Charles Leclerc sets a new lap record around the Red Bull Ring ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. In a time of 1.03:003, Monegasque Charles Leclerc took a commanding pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen rounding out the top three for Sundays race. It was a difficult qualifying for all drivers as they battled to find a slipstream from other drivers. Track temperatures of over fifty degrees in Austria also made tyre management particularly difficult.
Lewis Hamilton’s position is not secure, however, as he finds himself under investigation for impeding Kimi Raikonen’s Alfa Romeo. Kimi returning the favour by giving him the customary single digit hand-gesture. Where this will leave the line up for the race is anyone’s guess.
Max Verstappen got the biggest cheer of the day. With the Austrian crowd a sea of Dutch orange and Red Bull blue. This bodes well for the atmosphere at next years Dutch Grand Prix.
Further down the grid, Valteri Bottas was a disappointing fourth, especially given that he set the pace in the early part of qualifying. McLaren Formula One Team continue their encouraging form with Lando Norris on the third row in sixth, though Carlos Sainz will start from the back due to a penalty for taking a new engine. Finally, bad luck for Sebastian Vettel who was prevented from taking part in Q3 due to a hydraulic leak.