Austrian GP: Bottas beats Hamilton to pole position

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Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position as Mercedes dominated qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix, while Ferrari had a shocking day.

Mercedes seemed unbeatable as the season re-started after a four-month delay as a result of the coronavirus. The cars, painted black this year to reflect Mercedes’ support for anti-racism, were half a second clear.

The fastest Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was in seventh as the sheer scale of their lack of performance became clear.

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel did not even make it into the final part of qualifying and the four-time world champion will start 11th.

It was a toss-up as to which was the biggest shock – the size of Mercedes’ advantage over everyone else, or how badly wrong Ferrari have got it with this year’s car.

As attention turns to the race on Sunday, there will be a question as to whether anyone can challenge Mercedes, and also a focus on F1’s stance against racism, in the wake of the focus on the issue created by protests around the world.

The drivers are to make a collective statement before the race by wearing “end racism” T-shirts, although there remains a question as to whether all of them will take a knee. (BBC Sport)

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