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Valtteri Bottas beats Sebastian Vettel to Austria pole position

Valtteri Bottas beats Sebastian Vettel to Austria pole position

Valtteri Bottas was investigated for possibly jumping the lights at the Austrian Grand Prix, but the triumphant Mercedes driver branded it the "start of my life".

Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton smashed his Red Bull Ring lap record twice in Austrian Grand Prix practice on Friday, with Ferrari's championship leader Sebastian Vettel close behind his Mercedes rival.

However, Vettel ultimately ran out of laps as the Finn crossed the line after 71 laps to secure his second F1 victory, winning by just six-tenths of a second.

He said: "Congratulations to Valtteri". I was losing more and more stability of the rear.

Knowing he would take the grid penalty, Hamilton made it through to the final part of qualifying using the supersoft tire, meaning he will start on a different tire compound compared to the rest of the top 10 on ultrasofts.

After the first runs in Q3 Bottas and Hamilton were first and third on 1m 04.251s and 1m 04.424s, with Vettel on 1m 04.293s in second, all of them on ultrasofts, with Raikkonen fourth on 1m 04.779s from Ricciardo on 1m 04.896s and Verstappen on 1m 04.983s.

Nevertheless, after salvaging a strong second place finish in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Bottas enjoyed a flawless weekend in Austria, clinching a second success of the year with a well-judged pole-to-flag win. Verstappen, Haas driver Romain Grosjean, and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr wobbled on the same turn - as did Hamilton late into P1.

"It's still early days, more than 50 per cent to go, a massive amount of points to get". Haas' Kevin Magnussen also sustained a DNF with smoke coming out the back of his car before half distance. The two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein were slowest overall, while Magnussen's session also came to an end in Q1 due to his failure despite him progressing to the second part of qualifying.

There was encouragement for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso eighth quickest using the upgraded engine that Honda have introduced for this race.

Asked about his 2014 exploits, he said: "I'm pretty sure back then there was a bigger difference in speed deltas between us and the other cars".

"Since the day I signed with Mercedes, what else can you put as a target?" "I always said I want to win five races and retire so I'm probably not going to compete this weekend", he smiled. Instead, the team suffered a double elimination just one race after Stroll claimed the team's first podium of the season.

He told Sky Sports: "You'd expect Lewis to be able to say it's done and he's satisfied Sebastian has apologised".