Looks like it’s going to be another frustrating weekend for McLaren: ALO likely to face a huge penalty (20 grid spots) for multiple engine updates; BUT and RIC may also receive penalties for updates.
FP1: ALO’s upgraded engine cuts out and he’s pushed down the pit lane; VET lost fourth gear and parked his Ferrari; MAS avoids taking out Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene in the pit lane; radio from HAM “How many changes do you guys want me to do, can I just focus on driving?”. ROS fastest (1:10.401) then HAM, RAI, BOT and NAS.
FP2: VET (1:09.600) ahead of ROS, RAI, MAL, HAM, HUL and GRO.
FP3 was wet: ALO’s McLaren conked out on the pit straight, causing a red flag; ALO’s gearbox problem means a further 5-place grid penalty. VET (1:09.994) then HAM, RAI, PER, ROS, MAS, BOT, VER, MAL.
Tweet breaks down BUT’s 25 grid spot penalty.
It’s stopped raining and is starting to dry up before Qualifying.
Air temperature 12°C; track 21°C; wind 6.5m/s; humidity 71%; overcast; 30% chance of rain.
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Track still looks damp
Cars going out on intermediate wet tyres
Radio from VER telling the team where the track is dry and damp
Radio from SAI saying he thinks they need to move to slicks
PER runs wide in Turn 1
VES hangs the tail out on a damp corner
ROS P2; HAM P3
Radio from KVY – plenty of dry patches but not ready for slicks yet
STE off into the gravel; keeps the car moving and finds his way back to the track
ROS wide in Turn 1
NAS on super-soft slicks
Radio from VET – (inters) tyres suffering a lot
MAS locks up but holds it
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are PER, MER, ERI, STE, RIC (no time from RIC)
Sparks from ERI’s right side – bottoming out or a problem?
ROS runs wide in T1
2mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are PER, ROS, STE, KVY, MER
ROS 1:11.883 – NAS to P16
PER to P14; ALO to P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are PER, ALO, MER, STE, KVY
ALO to P10; RAI to P16 but RAI is in the pits
PER to P11; VES to P16
KVY to P9; MAL to P16
MAL to P3; BUT to P16 and has already taken the chequered flag
VES to P3; HUL to P16
HUL yo P4; PER back to P16
Back of the grid*: PER, BUT, RAI, MER, STE
*but there are lots of engine-change related penalties to be applied
Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
ROS 1:09.588 – fastest lap of the weekend so far
3mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are ERI, NAS, RIC, GRO, VET (no time from VET)
VET 1:09.392 on his first flying lap
RIC runs wide in T3 and throws up some gravel
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are SAI, MAL, ALO, RIC, GRO
GRO to P9; ERI to P16
ALO doesn’t improve on P15
Middle of the grid: MAL, ERI, SAI, RIC, ALO
BBC: Fernando Alonso has failed to get into Q3 for the seventh time this season, the same number as he suffered in his five-year career at Ferrari.
Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
Shootout is between ROS, HAM, VET, BOT, HUL, VES, NAS, MAS, GRO & KVY
(KVY is the only one in Q3 facing a penalty so far)
No-one rushing to leave the pits
5 mins left of Q3; order is HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, BOT, HUL, NAS, KVY; no time from GRO or VES
Still no sign of GRO – BBC report brake-by-wire problems
HAM spins in T1; yellow flags
Chequered flag; order is HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, NAS, KVY, GRO
ROS off at the final turn, into the gravel
Front of the grid: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, KVY, NAS, GRO
First Brit to take pole at the Austrian GP since James Hunt in 1976
Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, KVY, NAS, GRO; MAL, ERI, SAI, RIC, ALO; PER, BUT, RAI, MER, STE
…but there a lots of penalties to be applied.
As BBC point out: “Lewis Hamilton’s pole time of 1:08.455 is just 0.547secs slower than the all-time quickest lap at this track, which was set by Michael Schumacher in a 2003 Ferrari. With a 3.0-litre V10. In the middle of a tyre war. And with unlimited fuel flow. Not bad for a hybrid.”