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Ferrari suffer qualifying shocker as Bottas takes pole in Austria

Ferrari suffer qualifying shocker as Bottas takes pole in Austria

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Ferrari suffer qualifying shocker as Bottas takes pole in Austria

Ferrari suffer qualifying shocker as Bottas takes pole in Austria

Valtteri Bottas stunned Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by claiming the 12th pole position of his Formula 1 career on a day when Ferrari's worst fears came home to roost.

Bottas finished just 0.012secs clear of Hamilton in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, setting a lap record at the Red Bull Ring en route with a time of one minute 02.939s. It is his third pole in four years at the venue.

The duo were half-a-second clear of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, although the Dutchman will start on the medium tyre - he was the only driver to make it into Q3 on that compound - so offering a different strategic variable to those in front of him.

In what was F1's first qualifying session for 217 days since the final day of November in Abu Dhabi last year, it proved to be a welcome and blistering session, despite the lack of fans in the Red Bull Ring grandstands as part of F1's return to action.

After finishing quickest in all three practice sessions, Hamilton had to settle for only third quickest in Q1, almost two-tenths of a second shy of Verstappen, with Bottas separating the duo many consider will be the main protagonists for the title.

Come Q2, Hamilton moved up a place, but it was Bottas out in front by eight-hundredths of a second, and it was the Finn who edged the six-time F1 champion in the final 10-minute session.

Bottas had to rely on his first run to settle matters, as he drove off track and into the gravel for his second, with Hamilton behind improving, but not enough to claim top spot on the grid.

Behind Verstappen, McLaren's Lando Norris produced a stunning performance to claim fourth, pushing Red Bull's Alex Albon into fifth.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez will line up sixth, followed by Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari, the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll in his Racing Point, with Daniel Ricciardo 10th for Renault.

For the Scuderia, with no upgrades on the car as it has opted to take a different development path following poor pre-season testing form, Sebastian Vettel could not even make it out of Q2.

At the start of what is his final season with the Ferrari, the four-time champion will start a woeful 11th, with the German edged out by team-mate Leclerc by 0.165s.

Keeping Vettel company on row six is the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, followed by his team-mate in Daniil Kvyat, with Esteban Ocon lining up a disappointing 14th on his Renault debut, and Romain Grosjean 15th for Haas.

On his F1 debut, Nicolas Latifi will start from the back of the grid for Williams, but in an encouraging sign for the team, it did not lock out the 10th and final row.

Team-mate George Russell missed a place in Q2 by just seven-hundredths of a second and will start 17th, with Alfa Romeo duo Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen sandwiching the Williams pair, with the latter half-a-second up on a distant Latifi.

Leading the Q1 departees was Kevin Magnussen in his Haas in 16th - and just three-thousandths of a second ahead of Russell - a year on from one of the team's best qualifying performances when the Dane started fifth last season.

Before you go...

New 2020 F1 podium procedure debuts in F3

Hamilton's $40m salary "unacceptable" but Grosjean sees flipside

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