Unsurprising results after topping a rain-affected session that was also marred by Daniil Kvyat’s huge crash in Q1.

With rain at the end of Q2, the top-10 shootout was held in wet but drying conditions, and all switched to slicks for their final Q3 run.

Hamilton lapped the nine-turn Red Bull Ring in 1m07.922s, half a second clear of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg drops five places due to his gearbox change following his hefty FP3 crash.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth, but drops five places after a gearbox change, and will start ninth.

The penalties elevated Nico Hulkenberg to second, although he was under investigation for failing to slow under yellows in Q2, and McLaren’s Jenson Button to third.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Story of the session

On a wet track, following the Q2 shower, the session was always going to come down to a late shootout as conditions improved.

Vettel set the early pace, as the cars were fuelled for longer runs than usual on intermediate tyres. Times tumbled, with Ricciardo fastest with five minutes to go.

Hulkenberg was the first to pit, rejoining on ultrasoft slicks and he was followed suit by Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Rosberg was asked if it was ready for slicks and replied: “Negative, negative, negative.” But he too pitted for slicks.

Hulkenberg – who took P1 on slicks, beaten immediately by those running behind him – the top spot constantly changing as the track improved.

Hamilton took pole on his final lap, a 1m07.922s, with Rosberg 0.543s behind him. Hulkenberg grabbed the third-fastest time, which gives him a front row start, ahead of Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas (whose Williams went off on his first flying lap on slicks but recovered), Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Felipe Massa (Williams).

Werhlein stars in Q2

Rain hit the session with six minutes remaining in Q2, highlighted by Button going off at Turn 3 into the gravel.

Eliminated were Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez, along with the star of qualifying until this point – Pascal Wehrlein – who qualified a Manor in 12th.

He beat Romain Grosjean, who went off at Turn 6 after a big crossed-up moment sent him on a trip through the gravel.

Fernando Alonso suffered a disaster when his team put him out on the same tyres he’d used in Q1, and it rained before he could be switched to the new tyres. “We didn’t execute good enough, it was a bit of a surprise to qualify without tyres… We only had two Haases to beat [to get to Q3].”

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz didn’t take part in the session after an engine failure in Q1.

Hamilton set the pace in this session, which is set on the tyres they will start the race on.

Rosberg was 0.175s slower, ahead of Vettel and the Red Bulls.

Perhaps crucially for tomorrow, if it’s dry, the Mercedes duo will start on ultrasoft tyres, while their Ferrari and Red Bull rivals will begin on supersofts.

Kvyat’s huge crash interrupts Q1

The big news from this session was Daniil Kvyat’s wild accident that started at Turn 8 and ended in a mess at Turn 9 with only one wheel left on the car.

He ran wide over the kerbs, and the right-rear suspension failed, apparently from the frequency of the opposite side of the car running over the yellow ‘baguettes’, sending him into a wild trip across the inside of Turn 9 and gently nosing into the Turn 9 wall. “I’m sorry guys, I crashed,” he said.

More woe struck Toro Rosso as Carlos Sainz’s car expired in a cloud of smoke at the restart.

Like Rosberg in FP3, Perez suffered a broken right-rear wishbone breakage halfway through the session: “I have a suspension failure,” he reported.

Rosberg set the pace in this session, his 1m06.516s being 0.245s clear of Verstappen.

Eliminated were the Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer, as well as Rio Haryanto (Manor), Kvyat and the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Austrian Grand Prix qualifying
  Driver Laps Q1 Q2 Q3
01   L. Hamilton 21 1:06.947 1:06.228 1:07.922
02   N. Rosberg 20 1:06.516 1:06.403 1:08.465
03   N. Hülkenberg 25 1:07.385 1:07.257 1:09.285
04   S. Vettel 18 1:06.761 1:06.602 1:09.781
05   J. Button 22 1:07.653 1:07.572 1:09.900
06   K. Räikkönen 21 1:07.240 1:06.940 1:09.901
07   D. Ricciardo 20 1:07.500 1:06.840 1:09.980
08   V. Bottas 18 1:07.148 1:06.911 1:10.440
09   M. Verstappen 17 1:07.131 1:06.866 1:11.153
10   F. Massa 21 1:07.419 1:07.145 1:11.977
11   E. Gutiérrez 18 1:07.660 1:07.578  
12   P. Wehrlein 17 1:07.565 1:07.700  
13   R. Grosjean 19 1:07.662 1:07.850  
14   F. Alonso 12 1:07.671 1:08.154  
15   C. Sainz 10 1:07.618    
16   S. Pérez 5 1:07.657    
17   K. Magnussen 10 1:07.941    
18   J. Palmer 9 1:07.965    
19   Rio Haryanto 11 1:08.026    
20   D. Kvyat 8 1:08.409    
21   M. Ericsson 12 1:08.418    
22   F. Nasr 13 1:08.446    
Source: Motorsport.com

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