Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to take pole position for the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix. It was the second pole of the Finnish driver's career, and both have been since joining Mercedes this season.
This pole was on the Spielberg track where Bottas secured his first podium finish three years ago, coming third when driving for Williams. "I enjoyed it today," said Bottas. "The car was getting better and better as the day went on and I'm very happy to be on pole."
Lewis Hamilton, who is second in the championship behind Vettel, qualified in third place but will start from eighth because of a grid penalty. That means Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen moves up from fourth to third.
Nearing the end of the third and final practice session in the morning, Hamilton went off the track with some smoke pouring out the side of his car. The team said it was a brake disk failure and Hamilton's mechanics worked frantically to get his car ready for qualifying.
It was another blow for Hamilton, who took the grid penalty for an unauthorized gearbox change. He trails Vettel by 14 points after eight races, with both winning three times in 2017. "My lap was not quick enough but I am very happy," admitted the German world championship pace-setter. "I was hoping for a last run but it was an anticlimax with the yellow flag. It is a great track, shame it is a bit short."
Hamilton, still smarting from being crashed into by Vettel during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix - an offence for which the Ferrari driver received no further punishment - will meanwhile have work to do to ensure the four-time world champion does not extend his championship advantage.
"Congratulations to Valtteri and to Sebastian," said the Briton. "They were both very fast. I did the best job that I could. I will do the best job I can tomorrow. I want to get a one-two with Valtteri so will try to do that."
Pushing hard to get a quicker final lap, Dutch driver Max Verstappen span his Red Bull into the gravel late on. He finished sixth but will start fifth on the Red Bull Ring, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in fourth.