Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2018

2018 Austrian Grand Prix grid

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas leads the final starting grid for the Austrian Grand Prix:

Row 1 1. Valtteri Bottas 1’03.130
2. Lewis Hamilton 1’03.149
Row 2 3. Kimi Raikkonen 1’03.660
4. Max Verstappen 1’03.840
Red Bull
Row 3 5. Romain Grosjean 1’03.892
6. Sebastian Vettel* 1’03.464
Row 4 7. Daniel Ricciardo 1’03.996
Red Bull
8. Kevin Magnussen 1’04.051
Row 5 9. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’04.725
10. Nico Hulkenberg 1’05.019
Row 6 11. Esteban Ocon 1’04.845
Force India
12. Pierre Gasly 1’04.874
Toro Rosso
Row 7 13. Lance Stroll 1’05.286
14. Stoffel Vandoorne 1’05.271
Row 8 15. Sergio Perez 1’05.279
Force India
16. Sergey Sirotkin 1’05.322
Row 9 17. Charles Leclerc** 1’04.979
18. Marcus Ericsson 1’05.479
Row 10 19. Brendon Hartley*** 1’05.366
Toro Rosso
20. Fernando Alonso**** 1’05.058

*Three-place grid penalty for impeding Carlos Sainz Jnr
**Five-place grid penalty for gearbox change
***Required to start from the back due to power unit change
****Required to start from the pits due to front wing change

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “2018 Austrian Grand Prix grid”

  1. Well done Bottas.
    Also, does it annoy anyone else that the midfield teams in Q3 usually have their fastest laps in Q2 and seem to not hugely push in Q3? Unless they can challenge the Red Bulls like Haas today. Always see Renault/Force India going slower.

    1. The partymode cant be run multiple sessions.

    2. @hugh11 Yes, I’ve noticed that as well.

    3. @hugh11, quite a bit of the time it seems that is because those teams have pushed so hard to get into Q3 that they’ve often blown their entire tyre allocation by the end of Q2 and they’re left using inevitably slower worn sets. It just so happens that, this weekend, Haas were quick enough to make it through with one set of fresh tyres left, so they could at least get one quick lap in.

    4. Well done?? It’s the same micro. management which I expected. Hamilton once again complains about his setup as bottas benefits from that disadvantage.

      Too subtle? Mercedes is again trying to engineer a bottas win which a only advantage their rivals. Let’s see what Bottas makes of Hamilton’s disadvantage.

      1. Pffff….

      2. Get a life!

      3. Surely you can’t believe what you just wrote

        1. Yes i don’t believe what i’ve written, This is has been hallmark of Mercedes man management..

          Wolf was door-stopped by channel 4, he’d been in a meeting with Hamilton. The question of Hamilton’s
          contract was raised by the interviewer. Wolf let slip Hamilton’s concerns about his poor set-up. Bottas on the other hand had the car just how he wanted it. Talk about your negotiation skills.

          There was a similar situation the last time Bottas ‘out-drove’ Hamilton. Once again Hamilton’s car was poorly
          set-up. In fact the slow motion cameras showed his rears were under-preassure, this would have affected the car’s handling, so that even the best driver would have found it difficult to correct without knowning quite what was going on. Subtle but enough to affect the outcome.

          Mercedes can’t order Hamilton to drive slower or poorer, but they can undermine the performance of
          his car in subtle ways to produce their desired results.

          If Mercedes manage to loose this year’s championship, it will be down to moments like this. The fact that no one raises the obvious questions means this is likely to continue. How could they not set the car up perfectly? What excuse could they possibly muster to explain this?

          1. Maybe Bottas was just quicker than Hamilton in Q3? It is possible…

      4. Yea sure. Because he’s finish like Rosberg’s father and because Rosberg is half german they are clearly sabotaging Lewis’s car.

  2. Quietly having the best season of the entire grid. Loving Bottas more and more each weekend.

    1. The Skeptic
      30th June 2018, 15:26

      There’s no doubt that he is the quiet achiever. He gets his head down and does the job. He owned that final sector.

      The race will be interesting – potentially the first clean fight for a while. Will Mercedes “box out” Vettel in the first corner again, like they did in France? Will Bottas have the race pace needed to prevent Hamilton from overcutting him? Will Ricciardo find a way past Grosjean? Will Raikkonen be fast enough to stay in touch with the top 3, and enable some promising Ferrari strategies?

      I am looking forward to this one!

    2. @hahostolze standings say otherwise.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        30th June 2018, 19:47

        Standings reflect noting like the season Bottas has had. 9 points is a pretty realistic gap between Hamilton and Bottas if Bottas won in Baku and came 2nd in France (both were very likely without bad luck). Bottas lost 25 in Baku and lost a likely 12 in France. 2nd was very likely and he finished 7th getting 6 points. 2nd will have got 12 more. That is 37 points. Bottas currently has 92 points. 92+37=129. If you take the 7 points Hamilton gained over Bottas in Baku, that would leave him with 138.

        So, with a gap as close as 9 points, Hamilton having a similar race to he did and China with Bottas winning tomorrow could have resulted in Bottas being ahead of Hamilton in the standings. And while saying that, if he won he would have managed to get ahead of Vettel too.

        So @hahostolze ‘s comment of Bottas quietly possibly having the best season isn’t totally unrealistic to me. I personally think Hamilton and Vettel have been slightly better, but barely by anything.

        If you think I haven’t included Hamilton’s bad luck, then I can say I have thought about it. He lost out on a win in Australia due to very similar circumstances that lost Bottas a win in China. Both had equal bad luck there. Hamilton had a grid penalty in Bahrain, but 3 of the top teams cars retired. 2 were ahead and the other overtakes he did were all at once. It was an impressive looking overtake, but given how much squabbling they were doing, it slowed them down and basically made it easy for Hamilton. So I don’t think that penalty was that unlucky for Hamilton. It was also probably the easiest track of the season to overtake on. Mercedes chose the right place to replace parts that resulted in a penalty.

        So I think that without the bad luck luck Bottas had in Baku and France, he would be under 10 points behind Hamilton. All he would have needed to do to lead the championship from here would be to be first with Hamilton 3rd which wouldn’t be impossible. It is predicting what Bottas could have done a bit too much maybe, but the win in Baku looked almost certain and the 2nd place in France was very likely given the Mercedes advantage over other teams.

        As in the article Keith wrote the other day. Bottas’s points are just not a true reflection of his performance this season. Though I don’t think he’s been the best driver this year, I wouldn’t be against it if some people do think he has been.

        1. @thegianthogweed

          Totally agree with you, he is missing luck as @hahostolze said he’s having the best season of the entire gird, no he isn’t or he’d be leading the standings. It would be more correct in saying he driving the best or something like that…

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            30th June 2018, 22:02

            Ah sorry i misunderstood what you meant. Yes, different words could have been used.

    3. He could do with a couple of lucky style Hamilton race freebies and he’ll be right back up there.

  3. What happened with the Vettel blocking investigation?

    1. He will meet the stewards in half an hour from now.

    2. Fairly certain the FIA will let it slide. Maybe not even a reprimand or a word of discussion.

      1. “I passed him on my fast lap, and then I was looking down in the main straight and didn’t see him. I thought he must be there somewhere into Turn One but as it turned out he was trying to go for a fast lap but I couldn’t see him and I wasn’t told over the radio so I can only apologize to him”.

        “It wasn’t my intention”.

        1. Case closed then. No further action required.

        2. This. And Sainz even said that too, for Vettel, lol.

    3. He will walk out without any action taken against castrated horses driver but other driver might get warned.

      1. So that turned out a bit different than we thought @todfod, @budchekov, didn’t it?

        Not sure how I feel about it; for blocking, do we look at the action (as with other penalty worthy incidents) or at the consequence (sainz getting through to q3). Feeling says the latter, as it was judged afterward, but stewards chose first, which I guess is consistent.

  4. That’s 3 tenths off in a 63 second lap. This doesn’t look good for the rest of the season unless Ferrari has some good upgrades coming.

    1. Merc looks mighty again. I heard they are bringing stage 2 updates for Silverstone, i expect a 0.5 gap to the Ferraris there.

      1. It could be close to a second unless Ferrari brings something as well.

  5. Ricciardo says he got screwed by Verstappen, who was supposed to give him a tow (according to Daniel).

    Sky also played some radio traffic, but that seemed to indicate Ricciardo not complying with the team agreement I think. I don’t know, but it sure smells like drama in the RedBull camp.

    1. Max was towing Daniel in France and Daniel would return the favour here. Not Sure why Daniel thought Max would tow him as they agreed Daniel tow Max.

    2. Both Horner and Verstappen said they do it strictly weekend /weekend who goes first, to avoid any other discussions; Ricciardo apparently hoped they would make an exception for this weekend (maybe because he was down already?) but seemingly they din’t actually discuss that well.

      1. Yeah, I saw the Horner interview just now where he said as much indeed.

        But why did Daniel think Verstappen was supposed to tow him then? It seems odd that Daniel would forget a team policy that has been running for 7 yrs straight, no?

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          30th June 2018, 19:50


          But Verstappen refused the team orders. If these were a team policy, why would the team be asking Verstappen to overtake to benifit Ricciardo? Given it is 3 laps, and Ricciardo only wanted 1 of the 3, I think Verstappen should have done what the team asked. Ricciardo was a bit unreasonable at first, but when the orders came, verstappen was even more unreasonable IMO.

          1. @thegianthogweed I think Verstappen did eventually comply actually.

            As I understand it it was Ricciardo’s turn to head out first during all sessions this week. RIC then slowed down on the warm-up lap because he didn’t want to be first. It seems that, actually, if anyone didn’t obey team orders it was RIC. His team told him to speed up, but Daniel refused and since they were running out of time to get a lap in, VER’s engineer told Max to just go past Daniel. Verstappen innitially refused because it wasn’t inline with the team’s policy, but then ultimately complied and overtook Daniel. They started the hot lap with only 10 seconds to spare, so had VER not done this they might not have made it. As a Daniel fan, I’m a bit perplexed at his actions tbh.

    3. @jeffreyj

      Yeah.. some interesting radio banter. Ricciardo says he doesn’t want to be the one punching the hole through the air. Then he slows right down to let Max pass. Max refuses to pass with an emphatic “No” on the radio. Finally, Max goes by and Daniel gets his tow.

  6. Good for BOT and his morale.

    0.334 ahead of the best Ferrari is enough, you know by now it’ll be a Mercedes 1-2 tomorrow if everything goes smooth in the race. Only the SC, rain, crashes might change the final order.

  7. Hopefully Vettel will take out right Mercedes tomorrow.
    Jokes Ferrari need update to get back to Mercedes. They are missing 0.2s in qualifying.
    At start of year there were couple of poles Ferrari could not convert to win. Mercedes has to make sure they avoid similar drama. And hopefully they will make right decision and let Hamilton win as it’s important Driver’s championship wise.

    1. *Jokes “apart” Ferrari

    2. And hopefully they will make right decision and let Hamilton win as it’s important Driver’s championship wise.

      Mercedes isn’t Ferrari. They should support Bottas for the win or let their drivers race.

  8. Good laps for Bottas and Grosjean.

    If Vettel doesn’t get an impeding penalty for pootling along on the racing line, then what does constitute impeding? Last race with Raikkonen it was already absurd. Why even bother looking into these incidents at all?

    1. Sainz got through to Q3 so at best it will be a reprimand.

      1. @nin13 Whiting claimed they don’t look at the consequences of the incident …

        Besides, they knew right away that Sainz was through, so why even bother “investigating” then?

        Magnussen did get a penalty for the same thing in the USA last year when he impeded Perez. Also with the sorry we didn’t know you were coming apology note from team and driver. Perez did make it through anyway.

        1. And it seems they didn’t @patrickl, @nin13, not what I expected, but there you go, a 3 place griddrop

          1. @bosyber @patrickl . FIA needs to be consistent. Similar incidences in past have gone unpunished. So now they have set a precedent.

          2. Yes, I don’t really see the consistency, compared to, for example, Kimi last race w. MAG; But maybe “I didn’t see him, knew I couldn’t see him, so assumed he wasn’t there” made them rethink approach. It isn’t a bad precedent, looking at safety, so let’s see if they keep that standard…

          3. @nin13 Like I said, Magnussen got a penalty for the exact same situation (driver not warned by the team, impeded driver not affected at all by the impeding). That was less than a full season ago.

            So it makes sense Vettel got the same penalty. Finally some consistency.

          4. @bosyber Yeah, I’m stunned. But it does make perfect sense. After they let Raikkonen off the hook in France I assumed they became more lenient, but I guess these stewards valued consistency.

            Derek Warwick is one of the more strict stewards and Garry Connelly was one of the stewards who gave MAG that penalty

        2. @bosyber

          Yes, I don’t really see the consistency, compared to, for example, Kimi last race w. MAG; But maybe “I didn’t see him, knew I couldn’t see him, so assumed he wasn’t there” made them rethink approach.

          I guess it has to do with the pressure an opposing team puts on the stewards. I wouldn’t expect the Ferrari B team to push a penalty on the Ferrari factory team. Renault however, has no allegiance with Ferrari,, so they have every right to try and push their own agenda.

    2. @patrickl

      It was one of the more obvious cases of impeding another driver.. but then again.. It’s Vettel. I would be shocked if the FIA even gave him a warning.

      1. @todfod Perhaps they changed the “rules” for 2018? What Raikkonen did in Paul Ricard also looked like a pretty clear case of impeding. But then he’s also in a Ferrari.

        1. @patrickl

          I’m shocked now.

          Wasn’t expecting this. It’s a deserved penalty… but completely unexpected. Maybe there is justice in F1 after all.

          1. @todfod I know right? Did we end up in bizarro world? :)

  9. Who will Max crash on at the start?
    Make your bets gentlemen …

    1. VER + GRO will take out the top 4, RIC will crash into them, Stroll wins!

    2. Sirotkin will hit Hamilton and Vettel in turn 1

    3. I bet he wins the race!

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