Bottas earns 1st pole position of season at Austrian GP

Jul 05, 2018, 06:48
Bottas earns 1st pole position of season at Austrian GP

A round-up of the main talking points from qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, where Valtteri Bottas took pole as Red Bull's drivers squabbled over the radio.

A gearbox failure saw him retire from the race on lap 57.

Allison also explained why Mercedes deliberated on its decision to pit Hamilton, saying the team thought it would still have an opportunity to pit under the VSC on the following lap.

"I'm not too impressed to be honest", the Australian told Sky Sports television after qualifying seventh - three behind Verstappen - at Red Bull's home circuit.

Hamilton had already been on the back foot before he stopped, his vehicle suffering lost fuel pressure, after a glaring strategy error by Mercedes had cost him the lead.

Some aggressive driving on the opening lap to muscle his way past Kimi Raikkonen, and then a masterclass in tyre management to look after some badly blistered tyres, helped the Dutchman get himself back into championship contention.

Teammate Max Verstappen topped the podium with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel claiming second and third, respectively.

Sunday's win at the Red Bull Ring was the fourth of Verstappen's career and it came, like his first in Spain in 2016, after champions Mercedes had imploded.

"It was incredible", exclaimed Verstappen.

"Max did a very mature job in managing the tires, particularly through Turns 8 and 9, the last two, the fast-right handers".

Verstappen made a fearless move at turn eight to pass Raikkonen, with the Red Bull giving the Ferrari a nudge without consequences.

And as for seeing four years of Red Bull disappointment at the Red Bull Ring, Horner certainly enjoyed the chance to celebrate a victory at the company's home track.

"I needed to catch up in the points", he agreed. "It was damage limitation for me and a positive day". Can I just get your respective thoughts on the move - we don't normally see overtaking there?

Raikkonen took second place after a week of febrile speculation that he is destined to be replaced by Charles Leclerc, perhaps as early as August.

When Hamilton did pit, he came back out in fourth place.

"We have a very simple policy here that has operated for the last seven years", he said. "It's a good run we are having now but we still a bit more engine power and then we can definitely be in the mix".

"It was a good result for the team".

"Obviously it would've been nice to start further up", he said.

When you start leading the race, they start cheering you on.

The triple-header of consecutive French, Austrian and British races concludes next week at Silverstone with the championship now fascinatingly poised.