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Williams on pole for Austrian GP

2014-06-21 15:11

FIRST POLE SINCE 2008: Williams’ Felipe Massa grabs his first pole position since 2008 at the Red Bull Ring in Austra. Image: AP/ Kerstin Joensson

SPIELBERG, Austria - Williams’ Felipe Massa took his 16th pole position setting up an exciting duel with Mercedes ahead of the 2014 Austrian GP.

Massa outpaced the competition with a fastest lap of 1min08.759 in the dying minutes of the qualifying round, to finish 0.087sec ahead of his team mate Valtteri Bottas.

He thereby deprived Mercedes's Nico Rosberg, current leader in the Drivers’ championship, of a third successive pole position, leaving Rosberg to trail by 0.185 seconds with the third fastest time.


Mercedes and Williams had already dominated the three practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring.

Rosberg and team mate Lewis Hamilton had to watch Massa and Bottas speed ahead on the 4.3km track.

Red Bull, fresh from taking first and third places at the 2014 Canadian GP, that were widely expected to set up an exciting duel with the current leaders.

Red Bull has struggled despite racing on home turf.

Sebastian Vettel barely made it past the first qualifying round with just the 15th fastest time and then succumbed in the second round, a far cry from his championship winning form in the past four seasons.

Team mate Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile improved his times on Saturday (June 21 2014), qualifying with the fifth fastest time but still failed to match his performance at Montreal when he won his first Grand Prix.


Red Bull's drivers admitted they would not be going into Sunday's (June 22 2014) race as the favourites, with Mercedes too strong at the moment.

Except for Montreal two weeks ago, Mercedes have enjoyed a near-perfect season, winning the first six races, allowing them to build a 119-point lead in the Constructors' standings ahead of Red Bull.

Several drivers, including Hamilton and Alonso, saw times disallowed on Saturday (June 21 2014) after going too far off a track that included some tricky turns.

Force India's Sergio Perez will drop five places on the grid for his horrific crash with Massa in Montreal two weeks ago. Marussia's Max Chilton also has a three-point grid penalty for causing a collision in Canada and will start at the back.

The last Austrian GP winner in 2003 was seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

2014 Austrian GP at the Red Bull ring:

1 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min08.759
2 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min08.846
3 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min08.944
4 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min09.285
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min09.466
6 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min09.515
7 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 1min09.619
8 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min10.795
9 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
10 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 

11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India  1min09.754
12 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min09.780
13 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull  1min09.801
14 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min09.939
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min10.073
16 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus  1min10.642

17 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 1min10.825
 18 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min11.349
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min11.412
20 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham 1min11.673
21 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min11.775
22 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham 1min12.673  
1-10: third and final qualifying session
11-16: second qualifying session
17-22: first qualifying session

Third practice
Second practice
First practice results

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