Massa on pole as Williams locks out front row

Massa on pole as Williams locks out front row

21 June 2014 – Felipe Massa claimed pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix in a dramatic qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday. Valtteri Bottas ensured that Williams locked out the front row, while Nico Rosberg finished as the lead Mercedes in third after Lewis Hamilton, who starts ninth, made an error on his final lap.

Williams headed into qualifying buoyed by another promising practice performance, with Bottas setting the pace and Massa taking third in FP3.

And the weekend would only get better for the Grove-based outfit, with the pair producing a massive upset in the final qualifying segment.

The Mercedes drivers had set the standard in the phases prior to Q3, but Hamilton, after exceeding the track limits on his first run, lost control of his car under braking for Turn 2 and had to abandon his final attempt.

With Rosberg following closely and having to back off, it handed the advantage to the Williams drivers.

Bottas initially moved to the front, but Massa flashed past after the chequered flag had dropped, posting a 1:08.759 to usurp his team-mate and secure his first pole position since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.

It was also the first time Williams secured the top two grid slots since the German Grand Prix of 2003.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari was the first non-Mercedes powered machine in fourth, just ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen, who were their teams' sole Q3 representatives.

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat again impressed in seventh, edging out the second Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen.

Hamilton only beat Force India's Nico Hülkenberg in Q3, with the German also having a time deleted.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was the biggest name to fall in the second qualifying phase, the reigning World Champion's ongoing car struggles evident as he failed to hook up his final lap on the Super Soft tyres.

He will start Sunday afternoon's race from 12th position, just behind the McLaren of Jenson Button.

Force India's Sergio Pérez had qualified 11th but drops to 16th as a result of his five-place grid penalty.

The ill-handling Lotus machines of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean also dropped out in the second qualifying phase, sandwiching Jean-Éric Vergne who was unable to repeat team-mate Kvyat's heroics.

The Sauber team endured a particularly torrid session, with drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez – who both had lap times deleted by the FIA for exceeding track limits at Turn 8 – falling at the first hurdle.

Marussia driver Jules Bianchi again gave his team the edge over Caterham and Kamui Kobayashi.

Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson brought up the rear, although the Briton will start behind as a result of the three-place grid penalty he picked up for clashing with team-mate Bianchi at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Sunday's 71-lap race at the Red Bull Ring gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2)

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