Valtteri Bottas will start from pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, while his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton will only start from eighth after a gearbox penalty.
Bottas took advantage of a tow on the run towards Turn 3 to set the fastest time, half a tenth ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second, the German looking to capitalise on the misfortune of his championship rival Hamilton being docked five places. The Brit had gone third quickest overall, but will start from eighth after accounting for his grid drop.
Hamilton’s attempt at damage limitation was hampered by a sideways moment through the first turn on his last flying lap, and yellow flags being shown in the dying seconds of the final qualifying session. One of the causes for the late yellows was a spin through the gravel by Max Verstappen, lighting up his tyres exiting Turn 8. The Dutchman will start in fifth, just behind his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in fourth.
Romain Grosjean had a wild ride on his way to qualifying sixth for tomorrow’s race. The Frenchman flew through the gravel trap at Turn 7 in Q1, only narrowly missing the barriers on the outside, and had another near miss after getting crossed up driving through the final turn in Q2. He went seventh fastest in the final session, but caused a yellow flag with a minute to go in Q3 when he car kicked into anti-stall mode and ground to a halt at the exit of Turn 3.
The two Force Indias were split by Hamilton, with Sergio Perez marginally quicker than Esteban Ocon to inherit seventh, the latter staying put in ninth place for the grid tomorrow.
Carlos Sainz Jr had shown promising pace in Q1 having gone fourth fastest – ahead of both senior Red Bull drivers and eventual polesitter Bottas – but had to settle for tenth in the last qualifying session.
McLaren will line up 12th and 13th on the grid, Fernando Alonso a tenth and a half up on rookie team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne. This comes despite only Vandoorne running the new ‘Spec 3’ Honda engine, Alonso having to revert to the earlier model after an MGU-H failure overnight.
Kevin Magnussen was bitterly disappointed to qualify in 15th place by default, his left-rear suspension breaking during Q1 whilst riding the kerb at the exit of Turn 3. He had progressed to Q2 after ending 12th fastest in the previous session, but Haas were unable to repair his car in time to take part.
“We were looking good so it was really frustrating not getting through qualifying,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I have to assume there was some fault in the production, as I didn’t hit anything. It’s just bad luck.”
Both Williams drivers suffered a shock elimination from Q1, with both Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll forced to cope with a lack of rear grip, the massive oversteer relegating them to the second-last row of the grid.
|1||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:04.251|
|2||5||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1:04.293|
|3||7||Kimi Raikkonnen||Scuderia Ferrari||1:04.779|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:04.896|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:04.983|
|6||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas-F1 Team||1:05.480|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||1:05.605|
|8||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:04.424*|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||1:05.674|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1:05.726|
|11||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1:05.597|
|12||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team||1:05.602|
|13||2||Stoffel Vandorne||McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team||1:05.741|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1:05.884|
|15||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas-F1 Team||No time|
|16||30||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1:06.345|
|17||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||1:06.534|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||1:06.608|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||1.06.857|
|20||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||1:07.011|
* Five place penalty for gearbox change