The seven-time world champion qualified third for Sunday’s race but will join his title rival and polesitter Max Verstappen on the front row after his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas’ three-place grid penalty is applied.

Hamilton, who ended up missing out on pole by 0.226s, was seen overtaking a number of his rivals in the last sector at Spielberg just before he started his final push lap in Q3.

Having failed to improve on his last run, which included a wide moment at the final sequence of corners, Hamilton admitted his queue-jumping tactic was “definitely” a mistake “in hindsight”.

“I knew that everyone was going so slow and I was worried [about] not having the tyres up to temperature but I went on all the dirty lines so I was just picking up all the dirt on the tyres,” Hamilton said.

"And then a poor exit out of the last corner, so already by Turn 1 I was a tenth down then already by Turn 3 I was two-tenths down.

“No hope in that respect and then naturally tried to overdrive to gather that time lost back but it didn’t work.”

Hamilton explained his and Mercedes’ decision to carry out an unusual Q3 strategy that saw him complete three flying lap attempts on the soft tyre instead of the typical two runs.

“I was told that I had three tyres and I could use them all so I was like yeah, I’ll throw everything at it, give it three shots in the hope to close the two-tenths to Max,” he said.

“But as I said, the last one was not great when there’s all these people out there and you’re not able to get the temperature into the tyres. But we did everything we could.”