Charles Leclerc confirmed Ferrari’s good practice pace in qualifying and secured pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, his second of the year.
The Monegasque proved to be in control of the classification from the outset, and in the decisive stage did not disappoint with its laptime of 1m03s003 to break the track record and put itself at the top of the starting grid. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton will start second after complaining of the straight-line speed of his Mercedes, in front of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, racing at the team’s home race. It is the first time this season that the top 3 in qualifying is made up of drivers from three different teams.
On the big teams Saturday had mixed feelings. Ferrari with the best car of the weekend saw Sebastian Vettel have problems in his engine during Q3, leaving the German out of the battle for the top positions and only with 9th place for the race. In Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas finished far away from his teammate and will start in 4th, behind the Honda engine of Verstappen in a circuit where power is decisive. Red Bull, however, has a dilemma over Gasly’s position on the team. The Frenchman disappointed again, being the slowest of Q3 behind intermediate teams and more than 8 tenths slower than his teammate.
Mclaren’s Lando Norris shone again after a good weekend in France and will start the race in 5th place as the “best of the rest”, confirming the recovery of the English team. After a few races at the bottom of the grid Alfa Romeo came back well and will have Raikkonen in 6th and Giovinazzi in 7th for the start. Kevin Magnussen with his Haas set the 5th fastest time in the standings, but a five place grid penalty for swapping the gearbox downgraded him to 10th, closing the top 10.
Starting grid for the Austrian GP 2019
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1’03.439|
|6||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1’04.166|
|7||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1’04.179|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||1’04.199|
|13||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1’04.789|
|14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1’04.832|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1’05.324|
|19||Alex Albon||Toro Rosso||1’04.665|
|20||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren||1’13.601|