Austrian Grand Prix: Bottas beats Vettel to pole, Hamilton to start from eighth

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas claimed pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel, but Lewis Hamilton will start down the field in eighth due to the grid penalty he was handed on Friday.

Bottas edged out world championship leader Vettel by 0.004 seconds, posting a time of 1:04.251 in a final shootout that was brought to a premature end due to Romain Grosjean being left stranded in the middle of the circuit in his Haas.

Hamilton, who trails Ferrari’s Vettel by 14 points in the drivers’ standings, could only manage the third-quickest time, almost two-tenths of a second behind Bottas.

And the Briton will start from the fourth row of the grid after receiving a five-place penalty when Mercedes opted to change the gearbox in his car.

“I enjoyed it today,” said Bottas after claiming his second career pole.

“The car was getting better and better, and I had a decent lap in the end. It was not quite perfect, but it was good enough.”

Vettel added: “[I was] not quick enough, but I was really happy.

“It was a bit of an anti-climax with the yellow flags [when Grosjean was stuck on the track], but I’m very happy. The car has been phenomenal so I’m looking forward to tomorrow [Sunday].”

Hamilton’s penalty means Kimi Raikkonen will start third in the second Ferrari, ahead of Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who ended Q3 in the gravel.

Having claimed a podium finish in Azerbaijan last time out, Williams’ Lance Stroll failed to make it out of Q1 along with team-mate Felipe Massa.


Provisional classification

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:04.251s
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:04.293s
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:04.779s
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:04.896s
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:04.983s
6. Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1:05.480s
7. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:05.605s
8. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:04.424s (qualified third, but incurs five-place penalty)
9. Esteban Ocon (Force India) 1:05.674s
10. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 1:05.726s

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