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Leclerc takes Austria pole, Vettel starts P9 after fault

Leclerc takes Austria pole, Vettel starts P9 after fault

F1 News

Leclerc takes Austria pole, Vettel starts P9 after fault

Leclerc takes Austria pole, Vettel starts P9 after fault

Charles Leclerc secured pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, but Ferrari's joy was tempered as a mechanical fault left Sebastian Vettel unable to set a lap in Q3.

As a result, the German will start ninth in Austria, continuing deep frustrations for the German at a track that the Scuderia have shown clear strength at.

It has been Leclerc leading the charge, however, and the Monegasque backed up impressive pace in practice by taking his second career pole position, after Bahrain earlier this year, in a record-breaking 1:03.003.

That race ultimately in disappointment as a near-certain win was lost to an engine failure and Ferrari will be on high alert, having seen Vettel's issue, which went unconfirmed by the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton qualified second, but faces stewards' enquiry for blocking Kimi Raikkonen in Q1 and a three-place grid drop looks likely.

Max Verstappen beat Valtteri Bottas, pole-sitter in Austria for the past two years, to third on the grid and may fancy his chances of repeating last year's victorious heroics if Hamilton does move backwards.

Kevin Magnussen was fifth-quickest, but drops to P10 with a gearbox penalty, while Pierre Gasly's miserable run goes on as he qualified ninth behind both Alfa Romeos.

Carlos Sainz and Alexander Albon will start from the back of the grid due to penalties, with Nico Hulkenberg also moving backwards.


Renault had a second-rate session as both Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo dropped out. The penalty-stricken Albon and Sainz went out, perhaps disappointing for McLaren who had practiced towing earlier in the day. Romain Grosjean was outqualified by Magnussen by just three hundredths, but will start ahead anyway.


The Williams pair and Racing Point drivers made familiar early exits, with Daniil Kvyat also dropping out, with his final flying lap absolutely shafted when he came across four idling cars in the final sector, forcing him off the track.


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