Hamilton on pole for Austrian GP, Force India’s Hulkenberg in 2nd
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton sped through the rain and sunshine with perfect timing in his Mercedes on Saturday to secure pole position for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.other sports Updated: Jul 02, 2016 21:04 IST
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton sped through the rain and sunshine with perfect timing in his Mercedes on Saturday to secure pole position for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The defending three-time world champion judged his speed and his tyre selection to perfection in challenging and changing conditions, claiming the prime starting spot with a best lap in 1 minute, 7.922 seconds.
It was his second successive pole in Austria, his fifth of 2016 and the 54th of his career.
His Mercedes teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg was second fastest, but the German will start Sunday’s race with a five-place grid penalty after a gearbox change following his crash in practice on Saturday morning.
Another German, Nico Hulkenberg, was third fastest for Force India, but faced a visit to the stewards’ office for an earlier infringement.
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was fourth for Ferrari, but he also faces a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Briton Jenson Button timed his intervention to perfection also to take fifth place for McLaren Honda ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Red Bull ahead of Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams, Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull and Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Williams.
After all the penalties are applied, Hamilton is expected to start ahead of Hulkenberg on the front row with Button third in a McLaren.
Hamilton is seeking to reduce Rosberg’s 24-point lead in the drivers’ championship after eight of this year’s 21 races. Rosberg is seeking to complete a hat-trick of successive wins in Austria.