F1: Hamilton Dominates Wet Styrian GP Qualifying


Lewis Hamilton Claims Styrian GP Pole At The Red Bull Ring.

The Briton stormed through the Styrian hills to clinch his first pole of the season in a rain affected Austrian qualifying.

The Mercedes driver ended up an astonishing 1.2 seconds clear of Max Verstappen in second.

It was a close battle between the two throughout qualifying.

Verstappen’s Heartbreak

However the Dutchman’s chance at pole ended after he spun his RB16 during his final attempt on the exit of penultimate corner.

Verstappen: “Overall it was a good qualifying. In Q3 it rained a lot more and we were struggling in the wet conditions.”

“I think P2 is good and in the dry tomorrow we should have a good shot at the win.”

Dรฉjร  Vu For McLaren

Behind Verstappen was former Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. CARR

The Spaniard putting his MCL35 in third on the grid ahead of tomorrow’s grand prix.

The same position his current team-mate Lando Norris started from just one week ago.

Carlos Sainz Jr. on his way to career best starting position in Spielberg. Image sourced from @McLarenF1 via Twitter.

Sainz: “Very happy to come back here this weekend and put it in P3 for the first time in my career.”

Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes who was 1.8 seconds off Hamilton will start fourth.

Renault’s Esteban Ocon took a suprise fifth place for thr Enstone based team.

Lando Norris ended qualifying in a solid sixth place for McLaren, but a grid penalty for “overtaking under yellow flags” during FP2 means he will drop to ninth on the grid.

Subsequently, Alexander Albon is promoted to sixth position. Meanwhile, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly will start in seventh, just in front of Daniel Ricciardo Renault in eight place.

Ferrari Woes Continue

Despite their new aero package Ferrari once again struggled for pace in Austria as the Scuderia had their second Q2 exit of the year.

With Sebastian Vettel being the sole Ferrari in Q3, the German edging out team-mate Charles Leclerc by only 0.083s of a second.

Although, Vettel wasn’t able to improve on in Q3 and will start tenth.

Sebastian Vettel could only manage a subdued tenth place despite Ferrari’s upgrades. Image sourced from Ferrari via Ferrari.com

Vettel: “We struggled to get the tyres to work. Now we need to see why. Not ideal but we need to make sure we learn the maximum we can.”

“We fight and try everything we can tomorrow.”

It was Charles Leclerc who finished Q2 just 0.083s shy of Vettel.

However, the Monรฉgasque received a grid penalty for impeding Danil Kvyat of AlphaTauri during qualifying.

A mistake which will see Leclerc drop from eleventh to fourteenth on the grid.

Williams’ George Russell, Racing Points’ Lance Stroll and Kvyat all moving up one place as a result.

They will start in eleventh, twelfth & thirteenth respectively.

Haas Hit Trouble Again

Kevin Magnussen will take fifteenth on the grid.

As his Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean failed to set a lap time due to an issue with his Energy Recovery System.

Grosjean did make it on track during the early stages of qualifying, but he ran deep onto the gravel at Turn 4.

Subsequently he returned to the pits where the problem was found.

It is yet to be confirmed whether Grosjean’s trip to the gravel was the cause of his ERS issue.

As the sessions wore on so did the weather.

Giovinazzi Loses It

To everyone’s shock only one driver made contact with the barriers during qualifying.

Unfortunately for Alfa Romeo it was their own Antonio Giovinazzi who hit the armco after losing control of his car while exiting the penultimate corner.

The Italian did however manage to keep his C39 chassis running briefly but ultimately was forced to stop at Turn 4.

Giovinazzi will hope to make up for his qualifying off during tomorrow’s grand prix. Image sourced from @AlfaRomeoRacing via Twitter.

Antonio: “Itโ€™s been a difficult session. We needed something special on the final lap, I tried to push as much as I could to get the position but unfortunately I went onto the kerb and lost the rear a little bit. We start from the back but we wonโ€™t give up.”

With just seconds to go in Q1 the stewards were prompted to red flag the session.

Meaning Giovinazzi’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, Racing Points’ Sergio Perez and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi were all eliminated.

The trio starting in sixteenth, seventeenth & eighteenth respectively as the previously mentioned Giovinazzi and Grosjean complete the final row.