Valtteri Bottas claimed his second career pole position – his first in Spielberg and second of the 2017 season – and the team’s seventh in nine races this year. Lewis Hamilton was third quickest – and will provisionally start Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix from eighth. Valtteri completed a single run on SuperSoft in Q1, then two UltraSoft runs in both Q2 and Q3. Lewis completed one run in Q1 (Ultra), two runs in Q2 (Super) and two runs in Q3 (Ultra).
What a special feeling. It’s only the second pole for me and hopefully there’s more to come. It was a good lap in Q3, if not quite perfect. Today was all about building up the confidence in the car. I got it set up nicely and it’s great to get the second pole position of my career. I’m going to focus on my own race, rather than looking behind me tomorrow, but we will not underestimate the Ferraris. It’s going to be close and should be an interesting fight. Hopefully Lewis can fight back and we can score strong points for the team. The weather could be important tomorrow but starting first, I won’t complain if the rain stays away. The car feels great, especially on high fuel, and I’m ready to win. That’s the only target. It’s been too long since Russia.
It’s been a frustrating day for me. I had a chance to be fastest today and I didn’t quite put it all together on that final lap in Q3. I’m disappointed with my performance in Q3: it would have been great to do a better lap but it obviously wasn’t meant to be. Valtteri did a fantastic job though to take pole. The gearbox issue hasn’t played on my mind during the weekend but after qualifying you realise you’re starting further back. I think it will be tough to make progress tomorrow. The pack is a lot closer than in 2014 when I fought up to P2. But perhaps the weather can come into play. I’ll work as hard as I can to recover and try get as many points as possible. We still have great pace and the car has been fantastic here, so I know I’ve got the car to do the job. Let’s see how it all plays out tomorrow.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Mixed emotions after qualifying today. Valtteri did the perfect job this afternoon – he built up his performance through the session and his second pole position is a good reward. He has lost out on positions by tiny margins this year, so it’s great to see him claim pole by a few hundredths this time round. As for Lewis, we knew he had a bit of a mountain to climb with the grid penalty for the gearbox change. His pace in Q2 on the super soft tyre showed that he is in good shape for tomorrow – but unfortunately he lost some time in Turn 1 on his final lap and that meant he finished the session P3. But he will start the race on the super soft tyre, so he has options for the race. I think all the pieces are in place for a really exciting Grand Prix, with a chance that the weather could mix things up as well.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport