Austrian Grand Prix qualifying report


Williams’ Felipe Massa has qualified on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Brazilian upset Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to claim Williams’ first pole since 2008.

Massa’s teammate Valtteri Bottas will start alongside him in an all-Williams front row. Rosberg will start third with Hamilton only ninth. Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari will start fourth with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo fifth and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen sixth.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat will start seventh with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in eighth. Hamilton will start alongside Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg who qualified 10th.

Williams were finally able to live up to the potential they had been showing all season as they capitalised on an uncharacteristically poor session from Mercedes. Hamilton and Rosberg had traded fastest laps in Q1 and Q2 before making mistakes when it mattered most in Q3.

Hamilton was on target to go fastest on his initial run but he ran wide at turn eight which meant his time was discounted. On his final run, under breaking for turn two, Hamilton ended up spinning his Mercedes.

It didn’t look to be driver error as the front breaks would have locked if Hamilton had braked too late.

Rosberg, though, wasn’t able to string either of his laps together but he at least got two in whilst Hamilton failed to record a time.

This allowed Bottas to go 0.3secs faster than his teammate with Rosberg in between after the first runs. Bottas then ran wide at turns six and seven on his final run to leave the door open for Massa to snatch pole.

Mercedes troubles have potentially set up a fascinating race but they could prove to be significant blow to Hamilton’s title hopes. The Brit will start the race 22 points behind his teammate in the fight for the championship after he failed to score any point’s last time out in Canada.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel could only manage 13th as he failed to make it out of Q2. The Red Bulls had been struggling all weekend at their home Grand Prix.

After a problem forced him out of FP3, Britain’s Jenson Button also failed to make it out of Q2. Button qualified 12th but will start 11th after Force India’s Sergio Perez was hit with a five place grid penalty for crashing into Massa at the Canadian Grand Prix. Perez will start 16th as a result so Button will line up on row six alongside Vettel.

It was the usual suspects who failed to get out of Q3 but the Marussia’s will be looking for improvement. After their first points, and best ever finish, in Monaco was followed by their worst ever result in Canada, they will be hoping to get back on track in Austria.

Max Chilton will start last after he received a three place grid penalty for causing a collision with his teammate, Jules Bianchi, who starts 19th, in Canada.


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