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GP Week : Issue 204
QUALIFYING "I am really pleased. The guys have done a very good job. This is just the start of the 71 laps though but we will start in the best position possible. We need to think hard about how we maximise this in terms of points at the end of the race. Tomorrow will be hotter but we know from our long runs where the issues will be that we will face, it will be a defensive race tomorrow as we try to keep everyone else behind us but for the team this is a much deserved result for all the hard work that has been put in both at the factory and race track” So Nico ended up third, but fairly secure in the knowledge that the Mercedes remained the quickest car: "That was not a great qualifying for us. I didn't get the second quick lap in Q3 when Lewis spun in front of me at Turn 2 and I had to slow down for the yellow flags. For sure, from our point of view it makes life harder that the Williams are starting in front of us, but I am still feeling confident for tomorrow.” For his part, Lewis had no-one or nothing else to blame: "I just didn't finish a lap in Q3 today – sometimes you get it all together, sometimes you don't and today I didn't get the job done. The feeling in the car has been good all weekend and I think we had the pace. On the second run, I hit the brakes into Turn 2 and just locked the rears; I still need to look at the data to see exactly what happened ...” What happened was that Lewis locked the brakes. The team later, publically, discounted any ‘mechanical’ issue. Lewis would start from grid 9. Any other day, fourth on the grid would be good news for Ferrari, but Fernando was sanguine: "I have mixed feelings after this qualifying, because on the one hand, this is the best result since early in the season, but it's also true that the session was very unusual and it's highly likely that the final order does not reflect the true hierarchy down the field.” Daniel Ricciardo managed to salvage fifth, admitting that the team was on the back foot at this venue. Team boss Christian Horner confirmed that the best they’d hoped for was fifth, while Sebastian was remarkably frank: "There were no real problems today, other than that we weren't quick enough. Daniel was quicker in Turn 5 and has been quicker in Turn 2 all weekend. We'll see how it goes for the race; it should be hotter tomorrow and hopefully we can make a big step and take on some of the other cars." Tough days indeed for the world champion. A couple of young guns made their mark for spots six and seven, beating more experienced team-mates. McLaren chief Eric Boullier: "Jenson missed out on getting through to Q3 by such a narrow margin – just 0.156s – that it's pretty safe to say that he'd definitely have made it through had he not lost so much running owing to a brake system problem in FP3 this morning. Having said that, Kevin did an excellent job throughout today's qualifying hour, less than a twentieth of a second, behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in P5. "Okay, we don't regard P6, or even P5, as good enough – McLaren exists to win and anything short of that will never truly satisfy us – but we're encouraged by our performance today because it indicates that we're on the right development path. Rome wasn't built in a day – Woking may take longer, but we're getting there." For his part Kvyat was a little disappointed! "This was my best qualifying result so far this season and I'm satisfied with the work the team has done all weekend. We managed to put all the things together like a puzzle and we made a significant step for ward from yesterday to today. It was a shame that because of the yellow flags in Turn 2, we couldn't exploit the full potential of the car. But still, P7 is a good starting position.” With a disappointed Kimi, who seems to be “disappointed” a lot this year, in eighth, Hamilton ninth, Nico Hulkenberg took the last top-10 grid spot – although he’d looked headed for better. He too lost his crucial lap to a Turn 8 ‘over the white-line’ penalty, forfeited the time, and thus didn’t record one. It cost him two or three spots. And so to Sunday? Could the Williams duo possibly hold Nico at bay? And how far for ward could Lewis progress. For the first time in years, the talk was not of Red Bull ... FORMULA 1TM GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2014 71 LAPS ROUND 8/19 << Last Race – Canada Two Weeks Ago 1 Next Race – Britain >> Two Weeks’ Time FORMULA 1TM GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2014 QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION 1 – Exactly 44 years to the day since Sir Frank Williams’ first driver Piers Courage died in a crash at the 1970 Dutch GP, Williams lockout the front row of a Grand Prix grid for the first time since Juan-Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher at the 2003 German GP. It’s Williams’ first pole since Pastor Maldonado at the 2012 Spanish GP (which itself was inherited after a Lewis Hamilton penalty), and for Felipe Massa it is a first pole for 94 races, the last one coming at the 2008 Brazilian GP, which was also his last race victory. Coincidentally, the longest wait between poles was 107 races for Giancarlo Fisichella, a streak that began after taking pole at this very track in 1998, and didn’t end until Australia 2005. 2 – From a country that has only produced 8 Grand Prix drivers, Valtteri Bottas is remarkably the 5th Finn to start a race from the front row, after Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Räikkönen and Heikki Kovalainen. Williams were also quickest in the speed trap for the 4th time in 2014, and what’s more they were 1-2, which could prove critical in the race. That said, neither Williams was quickest in any one sector. That honour fell to Mercedes, who somehow still managed to get neither car on the front row. 3 – Nico Rosberg’s 3rd on the grid is the same position that Keke Rosberg started from in his last Austrian GP start in 1986. Fernando Alonso ties his best start of the year in 4th place, 14 places higher than he’s ever started before on this track, while Daniel Ricciardo has outqualified Sebastian Vettel for a 6th time in 8 races, while Kevin Magnussen is higher than he’s been since qualifying 4th on his debut in Melbourne. Seventh on the grid is a career/season-best for Daniil Kvyat. 4 – Ninth place for Lewis Hamilton ends a 7-race run of front row starts, tying his career best from 2013, while Nico Hülkenberg is in the top-10 for the first time in 4 races. Jenson Button has still only made Q3 in consecutive races once all year (Malaysia/Bahrain), while Sebastian Vettel failed to reach Q3 for the third time in 2014 (Australia/Bahrain). Conversely, Pastor Maldonado has outqualified teammate Grosjean for the first time all year. The application of the Canadian GP penalty drops Sergio Perez from 11th to 16th, but he is significantly quicker than those around him in the speed trap. 5 – Sauber lost both cars in Q1 for the 2nd time in 3 races, and they’ve lost at least 1 car in Q1 at every Grand Prix in 2014. Jules Bianchi helped Marussia outpace Caterham for the 4th consecutive Q1 session, and the 3-place penalty for teammate Max Chilton, assessed for causing the collision with Bianchi in Canada, should help ensure it doesn’t happen again here. 27 GPWEEK.com // 27 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> AUSTRIA PARTNERS: