F1 | Ricciardo struggles with quick spin Hamilton landing on Pole

FIA F1 | 2015 Formula 1 World Championship – Austrian F1 Grand Prix

Written and Images by - Jarrod Moore  

Free Practice Session 3 (FP3) and Qualifying

The Austrian F1 Grand Prix in 2014 was the last time a team apart from the Mercedes AMG F1 team, has won a pole position during qualifying at an F1 race weekend.

It is an amazing circumstance considering the modern era of motorsport. The trend looks set to continue with Lewis Hamilton this weekend gaining his eight pole position for the team this season at the Red Bull Ring.

With the rain continuing to fall throughout the third free practice session (FP3), teams knew they would be starting qualifying on a damp track with most electing to start on intermediate tyres to try and dry the track.

With a drying track it didn’t take long for the intermediate tyres to become ineffective with teams entering the pits after only seven minutes to change to the Pirelli super soft tyres.

In another long line of disappoints for the McLaren team, Jenson Button failed to make it past the first qualifying session (Q1) only made worse by the FIA handing down a 25 position grid penalty (despite there only being 20 cars on the starting grid) after the team had to replace another power unit.

For the first time this season Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo will start outside of the top 10, only managing P14 which highlights their struggles with engine supplier Renault. Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo will start towards the rear of the grid as they too received grid penalties imposed by the FIA for changing power units late on Friday.

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Images by Jarrod Moore and team supplied

In an uncharacteristic like performance, both Mercedes AMG drivers, Nico Rosberg and Hamilton spun on the last lap of the third qualifying session (Q3). Having set a lap time of 1:08.455 on the previous lap, Hamilton managed to keep his pole winning time when his Mercedes teammate Rosberg pushed too hard, spinning on his final hot lap.

In keeping with tradition Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified in third position as he did last year at the Red Bull Ring whilst last year’s pole sitter Felipe Massa will start from fourth position (P4).

During our interview Hamilton said “It was quite a difficult qualifying session, pushing for that bit extra in the next run and I just locked the rears, I was grateful that I got my third lap in on the first run in Q3.”

Kimi Raikkonen’s seat at Ferrari for 2016 continues to look shaky when he qualified in P18 with the team quick to place responsibility on Raikkonen when they said there were no problems with the car during Q1.

After his performance at Le Mans last weekend, Nico Hülkenberg was the talk of the paddock after qualifying fifth for Sahara Force India. Hülkenberg will be keen to capitalise on his position in an effort to maximise points for the team.

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