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Valtteri Bottas scored his 12th F1 pole position during the 2020 Austrian qualifying session today. He will start from P1 for the 3rd time on the Red Bull Ring during his F1 career tomorrow. It was the 112th pole for Mercedes.
Rookie Nicholas Latifi who crashed the Williams earlier today in FP3, was the first to go out. The Canadian driver spun of in turn 1 and will now try to set his first ever qualifying time. He drove a 1:06.163 min. After the first stints it was Max Verstappen who had put his Red Bull RB16 on P1. All cars were fitted with the soft Pirelli tyres. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Romain Grosjean (Renault) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams). had to put in their best lap to get into Q2.
At the end of Q1 Verstappen improved his time and took over P1 again from Racing Point driver Lance Stroll, who showed that the pink-Mercedes is very quick and will make even more waves. Grosjean was the only one who improved out of the danger zone. George Russell was the victim who got eliminated.
Max Verstappen was the only driver who made the choice to go out on the medium tyre to try and get to Q3 and start the race on that tyre. After the first stint is it was Lewis Hamilton who was on top of the time sheet in the Mercedes with a 1:03.325 min. After the frist stint the candidates to be eliminated were Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), Alex Albon (Red Bull), Esteban Ocon (Renault) and Romain Grosjean (Haas).
Only Albon improved to P3 and surprisingly pushed out Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari. Verstappen did go out on soft tires to be sure to get into Q3. He didn't have to clock his time and will start the race on medium tyres.
Not all drivers put in timed 2 laps. After 5 minutes it was Bottas who set the quickest ever quali lap time with a 1:02.939 min. Although Bottas went off to do some rallying and lawn mowing, the Finn's first stint lap time was not beaten by other drivers. The Mercedes driver scored the first pole position of this extraordinary 2020 F1 season and set the quali record even higher.
The pole position time of last year was 1:03.262 min, driven by Charles Leclerc for Ferrari.
Qualifying Times 2020 Austrian GP
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:04.024||1:04.000||1:03.477||23|
|5||Alex Albon||Red Bull||1:04.661||1:03.746||1:03.868||18|
|6||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point||1:04.543||1:03.860||1:03.868||19|
|9||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:04.309||1:03.955||1:04.029||17|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:05.175||8|
|19||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:05.224||9|
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