Grand Prix of Austria – Qualifying


It’s only been a few days since France, which ended with RIC being handed two post-race time penalties by the stewards; he said he thinks one is a bit harsh but agrees with the other – see VET, this is how a professional handles it.
So the revised result of the French GP: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, VET, SAI, RAI, HUL, NOR, GAS; RIC, PER, STR, KVY, ALB, GIO, MAG, KUB, RUS; DNF: GRO; fastest lap: VET.

Even before Quali in Austria, SAI and ALB have picked up grid penalties for new engine components. [FIA]

There’s a heatwave across most of central Europe, which could impact tyre performance; however, it seems the Spielberg circuit might just escape the worst of it.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:04.838), VET, BOT, LEC, VER
    “The session was red-flagged with three minutes to go after Nico Hulkenberg destroyed part of his Renault’s front wing on the kerb at turn nine. Horner estimated around a quarter of a million pounds’ worth of damage was done to Red Bull’s cars alone.” [racefans.net]
  2. FP2: LEC (1:05.086), BOT, GAS, HAM, SAI
    “Alfa Romeo have been fined €5000 after the team was found to have used excessively cool fuel in Antonio Giovinazzi’s car.” [racefans.net]
    VER lost the rear in Turn 10, his Red Bull switched ends and ran backwards into the tyre wall – destroyed the back end of the car – red flag to suspend the session [video]
    A few minutes after the restart BOT lost the tail in Turn 6, skipped across the gravel and straight into the tyre wall – big damage to the Mercedes – red flag to suspend the session [video]
    Restart #2, and VET spun in Turn 10 too but he got away without any damage to his Ferrari
    Both Renaults had wobbly rear wing elements, which must have been “exciting” for HUL and RIC especially when they used DRS
  3. FP3: LEC (1:03.987), HAM, BOT, VET, VER
    HUL’s Renault has been given a new engine, so he picks up a 5 grid spot penalty
    Following FP3, Haas have changed MAG’s gearbox so he get a 5 grid spot penalty too

Penalties to be applied after Quali: SAI, ALB, HUL, MAG

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 29°C; track 52°C; wind gusts aren’t as strong as in FP1 & FP2
KUB and GIO are first out of the pits
KUB 1:07.579 – soft tyres
GIO 1:05.027 – softs
Only STR on mediums so far; he goes P3
MAG 1:04.796 – softs
NOR 1:04.661 – softs
LEC 1:04.304 – mediums
Big cheer as VER passes the stands
VET P2 but he ran wide and had all 4 wheels off-track, so will he lose that time?
(HAM P5; BOT P7)
LEC 1:04.138
(VER P2 on softs)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are RAI, KVY, STR, RUS, KUB
Radio from GAS complaining of power dropout
BOT dropping down to P12 as the track improves and the midfield drivers pass him
Bodywork flying off HUL’s rear wing as he opens DRS on the main straight
VER 1:03.807
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are PER, ALB, KVY, RUS, KUB
(HAM P2)
KUB P20
(BOT P3)
ALB P13, STR P16
PER P16
Back of the grid: PER, STR, KVY, RUS, KUB
(None of the 4 drivers with grid penalties are in the bottom 5)
Turn 9 incident involving RUS and KVY “noted” – KVY had been on the radio, “I could have killed him!”
Turn 3 incident involving HAM and RAI “noted” – that was fairly early on in Q1

Qualifying session 2
HAM 1:04.157 – mediums
BOT 1:03.936 – mediums
VER 1:03.835 – mediums
LEC 1:03.459 – softs
(VET P2) – softs
No further action for RUS, KVY incident; HAM, RAI incident will be investigated after the session
Radio for GRO – “we have front wing damage; box”
Replay shows GRO’s wing damage was caused when he ran wide in the final turn
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are HUL, ALB, GRO, RIC, SAI
GRO P11
GRO on another quick lap but locks up, runs wide, touches the gravel
Chequered flag
LEC 1:03.378 – softs
Middle of the grid: GRO, HUL*, ALB*, RIC, SAI*
*HUL, ALB and SAI have grid penalties to be applied; MAG also has a penalty but he’s through to Q3

FIA scrutineer in the Ferrari garage talking with the mechanics that are huddled around VET’s left side pod

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between LEC, VET, HAM, VER, BOT, GAS, RAI, GIO, NOR & MAG
Mechanics are still around VET’s car – seems like there’s a problem
The Alfa Romeo pair are first to leave the pits
Radio for LEC telling him to switch off the engine – is that just because he’s not going out for a while?
RAI 1:04.734
GIO P2
HAM slows up, hoping someone will pass and give him a tow … but no-one falls for it
HAM 1:03.900
BOT 1:03.559
LEC 1:03.208
GAS P4
NOR P7
MAG P8
VER P3
VET is getting out of the car without setting a time
Order after first run: LEC, BOT, VER, HAM, GAS, RAI, GIO, NOR, MAG, VET
Mercedes spot NOR is leaving his garage and send HAM out right behind him
RAI P5
MAG P5
HAM P2
VER P3
LEC 1:03.003
BOT P4
Front of the grid: LEC, HAM, VER, BOT, MAG*, NOR, RAI, GIO, GAS, VET

Ferrari say VET’s problem was an air pressure line

Provisional grid: LEC, HAM**, VER, BOT, MAG*, NOR, RAI, GIO, GAS, VET, GRO, HUL*, ALB*, RIC, SAI*, PER, STR, KVY, RUS, KUB
*Penalties to be applied for MAG, HUL, ALB * SAI
**Incident involving HAM & RAI will be investigated after the session