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Austrian GP: Qualifying notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
08/07/2017

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set fastest time in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, using the purple ultrasoft tyre to go nearly two seconds faster than the best time in qualifying last year.

His team mate Lewis Hamilton will start from eighth on the grid following a penalty but used an alternative strategy by selecting the supersoft tyre to set his best time in Q2. This means that he is the only one in the top 10 to start the grand prix tomorrow on this compound, which should allow him to run a longer first stint than his direct rivals.

Strategy is obviously going to be directly influenced by the weather though, with the unpredictable conditions expected to remain tomorrow. If the race is dry, a one-stop strategy is likely for most competitors.

Mario Isola: "The main point of strategic interest today was Lewis Hamilton's decision to run an alternative strategy, which may have been influenced by his grid penalty. By running a long opening stint on the supersoft, he gives himself the option to go with either the ultrasoft or the soft to the end, depending on the race circumstances. It looks like a one-stop strategy will be the preferred choice tomorrow, but of course this depends on the weather conditions as well, which still appear to be uncertain. Once again, we saw the speed of the latest regulations here in Austria: pole was nearly two seconds faster than the quickest time from qualifying last year."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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