Bottas takes pole in Austria

Updated: Jul 05, 2020, 08:56 IST | AFP | Spielberg

Finnish driver pips Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in season-opener qualifying

Mercedes's Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas celebrates after taking pole in Spielberg, Austria, on Saturday. Pic/ Getty Images
Mercedes's Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas celebrates after taking pole in Spielberg, Austria, on Saturday. Pic/ Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas survived a high-speed spin as he upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton with a sizzling display on Saturday to claim pole position for Sunday's delayed season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. The Finnish driver outpaced the six-time champion with a best lap in qualifying in one minute and 2.939 seconds and then survived an 'off' into the gravel and a spin on his final lap to remain 0.012 seconds clear of the Briton.

It was Bottas's third pole at the Austrian Grand Prix and the 12th of his career, a feat that followed Hamilton's clean sweep of the three practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning. "It feels really good—I've missed this feeling," said Bottas. "The qualifying shakes! It's something special when you push the car to the limit and I've been waiting for a long time—we seem to be in our own league."

Hamilton said: "A great job by Valtteri and it's a great start to the season. I think we show year on year that we are the best team—because we are open-minded, keep with the times and nobody is too stubborn to admit they are wrong." Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull, half a second adrift of the two newly-painted 'black arrows' cars whose dominating performance delivered a 65th front row lock out for the team, equalling Ferrari's record.

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