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Lewis Hamilton hopes that his tyre life advantage in the early part of Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix can help him fight back from a grid penalty and battle Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel on-track in Spielberg.

Hamilton took third place in Austria qualifying behind Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Vettel, meaning he will drop to eighth after his grid penalty.

Mercedes was forced to change the gearbox on Hamilton's car following the last race in Azerbaijan, triggering a five-place grid penalty.

Hamilton was full of praise for his rivals in Q3 after finishing two-tenths off the pole time, leaving him content with third on the grid.

"Firstly congratulations to Valtteri, he did a fantastic job and has been driving well all weekend," Hamilton said.

"Obviously Sebastian is very quick this weekend so I'm happy to be third. Of course I would loved to have improved my lap but just wasn't to be today.

Hamilton managed to get through Q2 on the super-soft tyre, with his other rivals on ultra-softs, meaning he will be able to go longer into the race before pitting despite having a pace disadvantage.

"I'll do the best job I can," Hamilton said. "I obviously want to try and get up there and get a one-two with Valtteri so I'll do the best job I can to get further up.

"I have the super-soft tomorrow but I think it's generally a slower tyre than they are on but can maybe go longer. We will see."

 

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