- Max Verstappen has gained the final two races in Austria, however he comes up in opposition to a dominant Mercedes outfit this time.
Modified 04 Jul 2020, 23:56 IST
Over seven months for the reason that final race, Formula One lastly returns with the Austrian Grand Prix on the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton begins the defence of his drivers’ championship from second place on the grid after Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas pipped him to pole place.
Max Verstappen is third and will lead the cost for Red Bull, with a technique ace up his sleeve as he goes looking for a 3rd consecutive win on the circuit in Spielberg.
With solely eight races confirmed for the 2020 season at this stage, drivers know each outing counts and the strain is on in a shortened marketing campaign.
WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING
Bottas held on to take pole by simply 0.012 seconds, regardless of discovering the gravel on his second flying lap. Hamilton was investigated by stewards for allegedly not slowing down below yellow flags brought on by his team-mate’s incident, however no additional motion was taken.
The hole to Mercedes’ rivals was large, with Verstappen 0.538s again in third, as Lando Norris claimed an excellent fourth for McLaren.
It was a session to neglect for Ferrari, although, with Charles Leclerc virtually one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel down in 11th after lacking out on Q3 fully.
It was ‘this’ shut! Just 0.012s break up VB and Lewis in Q3 pic.twitter.com/R4cuchAXMY
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 4, 2020
THE STARTING GRID
1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 4. Lando Norris (McLaren)
5. Alex Albon (Red Bull) 6. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 8. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 10. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
11. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 12. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
13. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri) 14. Esteban Ocon (Renault)
15. Romain Grosjean (Haas) 16. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
17. George Russell (Williams) 18. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
19. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) 20. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS
Hamilton outlined Verstappen as the primary 2020 menace to Mercedes at his pre-race information convention.
While Mercedes’ benefit over the remainder appears ominous, Verstappen – who gained from third on the grid in 2019 – is the one man within the high 10 who will begin the race on medium tyres.
That is a technique he hopes can not less than disrupt the highest two and cease them battling solely between themselves. Warmer temperatures may additionally be an element, though Hamilton mentioned he was optimistic the cooling points that harm Mercedes right here final yr have been resolved.
The reigning world champion has not gained at this circuit since 2016 and, after his reprieve from the stewards, might want to cross Bottas to finish that poor streak, whereas for Ferrari it appears like a day of injury limitation is in retailer with much-needed upgrades to their automobile not coming till Hungary.
I’m proud of P3, it’s begin of the season. We will likely be beginning on the medium tyres, which hopefully performs to our benefit through the race #KeepPushing #AustrianGP pic.twitter.com/ahEklILrJM
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 4, 2020
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID
Valtteri Bottas (pole): “Obviously it was tremendous shut with Lewis – I’m simply stunned with the hole to the opposite groups. For certain, race and lengthy runs, it is at all times a distinct story and we have seen many occasions that Red Bull have had race automobile and the race relies on so many various issues. We haven’t got the mentality that it’ll be straightforward for us.”
Lewis Hamilton (2nd): “The automobile was nice. I simply did not handle to place the best laps collectively, so work for myself to do. I’ll simply return to the drafting board and work more durable. We positively did not anticipate to have that hole [over the rest]. It’s only a true displaying of the good work everybody again on the manufacturing facility continues to do. Valtteri did a improbable job.”
Max Verstappen (third): “I’m the one one on a distinct tyre within the high 10 so I’m trying ahead to it and we have now nothing to lose. It’s going to be thrilling. I’ll attempt to make it as troublesome as potential for Mercedes. They had been on a distinct stage [in qualifying], however final yr we had been additionally a bit of bit off in qualifying so I anticipate we’re a bit higher within the race.”
Lando Norris (4th): “In Q1, Mercedes had been clearly out in entrance however from P3 to 11, it was break up by simply two tenths, it’s cool to see that. It’s our greatest potential begin to the weekend however the race is one other story. The Racing Points have clearly been extraordinarily fast – we by no means thought we might be in an opportunity of beating them. Ferrari’s race tempo can be very robust.”
Charles Leclerc (seventh): “It’s not a simple qualifying for us. Unfortunately, that is the place we’re in the meanwhile. We want to remain optimistic in these moments which can be very laborious to search out any positives. We have to work as a crew and hopefully be as robust as potential [on Sunday] to attempt and cheer everybody up, however we’re not anticipating miracles.”
Sebastian Vettel (11th): “Of course it is a shock, we thought we had a bit of bit extra in hand. I wasn’t so proud of the automobile, extra oversteer in entry than I would love. I believe [Sunday] is a distinct image. It’s a protracted race, in race trim we’re at all times higher and we are going to attempt to make some good floor and rating some good factors.”
Published 04 Jul 2020, 23:56 IST
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