Charles Leclerc takes a dominating pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Leclerc storms to his second career pole position in the forests of Spielberg, beating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. In what was a tense qualifying session.
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Leclerc: “It’s a big pleasure to drive this car on the limit. I’m very happy to bring pole position back home. Tomorrow will be very difficult physically and for the car.”
However it wasn’t all plain sailing for Lewis Hamilton, who qualified second on the road, but was penalised 3 places for impeding Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying which sees the Brit start fourth tomorrow.
Hamilton: “Congratulations to Charles, he’s been quick all weekend and we’ve just not really been able to keep up with him. I’ve got to fight the young’uns.”
Sebastian Vettel meanwhile failed to set a lap in Q3 and will start in ninth place after his team discovered an air pressure problem with his car at the end of Q2.
Ferrari took a brave decision in Q2 to use the soft tyres, meaning both cars will start the race on the soft while both Mercedes and the Red Bull of Verstappen will start on the medium tyre.
Verstappen: “With the upgrades the car seems to be working better. Hopefully I can give the fans a great result tomorrow.”
After being best of the rest for the majority of the weekend McLaren lost out to Haas in Q3 as Kevin Magnussen beat Lando Norris for fifth on the grid.
Magnussen however will start from tenth after a gearbox change.
Alfa Romeo got both of its cars inside the top ten, with Kimi Raikkonen out qualifying teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.
The Italian cars will line up sixth & seventh respectively.
An under pressure Pierre Gasly struggled once again as he was the slowest driver to set a time in Q3. He’ll start from eight thanks to Magnussen’s penalty.
Renault, after showing strong pace in France just a few days ago, failed to get into the top ten with both cars dropping out in Q2.
Nico Hulkenberg, who takes a five-place grid penalty was twelfth, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo was down in fourteenth after being impeded on his fast lap.
Romain Grosjean and Alexander Albon joined them in the drop zone, while Carlos Sainz, who didn’t set a representative time, will start from the back of the grid.
Both Racing Point cars dropped out in Q1, along with the Williams’ and Daniil Kvyat, who was impeded on his final lap by George Russell.