a bit of oversteer on the exit, costing him a bit of time. Lewis Hamilton was the first to go atop the timesheet, but he was rapidly overhauled by Bottas, with Vettel later slotting in between them.
Raikkonen went 4th fastest on his first run, ahead of Ricciardo and Verstappen.
The second run proved far from optimal for Hamilton as he seemed to push a little bit too hard. As Romain Grosjean subsequently stopped out on track as well, and Verstappen spun off, nobody else could improve their time, resulting in Bottas taking pole position, while Lewis Hamilton will have to start from 8th on the grid.
|1||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:05.760||1:04.316||1:04.251||18|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:05.064||1:04.800||1:04.424||17|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:05.854||1:05.161||1:04.896||22|
|6||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:05.779||1:04.948||1:04.983||16|
|7||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:05.902||1:05.319||1:05.480||30|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:05.975||1:05.435||1:05.605||21|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:06.033||1:05.550||1:05.674||22|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:05.675||1:05.544||1:05.726||23|
|12||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:06.158||1:05.602||-||14|
|13||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:06.316||1:05.741||-||14|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:05.990||1:05.884||-||16|
|15||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:06.143||-||-||6|
|17||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:06.534||-||-||8|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:06.608||-||-||11|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:06.857||-||-||12|
|20||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||1:07.011||-||-||11|