Charles Leclerc took the second pole position of his career while his team-mate was unable to set a lap time in Q3. We take a look at all the stats and stories from Saturday at the Austrian Grand Prix!
Q U A L I F Y I N G R E C A P
- Leclerc takes pole by over two tenths from Hamilton
- Verstappen third, Gasly only ninth
- Vettel fails to set a time in Q3 after air pressure problem
- Hamilton gets 3-place penalty for impeding Raikkonen in Q1
- Magnussen qualifies fifth, but starts tenth after gearbox penalty
- Norris qualifies in the top six for second consecutive race
- Both Racing Point drivers eliminated in Q1
- Russell handed 3-place penalty for impeding Kvyat
The Ultimate Pace
Charles Leclerc was fastest in all three sectors in qualifying for the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in the first sector, having set his fastest time in Q2. Lewis Hamilton was the second fastest driver in the final two sectors of the track. Kevin Magnussen’s fifth place in qualifying was particularly impressive, considering that Haas were the slowest team in the first sector, and the Dane set only the 18th fastest time through that part of the track. Both Haas drivers were slower than Williams’ George Russell in Sector 1.
Charles Leclerc set the pole time and the fastest times in all three sectors, but could have set an even faster lap time, had he put together all three of his fastest sectors into one lap. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll were the only drivers to set all three of their fastest sector times on their final qualifying lap. The numbers show how badly Daniil Kvyat was impeded on his final lap in Q1. His potential best lap time was 0.365 seconds faster than his actual lap time. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel’s best three sector times combined would have been good enough for fifth on the grid. The full data can be seen below:
|Quali Pos.||Driver||Lap Time||Ultimate Pace||Difference||Ultimate Pace Pos|
The team-mate battles
Largest gaps in each session:
Q1: Alex Albon 0.616s faster than Daniil Kvyat
Q2: Nico Hulkenberg 0.274s faster than Daniel Ricciardo
Q3: Max Verstappen 0.760s faster than Pierre Gasly
Gap between team-mates in last session where each driver set a time:
*Carlos Sainz’s time in Q2 was over nine seconds slower than Lando Norris’, but was unrepresentative. The difference in their Q1 lap times has been used here instead.
Looking at each driver’s ultimate pace also offers an interesting glimpse into who was fastest in each sector in each team. The results can be found in the table below. At Racing Point, Lance Stroll was faster than team-mate Sergio Perez in both the first and final sectors. However, it was in the middle sector where the Mexican got the better of Stroll, with his 0.171 second gain on his team-mate in this part of the track being enough to see him qualify ahead of the Canadian. The closest gap between team-mates based on ultimate pace today was at Alfa Romeo, where Kimi Raikkonen was only 0.047 seconds faster than team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.
Find all the team-mate battle statistics for the 2019 season here!
For the first time this season, there was a sector in which Williams were not the slowest team. As mentioned above, that was in Sector 1, where George Russell was the sixteenth fastest driver, ahead of both Haas cars. Haas made their time up in the last sector though, where they were the fourth fastest team. Alfa Romeo were fourth fastest in the first two sectors. At the front, Ferrari were fastest in every sector, Mercedes second fastest and Red Bull third quickest.
About the above table: the ‘gap to ultimate pace’ column shows the gap between the team’s best three sector times added together and the overall best three sector times added together. The ‘gap to pole time’ column shows the gap between the team’s best three sector times added together and the lap time of the polesitter.
Improvements between 2018 and 2019
Alfa Romeo were the most improved team since last year, finding over eight tenths from their best potential 2018 lap time to their best potential 2019 lap time. Mercedes, McLaren, Haas and Williams’ best potential lap times were all slower than they were last year. You can see the full data below:
|Team||2018 Best Lap||2019 Best Lap||Difference|
All set for Sunday:
With five different teams in the top six spaces on the grid, the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix looks set to be an interesting race. Will Charles Leclerc score his maiden F1 victory? Can Max Verstappen take a second successive victory at Red Bull’s home event? And what can Mercedes do from third and fourth on the grid? Further back, Sebastian Vettel will be looking to move quickly through the field from ninth on the grid, and Lando Norris will be hoping to defend his top five grid slot.
In the Lucky and Unlucky Grid Positions:
LUCKY: 4th: Lewis Hamilton 7th: Antonio Giovinazzi 13th: Sergio Perez 14th: Lance Stroll 16th: Robert Kubica 18th: George Russell
4th: Lewis Hamilton
7th: Antonio Giovinazzi
13th: Sergio Perez
14th: Lance Stroll
16th: Robert Kubica
18th: George Russell
UNLUCKY: 10th: Kevin Magnussen 11th: Romain Grosjean 12th: Daniel Ricciardo 19th: Carlos Sainz
10th: Kevin Magnussen
11th: Romain Grosjean
12th: Daniel Ricciardo
19th: Carlos Sainz
Find out what makes each grid position lucky or unlucky here!
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.