Bottas snatches pole from Hamilton at Austria

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Finnish Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas secured pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton stranded at 0.012s while Max Verstappen was more than half a second slower in third.

A few minutes after the official start of the session, Latifi was the first to take the track. The Williams driver came out just ahead of both Alfa Romeo cars with team mate George Russell joining the action quickly after that.

Both Alfas were immediately faster than the Williams, but they soon dropped down the pecking order when the major contenders set their first times.

In fact, it was Verstappen who emerged on top 4 minutes from the end as Hamilton ended up at a tenth of a second. Times were so close that at this stage, Stroll in 10th was only 0.352s down on the pace-setting Red Bull.

Stroll was also the first to set a second flying lap, directly going fastest in 1:04.309. However, nearly everybody went out for another run as well, but Stroll held 4th and was therefore ensured of a place in Q2, as was to be expected for the Racing Point cars.

Grosjean was the slowest one to make it through to Q2, eliminating Magnussen along with the Williams and Alfa Romeos. Giovinazzi, of course, couldn't expect anything else, as his second attempt was ruined by an excursion through the gravel trap at Turn 4.

Max Verstappen made Q2 interesting by going out on the medium tyres. As both Mercedes went fastest, more than 4 tenths ahead of the competition, Verstappen ended up in 6th at 0.657s.

Literally every driver went out for another run, but for Verstappen, it wasn't really necessary, as he managed to get through with his lap on mediums. Stroll and Sainz both improved and eventually caused Vettel to be demoted to 11th. A crappy final lap with his Ferrari bumping over the sausage kerbs on the exit of Turn 1 surely didn't help.

When it really mattered for pole, Bottas initially drew the longest straw. Hamilton seemingly pushed a little bit too hard and was all over the kerbs in various corners. It was still enough for second, and half a second faster than what Verstappen managed to do.

On the second lap, Bottas overcooked it completely and gathered some more gravel, but it proved enough, as Hamilton's first sector was a bit slower due to Bottas being off track in that area. It proved too much to make up, leaving the Brit 0.012s short of pole position.

While Verstappen ended a predictable third, Norris had an extremely good lap and positions himself in between the Red Bulls, quite comfortably ahead of Albon's best.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:04.1111:03.0151:02.93919
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:04.1981:03.0961:02.95121
333Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:04.0241:04.0001:03.47723
44Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:04.6061:03.8191:03.62617
523Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:04.6611:03.7461:03.86818
611Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:04.5431:03.8601:03.86819
716Charles LeclercFERRARI1:04.5001:04.0411:03.92320
855Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:04.5371:03.9711:03.97118
918Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:04.3091:03.9551:04.02917
103Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:04.5561:04.0231:04.23915
115Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:04.5541:04.206-13
1210Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:04.6031:04.305-14
1326Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:05.0311:04.431-14
1431Esteban OconRENAULT1:04.9331:04.643-12
158Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:05.0941:04.691-14
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:05.164--8
1763George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:05.167--10
1899Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:05.175--8
197Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:05.224--9
206Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:05.757--12