Hamilton masterclass claims wet-weather pole

Last Updated: 11/07/20 3:55pm

Lewis Hamilton claimed a brilliant first pole of the 2020 season with a wet-weather masterclass in treacherous track conditions at the Styrian GP.

A week on from being beaten to pole by team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Austria and then finishing a penalised fourth in the race, a breathtaking Hamilton claimed pole by a massive 1.2-second margin from Red Bull rival Max Verstappen in a delayed qualifying hour.

Verstappen was challenging Hamilton on the final lap but a half-spin at the final corner put paid to the Dutchman’s pole ambitions. In any case, the Mercedes world champion was going significantly faster on his lap behind.

Continuing McLaren’s fine start to the season, Carlos Sainz was third for McLaren ahead of early championship leader Bottas.

Esteban Ocon took fifth for Renault as he outqualified Daniel Ricciardo at the second attempt.

Different track conditions, but Ferrari again struggled badly at the Red Bull Ring.

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Torrential rain resulted in an early end to the F3 race and put today’s qualifying ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix in doubt.

Torrential rain resulted in an early end to the F3 race and put today’s qualifying ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix in doubt.

Sebastian Vettel was 10th while Charles Leclerc this time dropped out in Q2, with the Monegasque 11th just ahead of Williams’ impressive George Russell.

Heavy rain had played havoc with Saturday’s initial track running at the Red Bull Ring.

The F3 race in morning started on schedule but was red-flagged and eventually called off, while F1’s Practice Three session did not start at all.

And although the weather improved in the hour before qualifying was due to begin, heavy rain started to fall once more in the minutes before the session and the start of Q1 was put on hold for three quarters of an hour.

More to follow…

The new Formula 1 season is underway in dramatic style on Sky Sports F1 and continues this week with the second race at the Red Bull Ring – the Styrian GP. Find out more & subscribe.

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