Leclerc leads Hamilton, Verstappen to take Austrian GP pole

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc took pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, edging Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and last year’s winner Max Verstappen in a Red Bull in qualifying Saturday.

It is Leclerc’s second career pole, after starting first at the GP in Bahrain in March. He missed out on what looked like a certain victory in that race because of engine problems with 10 laps left.

The Monegasque driver, who also led the final practice earlier Saturday, set a track record of 1 minute, 3:003 seconds. He was 0.259 faster than Hamilton, with Verstappen 0.436 behind.

Hamilton, however, was under investigation by stewards after he appeared to impede Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in Q1.

It’s Ferrari’s first pole in an Austrian GP since Michael Schumacher got it in 2003, but it was a bittersweet success as Sebastian Vettel had to skip the final qualifying round with an engine problem and will start in 10th.

Near the end of Q1, Daniil Kvyat narrowly avoided crashing into Williams’ George Russell, the last of four slower cars which appeared in front of him coming out of a turn.


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