Incredible Leclerc: 2nd career pole for Frenchman at the Austrian GP
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took the 2nd pole position of his career with a stunning tracking record of 1.03.003 at the Austrian GP. Confident and composed all weekend it seemed inevitable that the Frenchman would take pole but with his teammate Sebastian Vettel forced to miss out on Q3 due to a air pressure leak on his Ferrari, the pressure was on.
Moving into Q3, Leclerc stormed to the top of the charts on his first run with a brilliant 1.03.2. With his rivals struggling, particularly the Mercedes of Hamilton, the Ferrari driver didn't need to go quicker but his stomped his authority on the weekend and proved he is very much in the hunt to win this race.
It was a qualifying of mixed fortune for the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Bottas, with both drivers having to run again in Q1 and Hamilton reporting that he was struggling with straight line speed. Hamilton finished a strong 2nd but will have to report to the stewards room after blocking Kimi Raikkonen during Q1. It will be surprising if the Brit doesn't receive a penalty.
In 3rd was Max Verstappen who once again dominated the disappointing Pierre Gasly and showed he is maturing as a future world champion. Stunning pace in Q1 and A2 couldn't quite be replicated in Q3 but with Vettel out and Hamilton likely to receive a penalty a front row start is likely for the Dutchman.
Quotes from drivers:
LECLERC: "It's a big pleasure to drive this car on the limit. I'm very happy to bring pole position back home. Tomorrow will be very difficult physically and for the car"
HAMILTON: "Congratulations to Charles, he's been quick all weekend and we've just not really been able to keep up with him. I've got to fight the young'uns!"
VERSTAPPEN: "With the upgrades the car seems to be working better. Hopefully I can give the fans a great result tomorrow"