Massa leads Williams front-row at the Red Bull Ring

AustrianGP 2014 qualifying

Felipe Massa ended his six-year pole position drought by claiming the top slot at the Red Bull Ring circuit.

The 2008 runner-up produced a well-timed Q3 lap to knock his Williams  team-mate Valtteri Bottas off top spot in the final moments of qualifying, giving him pole by just under a tenth of a second.

This was the Brazilian’s first pole since that championship deciding Brazilian Grand Prix back in 2008 and the first for Williams since Nico Hulkenberg at the same circuit four years ago.

World championship leader Nico Rosberg was third quickest for Mercedes after failing to improve on his final attempt, but while he missed out on top spot he will be happy to see his title rival Lewis Hamilton down in ninth position.

Hamilton’s first run in Q3, which would have been good enough for fifth, was disallowed for exceeding track limits at the exit of Turn 8 after the rear stepped out.

His second attempt was ruined by a spin at Turn 2, meaning that he did not set a Q3 time, putting him ahead of only the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was just over half-a-second off the pace in fourth position.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth quickest ahead of McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, with Daniil Kvyat a superb seventh for Toro Rosso.

Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest of those actually to register a lap time in Q2, ending up in eighth place.

Sergio Perez was P11 after being bumped out of a Q3 position late on, missing out by just under a tenth of a second.

But he will start the Austrian Grand Prix in P16 thanks to the five-place grid penalty he received for causing a collision with Massa in the Canadian Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

The Mexican’s former team-mate Jenson Button, whose practice session was ruined by a rear brake problem, and Sebastian Vettel, whose lack of pace in the final sector cost him, were just behind Perez.

This was a disappointing performance by the defending world champion. Yet again, Sebastian Vettel was out-qualified by his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The defending champion will start in unlucky P13.

Pastor Maldonado out-qualified Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean for the first time this year, the pair sandwiching Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.

Adrian Sutil was the fastest of those to be knocked out in Q1, ending up just four-thousandths slower than Maldonado.

He was comfortably ahead of Sauber team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, with Jules Bianchi P19.

Kamui Kobayashi did a good job to split the Marussias, a tenth quicker than Max Chilton, with Marcus Ericsson unable to improve on his second run and ending up last.

Numerous drivers had lap times automatically disallowed during the session for running wide beyond track limits at the exit of Turn 8 as the race stewards act tough on the drivers exploiting the circuit.

So a fantastic achievement by Williams. Their first front row lock-out since the 2003 German Grand Prix. Sunday’s race is going to be fascinating.

Qualifying positions, Red Bull Ring:

1. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes    1m08.759s
2. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes    1m08.846s
3. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m08.944s
4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m09.285s
5. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault     1m09.466s
6. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes     1m09.515s
7. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault   1m09.619s
8. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari              1m10.795s
9. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             No time
10. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes No time
11. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m09.780s
12. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m09.801s
13. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault        1m09.939s
14. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault   1m10.073s
15. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m10.642s
16. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes 1m09.754s*
17. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari       1m10.825s
18. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m11.349s
19. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari     1m11.412s
20. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault     1m11.673s
21. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari     1m11.775s
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault     1m12.673s

107 per cent time: 1m14.379s

*Five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Felipe Massa at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

6 thoughts to “Massa leads Williams front-row at the Red Bull Ring”

  1. Williams Racing’s Felipe Massa admitted that this pole position was ’emotional’. has the news story.

    Felipe Massa admitted securing pole position for the Austrian Grand prix was a very emotional moment for him after a drought of nearly five years.

    The Williams driver beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas to the top spot to grab his first Formula 1 pole position since the 2008 Brazilian GP.

    It was Massa’s 16th F1 pole and also the first for Williams since the 2012 Spanish GP.

    “I am so happy with what has happened today,” said Massa. “For our team was such a great moment. It was already a long time ago when I had my last pole position, which was in Brazil 2008, so it’s such an incredible moment.

    “For sure we need to concentrate on the race tomorrow. It will be a difficult and important race for us.

    “The best place to be is here, the first place. It is something I got the chance to be many times in my whole career and I am again now.

    “I am happy, very emotional. I am so pleased for me and Williams as well.”

    Massa admitted the threat from championship frontrunner Mercedes is a big consideration for Sunday’s race, but he said he will do anything possible to try to secure his first win in nearly five years.

    “We cannot forget what Mercedes have been doing until now,” he said. “We cannot forget they have been ahead. At the moment they are in front, they are stronger and I hope during the championship we can close or even pass.

    “We start in a better position and we need to see how Mercedes will be in the race but we will try everything we can, definitely.”

    Bottas was also delighted with the result, but is equally aware that keeping Mercedes behind will not be easy.

    “I am really happy for us as a team with this result,” said Bottas. “It is really good at this point.

    “It is only Saturday but we can see all the hard work starts to pay off and I am really happy for us.

    “The race is tomorrow. We need to focus on that. It will be a different story to keep the Mercedes behind, and other cars like Ferrari and Red Bull will be strong.

    “Not a bad day but we need to stay focused.”

  2. Championship leader Nico Rosberg commented that his team-mate Lewis Hamilton spin cost him the chance to challenge for pole position. has the details.

    Nico Rosberg says Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s spin at the end of Austrian Grand Prix qualifying cost him his final pole shot.

    Hamilton went off at Turn 2 at the end of Q3 at the Red Bull Ring and will start only ninth as his previous lap – which was slow in any case due to an error – was disallowed for a track limits infringement.

    But despite his title rival being out of action, Rosberg was unable to continue Mercedes’ pole run and had to settle for third behind the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

    Rosberg’s first Q3 run had been slower than the Grove cars, and he then abandoned his second bid when he came across the yellow flags for Hamilton’s incident.

    “My lap didn’t come together perfectly, to be honest,” said Rosberg.

    “I also lost out because of Lewis spinning on that lap.

    “You have to lift off by two or three tenths of a second [for the yellows]. It would not have been possible to improve my laptime.

    “That definitely cost me today, but that is the way it is.”

    The F1 championship leader admitted he had not expected to find himself behind two Williams on the grid.

    “I definitely didn’t expect the Williams to be ahead of me today,” said Rosberg. “They did a great job.

    “Third place is OK to start from tomorrow. I am looking forward to it.”

  3. As for Lewis Hamilton, the British driver was baffled by his Q3 spin. The Mercedes star will start the Austrian Grand Prix in ninth place. has the story.

    Lewis Hamilton admitted he had no idea what caused the spin that left him only ninth on the Austrian Grand Prix grid.

    As Williams took a shock front-row sweep with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, Formula 1’s dominant force Mercedes had to settle for third with championship leader Rosberg, while both Hamilton’s Q3 runs went awry.

    The Briton’s first attempt was wasted when he made a mistake at Turn 8 and ran off the track, leading to what was already a slow time being disallowed for breaching track limits rules.

    Hamilton then spun off under braking for Turn 2 on his final pole shot.

    Asked if he could explain the incident, Hamilton replied: “I can’t really. I just spun.

    “I hit the brakes and locked the rears.

    “I’m not really sure [why] – I have to look at the data.”

    He remains optimistic that he can recover in Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring.

    “I’m OK, it’s a long race tomorrow,” said Hamilton.

    “There aren’t that many corners here but there are long straights and we have the best engine, so hopefully I’ll be able to work my way up.”

    Although Hamilton did not set a time in Q3, he moved up from 10th to ninth as Nico Hulkenberg’s lap was disallowed for a track limits infringement.

  4. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso admitted that fourth place flatters the team’s performance. has the details.

    Fernando Alonso concedes it will be difficult to defend fourth place in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, admitting Ferrari’s grid position is “not realistic”.

    The Spaniard qualified in fourth position, equalling his best qualifying result of the 2014 Formula 1 season.

    Alonso finished just a tenth behind F1 championship leader Nico Rosberg and beat both the Red Bulls and the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

    But he admitted the circumstances helped his cause and felt fourth place was flattering to Ferrari.

    “It was not a normal qualifying, which is probably what we took advantage of, because it’s not normal to see Hamilton behind us, for example,” said Alonso.

    “So we need to be proud of the position.

    “We need to be calm about the result because we were 1.1 seconds behind the Mercedes this morning.

    “Now we have one Mercedes at one tenth [ahead] and one Mercedes behind, so I don’t think everybody used their full potential because the conditions were a little bit tricky.

    “Red Bull has been very competitive, especially on Sundays, so I expect [Daniel] Ricciardo and [Sebastian] Vettel, with all the new tyres he has now, to have a strong race. So it’s going to be difficult to keep fourth.”

    Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had another difficult qualifying and finished in eighth position, over 1.5s off Alonso’s pace.

    The Finn said he was unable to put a good lap together.

    “I had been struggling at the first corner a lot and couldn’t get it right,” he said. “I locked up and had a flat-spot at the first corner and lost a lot of time because there were a lot of vibrations. It was difficult to get one lap together.

    “I think speed-wise it wasn’t too bad if I could have put a lap together, but I just really struggled to do that.”

  5. This was a disappointing qualifying for the defending world champion. Sebastian Vettel commented that there was no secrets to a lack of speed in the Red Bull. has the news story.

    Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel says there are “no secrets” as to why he failed to qualify inside the top 10 for the Austrian Grand Prix.

    The Red Bull driver failed to graduate from the second segment of qualifying by just under two tenths of a second, after setting only the 13th fastest time in Q2.

    The German will start 12th on account of a grid penalty for Sergio Perez, but feels he could not have done much more to go quicker.

    “There are no secrets – I think generally it’s been quite tight, but [I was] not quick enough to go amongst the fastest group of cars,” Vettel said.

    “Basically I did the same lap twice so it’s not as if there was a lot left [in the tank].

    “There’s always the feeling when you cross the line that you should have been a bit better here or there, but arguably not enough to get me through.

    “We get an extra set of tyres for tomorrow and hopefully that will help us to move up.

    “I think generally on pace it will be tricky but I think there is a chance to pass other cars.”

    Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo outqualified Vettel for the sixth time in eight races and ended up fifth on the grid, but was surprised Red Bull has struggled to be competitive around the Red Bull Ring so far.

    “We were a bit surprised, we didn’t expect to be fighting that hard to get top five and make it into Q3,” Ricciardo said.

    “I’m not really sure why – I think credit to the other teams, they’ve found some pace, and it’s the second sector with the few fast corners where we thought we would have more of an edge, but they’re pretty much onto us.

    “I hope some have put all their eggs in the qualifying basket. We weren’t able to get the tyres turned on as quick as other teams, [so] we chose to do two more out-laps just to try and get the tyres ready.

    “In terms of long runs and with a bit more track temperature tomorrow it should come towards us, but today I think the top guys were able to extract a bit more from the tyres.”

  6. Felipe Massa hoped to give Brazil another victory to celebrate after a little bit of Neymar magic rubbed off on him as he put his Williams on pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday.

    The popular Brazilian’s first pole since 2008, when he was with Ferrari and a year before he suffered near fatal head injuries in Hungary, was a Formula One feel-good story for Austria’s first race in 11 years.

    When he left Ferrari at the end of last year, it seemed to many that Massa’s best years were behind him and that he might have few highlights ahead with a team that scored just five points in all of 2013.

    The prospects look a lot brighter now.

    “The race is tomorrow but I’m so happy, very emotional – not just for me but I think it’s a similar feeling what I feel and what Williams feel as well,” the driver told reporters.

    “Williams had an incredible career in the past and they are back to the top, they are back to the fight.

    “Being the quickest on the track against everybody, it’s always the best feeling a driver can have. A driver always works and fights to achieve this. It’s definitely a great moment, this qualifying,” he added.

    Massa has also not won a race since 2008, when he triumphed in front of his home crowd in Sao Paulo and then finished as overall runner-up to Lewis Hamilton, but that wait could also end on Sunday.

    The Brazilian hoped that could be a good omen for his country’s World Cup clash with Cameroon in Brasilia on Monday.

    “There is a lot going on in Brazil in this moment so I really expect that we can have a great show, a great show for everybody which is looking, you know the World Cup in Brazil,” he said.

    Massa revealed that his son, Felipinho, had given him a little figurine of the man all Brazil hopes will be a winner – soccer striker Neymar.

    “Just before I go to the car my son gave me a little Neymar,” the Brazilian continued, saying he had put it on the side of his helmet.

    “I’m a great fan of football, so I hope we can have a great World Cup. I know what it is to win at home so I can imagine winning the World Cup at home is like a dream come true, not just for the players but also for everybody which is watching,” he said.

    Source: Reuters

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