Lewis Hamilton feels a mistake on his opening flying lap in the pole position shootout cost him against Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas but was content to secure a front row lockout.

The defending Formula 1 world champion could only manage third on the times after his opening lap in Q3, behind Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, after running wide on the exit of turn 4 before having to steer against a power slide.



Hamilton felt without a banker lap to rely on for his final lap he had to be more conservative than his Mercedes teammate which saw him miss out by just 0.019s.

Despite being denied his fourth pole position of the year, Hamilton was still pleased to keep clear of the chasing pack in order to start from the front row and provide Mercedes with a front row clean sweep for the second race running.

“Right at the end, I think I made a mistake on the first run,” Hamilton said. “When you don’t have your first lap as a banker, you kind of go from scratch on the second one. It always helps when you get a good first lap in, you can try to improve on it.

“The next one was really good, and obviously it was quite close between us which I’m happy about. Still a 1-2 for the team.

“Congratulations to Valtteri, he did a fantastic job to be on pole today. It had gone relatively well, a good weekend, pace was relatively good throughout qualifying. It was obviously very close between us all.”

Hamilton starts one place ahead of closest F1 world title rival Sebastian Vettel and the German driver will be under the spotlight at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix after clattering into Bottas at the first corner last weekend at the French race while looking to pressurise the Mercedes pair.


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