F1 2020: Hamilton masters wet conditions to take Styrian GP pole

    Hamilton beat Verstappen by a whopping 1.216 secs to take pole position for the Styrian GP.

    Published On Jul 11, 2020 10:19:00 PM

    4,079 Views

    F1 2020: Hamilton masters wet conditions to take Styrian GP pole

    • Verstappen 2nd, 1.216 secs off Hamilton’s pace
    • Sainz scores best career qualifying result with 3rd
    • Ferrari continue to struggle with Vettel and Leclerc 10th and 11th respectively.

    Lewis Hamilton produced a masterful wet weather display on Saturday, storming to pole position in a rain-delayed qualifying session for the Styrian Grand Prix. The Briton lapped the Red Bull Ring, the same venue that hosted last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, in 1 min 19.273 secs, beating Max Verstappen by a whopping 1.216 secs.

    Carlos Sainz took full advantage of the conditions to take his best Formula 1 qualifying result to date with a 3rd place result for McLaren. Valtteri Bottas, winner from pole last week, was a disappointed 4th.

    “Honestly, it was a fantastic lap the last one,” said Hamilton, who trails championship leading team-mate Bottas by 13 points in the overall standings after a penalty-hit drive to fourth in the season opener last week.

    “The importance of managing your time out there, managing your battery pack, creating the gap, not making mistakes when it counts, that was a lap. That last lap for me was as close to perfect as I could get it in those conditions.”

    Verstappen’s four-wheel drift

    Saturday’s pole was the 89th of Hamilton’s career. It was his third at the Red Bull Ring but first this season. At one stage it looked like the 35-year-old would have to face down a tough challenge for top spot from the equally rapid-looking Verstappen. But the Dutchman lost control of his Red Bull at the final corner on his final lap, which assured Hamilton of pole. That, however, didn’t stop the Briton from going even faster on his own final attempt.

    “The third phase of qualifying (Q3) was very difficult,” said Verstappen, who had also started from the front row last weekend.

    “A lot of standing water, I lost quite a lot of grip and it didn’t feel as good as in Q1 and Q2 but still to be second is alright. “I guess there was someone going in the pits, I understeered because of it and then I went a bit wide, I came onto the kerb on the exit and then I lost it… four wheel drift into the last corner,” he said of his mistake.

    Stressful but happy session for Sainz

    Sainz and team mate Lando Norris looked strong throughout the qualifying hour.  The Spaniard, who is set to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari next season, will have his sights set on handing McLaren a second successive podium after Norris took advantage of Hamilton’s penalty to snatch the final podium spot last Sunday.

    “I did enjoy myself but it was a very stressful qualifying session,” said Sainz.

    “It would be good for you guys to see what we are actually going through in a Formula 1 car towards the end of Q3 with the amount of standing water, aquaplaning, not seeing anything and just keeping your foot flat, trusting that the thing is going to grip and putting the lap together.”

    Ferrari struggles continue, Williams make it to Q2

    Esteban Ocon was 5th for Renault ahead of McLaren’s Norris, who was 6th but will drop three places on the grid due to a penalty. Alexander Albon was 7th ahead of Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri and Daniel Ricciardo in the other Renault.

    Ferrari’s struggles continued, despite the team having fast-tracked some updates, with the Italian team again managing to get just one car through to the top ten.

    It was Sebastian Vettel who made the cut this weekend. The German will start 10th with Charles Leclerc, who salvaged second for the team last weekend, 11th after failing to make it through to the final phase of qualifying.

    Like McLaren, former champions Williams also had something to cheer. Briton George Russell made it out of the opening phase of qualifying and will start a career-best 12th.

    Giovinazzi crashes

    Qualifying got underway 46 minutes after its scheduled start with rain, that had already forced the cancellation of Saturday’s final practice session, lashing the track. Conditions were tricky throughout with drivers having to stay on the full wet weather tyres throughout.

    However, Antonio Giovinazzi was the only major casualty of the slippery track. The Italian lost control in the final sequence of corners, sending his Alfa Romeo spinning into the barriers in the dying seconds of the first session.

    Regardless of whether it rains or not, Hamilton looks to be the favourite going into Sunday’s race. The Briton last tasted success in Austria in 2016.   

    2020 Styrian GP qualifying results

    POS

    NO

    DRIVER

    CAR

    1

    44

    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes

    2

    33

    Max Verstappen

    Red Bull Racing

    3

    55

    Carlos Sainz

    McLaren

    4

    77

    Valtteri Bottas

    Mercedes

    5

    31

    Esteban Ocon

    Renault

    6

    23

    Alexander Albon

    Red Bull Racing

    7

    10

    Pierre Gasly

    AlphaTauri

    8

    3

    Daniel Ricciardo

    Renault

    9

    4

    Lando Norris

    McLaren

    10

    5

    Sebastian Vettel

    Ferrari

    11

    16

    Charles Leclerc

    Ferrari

    12

    63

    George Russell

    Williams

    13

    18

    Lance Stroll

    Racing Point

    14

    26

    Daniil Kvyat

    AlphaTauri

    15

    20

    Kevin Magnussen

    Haas

    16

    7

    Kimi Räikkönen

    Alfa Romeo

    17

    11

    Sergio Perez

    Racing Point

    18

    6

    Nicholas Latifi

    Williams

    19

    99

    Antonio Giovinazzi

    Alfa Romeo

    20

    8

    Romain Grosjean

    Haas

     

    Abhishek Takle

     

    Also see:

    Two more races confirmed for updated 2020 F1 calendar

    Confirmed: Alonso to make 2021 F1 return with Renault          

     

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

    Comments
    ×
    img

    No comments yet. Be the first to comment.

    Ask Autocar Anything about Car and Bike Buying and Maintenance Advices
    Need an expert opinion on your car and bike related queries?
    Ask Now
    Search By Car Price
    Poll of the month

    Which was your favourite Car, SUV at Auto Expo 2023

    Maruti Suzuki Jimny

     

    25.47%

    Maruti Suzuki Fronx

     

    14.63%

    Maruti Suzuki eVX concept

     

    2.85%

    Tata Harrier EV

     

    9.79%

    Tata Sierra

     

    23.69%

    Hyundai Ioniq 5

     

    3.95%

    Hyundai Ioniq 6

     

    3.28%

    Kia EV9 concept

     

    2.91%

    MG4

     

    2.05%

    Toyota Land Cruiser 300

     

    11.39%

    Total Votes : 3267
    Sign up for our newsletter

    Get all the latest updates from the automobile universe