Lewis Hamilton secured an impressive 54th pole position in qualifying today, but the front-row will have a very different look to it as Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg will start alongside the Mercedes for the race tomorrow.
The qualifying session was a tricky one, with a drying track seeing the cars in Q3 get gradually faster. It created a situation in which drivers had to risk finding grip, and ultimately, Lewis Hamilton put together a well measured lap.
Another great story for Qualifying, and in particular McLaren fans, was that Jenson Button managed to qualify 5th. That’s the furthest up the grid we’ve seen the McLaren in a very long time. Nico Rosberg qualified 2nd, but a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change in practice demotes him to 7th on the grid, the implications for the drivers championship shifts in Hamilton’s favor.
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) July 2, 2016
Rosberg’s penalty promotes Hulkenberg’s Force India to 2nd, and Vettel’s penalty promotes Button to 3rd. The session sets up an awesome race for tomorrow, with Rosberg and Vettel looking to fight their way back up the order from 7th and 9th respectively, whilst Hulkenberg and Button will be desperate to cling onto their starting positions.
— Nico Hülkenberg (@HulkHulkenberg) July 2, 2016
Elsewhere, Pascal Wehrlein had an excellent session and qualified his Manor car in 12th, whilst Daniil Kvyat had a major accident in Q3, his suspension breaking over the sharp Austrian curbs. The weather played a part in qualifying and is set to destabilize the Austrian GP tomorrow.
— Pascal Wehrlein (@PWehrlein) July 2, 2016