Charles Leclerc scored the second pole position of his Formula 1 career in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday, following his first in Bahrain earlier this year. It was Ferrari’s third pole of the season.

- Leclerc set two laps good enough for pole as he led both Q2 and Q3 for Ferrari, and hailed a change in his approach to qualifying that started last weekend in France as being the key to his success.

- The 21-year-old was left to lead Ferrari in Q3 after teammate Sebastian Vettel was sidelined for the final session by an engine pneumatic issue, preventing him from taking part in the final stage. Vettel will start P9 on Sunday after penalties are applied, with both Ferrari drivers set to start on Soft tyres.

- The other front-runners in Austria all opted to go through Q2 on Mediums, including Max Verstappen and the Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Bottas said after qualifying he thought it would open up more strategy options to Mercedes in what is anticipated to be a hot race on Sunday.

- Hamilton qualified second for Mercedes, but will drop to fourth on the grid due to a penalty for impeding Kimi Raikkonen in Q1. Hamilton said after qualifying that he “totally deserved” the penalty that dropped him off the front row.

- The three-place penalty was not applied in full due to Kevin Magnussen’s grid drop for a gearbox change. Hamilton theoretically dropped into Magnussen’s slot before the grid was bunched, meaning he stayed ahead of Lando Norris.

- Hamilton’s penalty promoted Max Verstappen up to P2 to mark the Dutchman’s best Saturday result of the year. It also offers the youngest front row in F1 history – both Leclerc and Verstappen are 21 years old – as well as being Honda’s first front row start since San Marino 2006.

- Valtteri Bottas was left lamenting a communication mix-up with his engineer in Q3 that left him in traffic for his final lap. Bottas confirmed the team had discussed what happened soon after the session, ensuring it won’t happen again in the future.

- Even with his penalty, Kevin Magnussen was overjoyed with his charge to fifth for Haas in qualifying after a foot-perfect lap that saw him lead the midfield. Magnussen’s celebrations were so wild that he almost forgot to go into fuel-saving mode on his cool-down lap.

- Alfa Romeo turned in its best qualifying display of the year as both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi reached Q3, finishing P7 and P8 respectively.

Pierre Gasly was left ruing a mistake at Turn 1 on his final Q3 lap that prevented him from improving, dropping him all the way back to P9 after a flurry of improvements.

- Renault had a difficult day as Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg both dropped out in Q2, complaining of a lack of front-end downforce on their car.

George Russell was hit with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat during Q1, with the pair almost colliding. Russell will start P18 tomorrow – one place higher than he qualified – due to bigger penalties for Alexander Albon and Carlos Sainz after engine changes. Add in Hamilton and Magnussen, and one-quarter of the grid has a penalty of some sort.

- Max Verstappen was asked in the post-qualifying press conference if he could reveal any further details about suggestions he had an escape clause in his Red Bull contract for 2019. “What do you think, buddy?” was his wry response.

- Hamilton was asked soon before that question if he would be open to having Verstappen as a teammate at Mercedes next year. Hamilton said it was the first he had heard of the rumour, but added he’d be open to going up against anybody.

- Honda youngster Nobuharu Matsushita grabbed victory in Formula 2’s Feature Race on Saturday ahead of Luca Ghiotto and Nyck de Vries. With Nicholas Latifi failing to score, de Vries has opened up a 29-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship.

- F1 junior team members scored a one-two-three in Formula 3 on Saturday, led by Red Bull youngster Juri Vips. Renault junior Max Fewtrell took P2, while Ferrari Driver Academy member Marcus Armstrong completed the podium.

- A number of former F1 drivers including Jos Verstappen, Helmut Marko and Jean Alesi will take part in a supercar legends parade tomorrow in Spielberg as part of the pre-race events.

- The Austrian Grand Prix begins at 1510 CET on Sunday (1410 BST). 



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