Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton took his fifth pole position of the season to crank the pressure up on Rosberg. Getty Images


  • Hamilton claims fifth pole of the season as Rosberg is demoted to seventh.
  • Jenson Button will start third at the Red Bull Ring, with Nico Hulkenburg second.

Lewis Hamilton will have another chance to close the gap on Formula 1 drivers' championship leader Nico Rosberg after claiming pole ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. The Briton finished half a second ahead of his Mercedes teammate, who will start the race in seventh after a gearbox change following a crash in practise.

Force India's Nico Hulkenburg will start second - subject to a stewards investigation - while McLaren's Jenson Button makes it two British drivers in the top three with Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who qualified third, dropping five places also due to a gearbox chance.

Qualifying was dominated by incident on and off the track, with Daniel Kvyat crashing out after clipping a kerb on the controversial Austrian circuit, while Toro Rosso teammate Carlo Sainz suffered an engine blow out. Rain, followed by a rapid drying out of the track, meant several drivers were forced into late changes in strategy and tyers but Hamilton was unperturbed as he took the 54th pole of his career

"It was a really fun session," the three-time world champion, who trails Rosberg by 24 points, said. "There are sessions which start off dry and quite incredibly here it dries up so quickly, you're driving through fog at some stages. It adds to the excitement. I've never driven here in the rain before. Being a new surface it made it slippery I think but it was drying up corner by corner. I backed off which was a big risk but it was one which I took and I am very happy with it."