Austrian GP: Bottas snatches pole as Mercedes dominate qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton to claim the first pole of 2020 for the Austrian Grand Prix.

It was the six-time world champion who had the edge throughout practice, but when it mattered the Finn just had enough in reserve to claim P1 as Mercedes were in a class of their own.


At the front, Max Verstappen went fastest late on for Red Bull just ahead of the two Mercedes, as Hamilton recovered from a poor first lap.

Lance Stroll continued to show Racing Point's pace in fourth, having moved fastest initially when the final series of flying laps began.

Kevin Magnussen lost out in a battle of the Haas drivers to make it through to Q2 in 16th, having complained of being held up by Charles Leclerc on an earlier lap.

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George Russell showed Williams improvement in 17th ahead of the two Alfa Romeo's, as Antonio Giovinazzi led teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

At the back, after his crash in final practice, F1's only rookie for 2020, Nicholas Latifi, was just under six-tenths down on Russell and will line up last for his first race.


Mercedes turned up the wick with Valtteri Bottas just beating Lewis Hamilton on their second run, both drivers setting 1m03.0s.

Max Verstappen would be a second down in the Red Bull, but crucially on the medium tyre to start the race tomorrow.

In the duel to reach the top 10, Ferrari was under pressure from the AlphaTauri's and Alex Albon, who was only 13th after his first run in the Red Bull.

The Thai driver though would jolt up to third on his final lap, knocking Sebastian Vettel down to 11th and out of qualifying, as Leclerc just scrambled through in 10th.

AlphaTauri didn't have the pace to match the upper midfield as Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat were 12th and 13th.

Esteban Ocon struggled in his first qualifying session back on the grid since 2018 in 14th, with Romain Grosjean followed in 15th for Haas.


With Mercedes appearing in the class of their own, it was a case of which one would claim the first pole of 2020.

And it was Bottas who got the early edge with the fastest ever lap around the Red Bull Ring of 1m02.939s, to be a tenth of clear of Hamilton.

Red Bull had no answer with Verstappen six-tenths down in third and Albon a further three-tenths down in fourth.

On the final runs, Hamilton improved but not by enough, finishing just 0.012s behind in second.

Verstappen remained over half a second behind in third despite his own gains, with Lando Norris jumping up to fourth ahead of Albon in the McLaren.

Perez matched the Thai's time in sixth but ultimately, it felt as if Racing Point slightly disappointed with Stroll only ninth after all their pace in practice.

Leclerc salvaged seventh for Ferrari, with Sainz eighth and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top 10 for Renault.