F1: Austrian Grand Prix – live!
- Lap-by-lap updates from the ninth race of the season
- Email Tom here, or tweet him here, if you fancy
- Bottas takes pole while Hamilton starts from eighth
There’s talk of 60%-80% chance of rain this afternoon, according to the weather boffins. In other bits of news, F1 official have tweeted that Pascal Wehrlin starts today’s race from the pit lane following a turbo charger change, and Kimi Raikkonen has been called “a bit of a laggard” by his Ferrari chairman, Sergio Marchionne, who thinks the Finn needs to do more for the team as contract negotiations for next year step up. “I think Kimi has got to show a higher level of commitment to the process,” Marchionne roared. “There are days when I think he’s a bit of a laggard, but we’ll see. I am going to talk to him today, we’ll see what happens.”
Gimmicky national dress stereotyping news:
There are huge swathes of Dutch orange in the crowd, around 12,000, at the Red Bull Ring – a big turnout from the Max Verstappen ultras; don’t usually see that level of mass colour-wearing at F1 arenas.
Toto Wolff pops in front of the cameras for a chat. He’s asked about Bottas’s place in the Mercedes pecking order, given that he’s on pole and on form. “Lewis is far ahead [in the standings],” he reples, “but Valtteri has every chance to win the race and even for Lewis it’s beneficial if Valtteri takes points from Sebastian, we will have to see how it pans out.” As for Hamilton, he’s “a very sensitive person, these things affect him – the head rest problems [in Baku], the gearbox, the incident with Sebastian , it affects him. The most important things for him is to make his way through the cars, past Grosjean and Pérez – but it’s going to be very tough.”
The Vettel-Hamilton incident two weeks ago is the prime topic of discussion on Sky’s early coverage. Here’s what the estimable Richard Williams had to say about it this week:
Afternoon everyone. So, can a season that has already recorded an above-average twists-and-turns tally add a few more today? It feels as if the Vettel-Hamilton stramash in Baku has brought the campaign to the boil, even if both have struck a more emollient tone towards each other in recent days. Hamilton has fewer reasons to be cheerful though, hampered as he is this time by that five-place grid penalty for his forced gearbox change.
It might seem easy to forget, amid all the post-Azerbaijan hullabaloo, that neither Vettel nor Hamilton came close to winning the actual race in Baku, which was eventful enough in its own right, with debris on track, a race suspension, and storming performances from the winner, Daniel Ricciardo, and Valtteri Bottas in second, both of whom came from well back with drives of great judgment and skill. Which serves as a reminder of the quality barring Hamilton’s path as the Briton starts from eighth. The likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen in front of him will be no pushovers – all have had their moments this season.
Source: Formula 1