Hamilton takes hard fought pole in Austria

The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg put on the qualifying duel of the season from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria today. Hamilton had the best time of Q3 going into the final runs of the session when he had a dramatic spin after locking up at the beginning of his hot lap. Rosberg who was very suddenly in the cat bird seat and through two sectors ahead of his team mate, cracked under the pressure and ran wide in the third sector, throwing away an assured pole position.

Behind them, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took his usual best of the rest position in third. 2014 Austrian Grand Prix polesitter Felipe Massa put his Williams in a fine fourth.

Behind them, Nico Hulkenberg was a shock fifth place for Force India, the German’s recent Le Mans win, clearly bolstered his confidence as much as the recently updated Force India chassis bolstered his pace.

Valtteri Bottas took sixth in the second Williams, ahead of a strong Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso and Felipe Nasr in the Sauber.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado rounded out an all Lotus row 5 to close out the top ten.

Daniel Ricciardo and Danil Kvyat both suffered grid penalties for parts changes, as did Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. F1 is entering a brave new world where Red Bulls and McLaren’s will now regularly share the back of the grid with the Manor cars. How far forward any of them may come in the race, could well be the story of the day.

Austrian GP qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Hamilton Mercedes 1:08.455
2 Rosberg Mercedes 1:08.655
3 Vettel Ferrari 108.810
4 Massa Williams 1:09.192
5 Hulkenberg Force India 1:09.278
6 Bottas Williams 109.319
7 Verstappen Toro Rosso 109.612
8 Nasr Sauber 109.713
9 Grosjean Lotus 2:00.00
10 Maldonado Lotus 1:10.374
11 Ericsson Sauber 1:10.426
12 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:10.465
13 Perez Force India 1:12.522
14 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:12.867
15 Kyvat Red Bull 1:09.694*
16 Merhi Manor 1:14.071
17 Stevens Manor 1:15.368
18 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:10.482*
19 Alonso McLaren 1:10.736*
20 Button McLaren 1:12.632*

* indicates grid penalty

Image: Mercedes AMG F1

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About

Associate Editor of Motorsports Tribune and jack of all trades, Adam is our resident Formula 1 expert. He has covered F1, IndyCar, WEC, IMSA, NASCAR, PWC and more. His work has been featured on multiple outlets including AutoWeek and Motorsport.com. A MT Co-founder, Adam has been with us since the beginning when he and Joey created Tribute Racing back in 2012. When not at the track or writing about cars, Adam can be found enjoying the Oregon back roads in his GTI.

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