Nico Rosberg qualified third and Lewis Hamilton ninth for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg;
- Both drivers progressed comfortably through Q1 (Lewis fastest) and Q2 (Nico fastest) while saving sets of new tyres.
- Nico qualified P3 with a time set on his first run; on his second, he was forced to slow for yellow flags.
- Lewis failed to set a time in Q3 after a mistake at Turn 8 on his first run and a spin at Turn 2 on his second run.
- Pole position for Williams-Mercedes marks the eighth consecutive pole in 2014 for Mercedes-Benz power.
Nico Rosberg: “That was not a great Qualifying for us. I didn’t get the second quick lap in Q3 when Lewis spun in front of me at Turn 2 and I had to slow down for the yellow flags. For sure, from our point of view it makes life harder that the Williams are starting in front of us and I must say well done to them – they have been quick all weekend and took their opportunity today. But I am still feeling confident for tomorrow. We have worked hard to find the best set-up for the race – my balance wasn’t perfect in Qualifying, with a bit too much understeer, but I hope it will settle down tomorrow. This track has a few good opportunities for overtaking and I think it’s going to be a very interesting race.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I just didn’t finish a lap in Q3 today – sometimes you get it all together, sometimes you don’t and today I didn’t get the job done. The feeling in the car has been good all weekend and I think we had the pace. My first lap in Q3 was looking good before I went wide in the second-to-last corner, and I think that lap would probably have done it. Then on the second run, I hit the brakes into Turn 2 and just locked the rears; I still need to look at the data to see exactly what happened. It’s a long race and I need to try and recover as much as I can from this loss. The shot for the win will be very hard so I guess it’s mainly a case of damage limitation; I will be doing all I can to put myself in a strong position and to get good points for the team. Congratulations to Williams as well; I’m very happy for Felipe and his pole position.”
Toto Wolff: “First of all, congratulations to Williams on today’s result with the front row lockout – they really deserve it. Today we simply didn’t get the job done well enough. Things got off to a messy start with a tricky Third Practice session and it was clear that the Option tyre would be hard to switch on for the timed lap. Lewis’ first try in Q3 would probably have been good enough for pole without a mistake in the final sector, which meant that his time was cancelled, then he had the spin on the second run. Nico wasn’t happy with the car balance through the session, complaining of too much understeer, then he had to slow for the yellow flags on his last flying lap. But there’s no point talking about what might have been; what we have is P3 and P9 on the grid. It will be a long, tough race tomorrow; we need to get every detail right if we want to recover and score a strong result.”
Paddy Lowe: “It was a reasonably good Q1 and Q2 for us, although it was clear that the Williams were looking good, particularly on the Option tyre. In Q3, Lewis was ahead with his first lap but ran wide at Turn 8, so that lap was disqualified and left him under pressure for his final run. He had a lock-up at Turn 2 and it’s still not clear exactly why that was, so we will be looking closely at the data. Nico didn’t get a good run on his first lap, so was also pushing hard on his final lap, but was caught out by the yellow flags and ended up P3. All credit to Williams – it’s their first front row since 2003. We have a lot of work to do to get to the front with both cars but we’ll be working hard to do that.”
(Mercedes AMG-Petronas F1)