Austrian Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas takes second career pole at the Red Bull Ring
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 8, 2017 Updated: 7:55 PM
SPIELBERG, Austria -- Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas went to on to take his second career pole position ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel with teammate Lewis Hamilton, who will have to start from eighth after receiving a 5-place grid penalty gearbox change finishing in third.
"What a special feeling. It’s only the second pole for me and hopefully there’s more to come. It was a good lap in Q3, if not quite perfect. Today was all about building up the confidence in the car. I got it set up nicely and it’s great to get the second pole position of my career. I’m going to focus on my own race, rather than looking behind me tomorrow, but we will not underestimate the Ferraris," said Bottas.
Bottas finished with a time of 1:04.251, followed by Vettel in second who finished just 0.042s behind Bottas. Lewis Hamilton, who will be in an alternate strategy as the three-time world champion is known for digging deep when the deck is stacked against him, will hope to quickly work his way up the field.
With Hamilton’s penalty, the grid will shift a bit, moving Kimi Raikkonen to third, who was 0.528s from Bottas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to fourth followed by Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen, who qualified fifth after losing his car in the gravel at Turn 8.
“It’s been a frustrating day for me.” Hamilton said. “I had a chance to be fastest today and I didn’t quite put it all together on that final lap in Q3. I’m disappointed with my performance in Q3: it would have been great to do a better lap but it obviously wasn’t meant to be.”
Haas’ Romain Grosjean took sixth after his car stopped suddenly which triggered a yellow flag in Q3. Seventh would go to Force India’s Sergio Perez. Perez’s teammate Esteban Ocon took ninth with only 0.069s separating him and Carlos Sainz for Toro Rosso in tenth.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified 11th for Renault, missing the tenth and final qualifying spot by 0.05s. McLaren-Honda drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne qualified 12th and 13th with Alonso having to take an older power unit ahead of Sunday's race after the team discovered an issue with his MGU-H.
“We had an unexpected change of engine, and I reverted back to the old spec today, so finishing P12 and feeling competitive all through quali was positive news. The team is working very hard to improve our situation: we bring aero updates to every race, we bring new engine specs whenever we can, and we’re definitely moving forwards,” said Alonso.
Sainz teammate Daniil Kvyat finished 14th ahead of Grosjean’s Haas' teammate Kevin Magnussen in 15th who suffered a rear suspension failure.
17th and 18th went to Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll for Williams. Despite the upgrades this weekend they were unable to get either of their drivers into the top ten.
Jolyon Palmer finished 19th ahead of tomorrow’s race after just missing Q2 by 0.04s, and to add to his troubles he will be under investigation for possibly blocking Raikkonen during the session. The final spot on the grid went to the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in 20th with teammate Pascal Wehrlein having to start from the pit lane due to an engine change.