Lewis Hamilton Qualifying Riverdance Leaves Rivals Floundering At Styrian GP

The second race weekend of the stalled Pandemic riddled 2020 season was a return to the Austrian / Styrian GP circuit. Conditions were markedly different from last week. Heavy rain marked the start of qualifying and delayed the session as a result. When qualifying resumed the conditions were slightly better, but not by much. It rained throughout the session. Q1 saw the elimination of the usual suspects. The Alfa Romeo’s are back of the field these days. Their struggles were shared by Ferrari, Leclerc failed to make it into Q3, Vettel did so but only just.

Two races in and we already see a pattern emerging. McLaren is getting stronger. However, such a deluge that visited the Red Bull Circuit can hide many underlying issues. To that extent, is McLaren improving, or did the rain assist the performance? And such conditions witnessed at the Styrian race circuit can also bring out the very best in a driver. As demonstrated by Carlos Sainz who qualified his McLaren Renault 3rd. Teammate Lando Norris managed 6th for Sunday’s race.

Styrian Grand Prix, 2020 Qualifying

But Lewis Hamilton showed all who is the boss of Formula 1 at the moment. In the rain-affected session, he managed to grab pole position by over one second. It was, and this is no understatement, a masterful demonstration of pure driving skill. This is a time when champions are made, and we the humble people get to see what it takes to win.

Styrian Grand Prix, 2020, qualifying report

And this is also the moment when Bottas should have sent a message to Lewis Hamilton that he can out boss the boss. But he didn’t, not even close, Bottas could only manage 4th with the best car on the grid. A wet qualifying session is an equalizer, a level playing field and Bottas had every opportunity to show his alfa male credentials.

Styrian grand Prix, Bottas, dailycarblog

Today’s qualifying session demonstrated the differences between a multiple champion and a multiple race winner. These are the moments when Bottas needs to outperform Hamilton if he is going to beat him over the course of a season. That being said Bottas could win tomorrow. As I often say race day is where it counts and there is always a degree of uncertainty on Sunday… just sayin’.

2020 Styrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg: Quaifying Results

Pos No Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Hamilton 1:18.188 1:17.825 1:19.273 34
2 33 Verstappen 1:18.297 1:17.938 1:20.489 34
3 55 Sainz 1:18.590 1:18.836 1:20.671 33
4 77 Bottas 1:18.791 1:18.657 1:20.701 34
5 31 Ocon 1:19.687 1:18.764 1:20.922 33
6 4 Norris 1:18.504 1:18.448 1:20.925 34
7 23 Albon 1:20.882 1:19.014 1:21.011 31
8 10 Gasly 1:20.192 1:18.744 1:21.028 33
9 3 Ricciardo 1:19.662 1:19.229 1:21.192 32
10 5 Vettel 1:20.243 1:19.545 1:21.651 33
11 16 Leclerc 1:20.871 1:19.628   24
12 63 Russell 1:20.382 1:19.636   22
13 18 Stroll 1:19.697 1:19.645   23
14 26 Kvyat 1:19.824 1:19.717   24
15 20 Magnussen 1:21.140 1:20.211   22
16 7 Räikkönen 1:21.372     12
17 11 Perez 1:21.607     12
18 6 Latifi 1:21.759     12
19 99 Giovinazzi 1:21.831     12
20 8 Grosjean DNS     1

Q1 107% time – 1:23.661

Note – Norris penalised three grid places for overtaking under yellow flags during FP1.

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