Hamilton takes 45th pole in Austria
By: S. Harding, Sports Reporter June 20, 2015
t was a day of fortunes and misfortunes at the beautiful Red Bull ring in Spielberg Austria, during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix round eight.
Mercedes AMG Championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, spun off on his final run in Q3, giving teammate Nico Rosberg an opportunity to take pole position, but it slip through his hands. The luck of the track was not smiling on Rosberg during the last lap of a flyer when he did the same thing and spun off. A disappointed Rosberg almost had pole position on lockdown until he made the costly mistake. In spite of Lewis Hamilton having problems all week with the setup of his car, his 45th pole has tied him with four-time champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Although Ferrari experienced a few issues with both of their cars, those issues were not serious enough to keep former champion Sebastian Vettel from securing third position. While Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was hot under the collar at his team, for failing to communicate to him that there had been a change in plans. The blunder prevented Raikkonen from advancing past the first round putting him in a 17th place starting position.
Williams-Martini Felipe Massa was fourth, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was fresh from his win of the LeMans, will start fifth, just ahead of Massa’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, sixth.
Qualifying was a huge disappointment for Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and his drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, who were both hit with a 10-place grid penalty during Fridays practice. The team has not been on the podium this season and will be starting near the back of the grid for their home race. They continue to have problems with the supplier of their power unit and getting the car to perform as it did when, they won four consecutive championships.
Fans are asking, “how are McLaren drivers, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso suppose to serve out a 25-place grid penalty with only 20 cars on the grid?” The answer, a time penalty will be imposed. Both drivers changed their power units, and Fernando Alonso had to have work done to his gearbox, which dropped him back five additional spaces.
Toro Rosso’s youngest driver, Max Verstappen, continues to impress fans by making it into the top ten during qualifying, will start seventh. The quiet Russian, Daniil Kvyat in eighth, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr ninth and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean in tenth place. Positions may change for Kvyat due to a 10-place grid penalty.
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