Lewis Hamilton to start second as Mercedes team-mates Valterri Bottas beats him to pole, Sebastian Vettel penalised

30 Jun

Lewis Hamilton will have to settle for second on the grid after being pipped to pole position by Valtteri Bottas at the Austrian Grand Prix.

However, Hamilton had a significantly better day than his rival for the championship Sebastian Vettel, who will start sixth on the grid despite initially qualifying in third but he was penalised for impeding a rival.

Vettel was due to start third but was found guilty for impeding Carlos Sainz and will now start in sixth

Bottas took pole by 0.019 seconds after Hamilton made life difficult for himself with a mistake on his first lap.

Vettel qualified 0.334secs behind the Finn in his Ferrari.

But Vettel will now start behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Romian Grosjean.

Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo took seventh, and expressed his unhappiness with Red Bull’s strategy during the session.

Bottas took advantage of errors made by Hamilton and Vettel in the first runs in the top 10 shootout

He was nearly 0.5 seconds clear of Hamilton after the British driver ran wide at Turn Three.

“It was not too bad,” Hamilton said. “Valtteri did a stunning lap and I made a mistake. I am happy with the second lap, though, and this is a great result for the team.”

Bottas, who is yet to open his winning account this season, added: “The car felt so good. In the last run I knew there was a tenth or so to improve and I managed to find it.

It was a bear-perfect qualifying performance from Bottas

“I need a good clean start tomorrow and there is no need to be a hero in Turn 1. I can guarantee I am more hungry for the win than anyone else on the grid.”

Asked about his incident with Sainz, Vettel said: “I passed him on my fast lap, and then I was looking down so I didn’t see him.

“I thought he must be there somewhere into Turn 1 but it turned out he was trying to go for a fast lap.

“I wasn’t told over the radio so I can only apologise to him. It wasn’t my intention (to block him).”