A mistake by Lewis Hamilton in his final run in Q3 gifted Max Verstappen pole position. Hamilton ran wide at Turn 9 which deleted his lap time after time had expired. Meanwhile, Verstappen went sub 1:04 (the only driver to do so during qualifying) and captured his second pole position in a row. This is the first time since 2013 that Red Bull has captured consecutive poles in a season. Verstappen and Red Bulls success marked a dominant qualifying for Honda powered engines.
All four Honda powered engines qualified for Q3 and ultimately finished in the top 8. Sergio Perez finished in P5 but due to Bottas’ three place grid penalty on Friday, Perez will start on the second row alongside Lando Norris. A P4 starting position in Sunday’s race will help Red Bull’s defense of another victory against Hamilton and Mercedes. Pierre Gasly finished in P6 on Saturday, which means that he has qualified in the Top 10 in each race except for one. He finished P12 in the Spanish GP. To round out the Honda powered engines, Yuki Tsunoda finished in P8 but due to a penalty he incurred when he slowed down in the braking zone at Turn 4. He will now start the race in P11.
This weekend had an above average amount of grid place penalties before the race. With Tsunoda being assessed a three place grid penalty, Valtteri Bottas received a three place grid penalty of his own. He received his penalty for spinning in the pit lane. During a pit stop in FP2, Bottas was exciting Mercedes pits and spun near McLaren’s pit. Luckily, he managed to avoid any McLaren pit crew during his spin. McLaren’s pit crew helped Bottas return his vehicle back onto the pit lane. Therefore, after qualifying in P2, he will start the race in P5.
Williams Positive Weekend
Due to all of the grid place penalties, George Russell will start tomorrow’s race in P10. This is his best starting position at Williams. Russell and Williams hope this grid position will translate into Russell’s first points finish in a Williams car and their first points of the season. The other Williams drive, Nicholas Latifi, had an impressive qualifying session. He had the eighth fastest time at one point during Q1. He ultimately finished in P16.
Rain in the Forecast
A quick weather search for Spielberg, Austria shows 80% chance of rain during the race. Will we have out first wet weather race of the season or will the “F1 gods” give us another dry race?