Bottas pips Hamilton for pole at Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas ahead of the final practice of Austrian Grand Prix.   -  Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third place and Lando Norris giving McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here.

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

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Ferrari struggled for speed, with Charles Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.

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