SPIELBERG, Austria – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will be on pole for the start of the 2019 Austrian 1 GP with 2018 winner Max Verstappen alongside after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was demoted from second.
The stewards found him guilty of impeding Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and will start fourth. His team did not dispute the decision.
Leclerc went into the final session as favourite after after setting the pace in two of the three practice sessions and the first two phases of qualifying. It will be his second pole start, well earned with the fastest lap yet recorded on the 4.3km mountainside track – 1min03.003sec.
Five-times champion Hamilton, 36 points ahead of Valtteri Bottas after winning six of the eight races so far in 2019 season will now starts alongside team mate Bottas who moved up to third.
“Totally deserved the penalty today and have no problem accepting it,” he said on Instagram. “Was a mistake on my behalf and I take full responsibility for it. It wasn’t intentional.
“Congratulations to Charles – he’s been quick all weekend.”