Felipe Massa will lead an all-Williams front row for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix after snatching pole from Valtteri Bottas at the Red Bull Ring. With Nico Rosberg lacking pace and Lewis Hamilton making two errors in Q3, the path was clear for Williams to spring an almighty surprise.
Mercedes didn’t appear to have their usual invincibility in Q2 with Bottas only fractionally slower but the Silver Arrows still started as favourites. It all began to unravel for Hamilton on his first timed lap though with the Briton falling foul of the stewards strict approach to drivers exceeding track limits at turn eight. With no time on the board, everything hinged on his final run and when his rear wheels locked under braking for turn two, sending him into a spin, his session was over.
Bottas had taken advantage on the first phase of laps, taking provisional pole on a 1:08.846, but after running wide at turn six, the door was open for Massa to snatch top spot with a 1:08.759. With Nico Rosberg unable to do better than a 1:08.944 and held up by the yellow flags triggered by his teammate, Williams had not only secured a shock pole position but will also have the front row all to themselves tomorrow.
Fernando Alonso recovered from an early excursion onto the grass to qualify fourth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who salvaged fifth after what had threatened to be a disastrous session for the world champions on home turf. Daniil Kvyat shone throughout the qualifying hour, eventually securing seventh, with Kimi Raikkonen eighth ahead of Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg who also failed to register a time in Q3 after exceeding track limits.
Red Bull disappointing homecoming started in Q2 when Sebastian Vettel was eliminated. The reigning champion was among the drivers who saved a set of option tyres in Q1 but the supersoft rubber didn’t do him much good in the second session, Vettel setting a 1:09.801 to finish thirteenth. Sergio Perez was the first man knocked out in eleventh, although he will drop five places after his incident in Canada, with Jenson Button also dropping out in the McLaren. Pastor Maldonado made it out of Q1 for the second time this year and despite skating off at turn five, the Venezuelan beat Jean-Eric Vergne and his own teammate Romain Grosjean for fourteenth.
Q1 came and went without any major surprises as Sauber joined Marussia and Caterham in the drop zone, Adrian Sutil missing out by four thousandths of a second.
|FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS VON OSTERREICH 2014 – QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION|
|1||19. FELIPE MASSA||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||SUPER||1:08.759|
|2||77. VALTTERI BOTTAS||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||SUPER||1:08.846|
|3||6. NICO ROSBERG||MERCEDES||SUPER||1:08.944|
|4||14. FERNANDO ALONSO||FERRARI||SUPER||1:09.285|
|5||3. DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||SUPER||1:09.466|
|6||20. KEVIN MAGNUSSEN||McLAREN MERCEDES||SUPER||1:09.515|
|7||26. DANIIL KVYAT||STR RENAULT||SUPER||1:09.619|
|8||7. KIMI RAIKKONEN||FERRARI||SUPER||1:10.795|
|9||44. LEWIS HAMILTON||MERCEDES||SUPER||NO TIME|
|10||27. NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||SUPER||NO TIME|
|ELIMINATED IN QUALIFYING 2|
|11||11. SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||SUPER||1:09.754|
|12||22. JENSON BUTTON||McLAREN MERCEDES||SUPER||1:09.780|
|13||1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||SUPER||1:09.801|
|14||13. PASTOR MALDONADO||LOTUS RENAULT||SUPER||1:09.939|
|15||25. JEAN-ERIC VERGNE||STR RENAULT||SUPER||1:10.073|
|16||8. ROMAIN GROSJEAN||LOTUS RENAULT||SUPER||1:10.642|
|ELIMINATED IN QUALIFYING 1|
|17||99. ADRIAN SUTIL||SAUBER FERRARI||SUPER||1:10.825|
|18||21. ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ||SAUBER FERRARI||SUPER||1:11.349|
|19||17. JULES BIANCHI||MARUSSIA FERRARI||SUPER||1:11.412|
|20||10. KAMUI KOBAYASHI||CATERHAM RENAULT||SUPER||1:11.673|
|21||4. MAX CHILTON||MARUSSIA FERRARI||SUPER||1:11.775|
|22||9. MARCUS ERICSSON||CATERHAM RENAULT||SUPER||1:12.673|
|107% QUALIFYING TIME: 1:14.379|