Bottas and Hamilton not plotting Vettel downfall

Rachel Hardy
July 9, 2017

The Ferrari driver now has a 14-point advantage over Hamilton in the championship standings already, but said it is too early to start thinking about extending that gap on Sunday.

But there was a weird moment at the end of qualifying today when Hamilton was asked to shake hands with Vettel by the Sky Sports presenter.

"Congratulations to Valtteri and to Sebastian", he said.

"We need to focus on trying to have a good start to the race and we need to win the race".

"Lewis has a good race ahead with a lot of time ahead to come back to get points for the team".

He was also beaten by the Mercedes cars of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, but will start right behind the Bottas/Vettel front row due to Hamilton's five-place grid penalty.

"Mercedes", "Ferrari", "Red bull" and "Force India" in its entirety moved into the top 10. Hamilton managed to limp back to the pits but his session was over while Mercedes checked the vehicle in the garage.

Hamilton had been fastest in the first round of qualifying.

He also believes his team-mate Lewis Hamilton will recover from eighth on the grid after his gearbox change penalty.

Hamilton complained of power problems and pitted for new spark plugs during the session, but the problem persisted.

"I still have the utmost respect for him as a driver and will continue to race him hard through the rest of the season in the same way as I always have", said Hamilton. However, the three-time world champion is less confident that he can perform similar heroics this time around.

"It has been a pretty good day at the track, pretty good from the get-go".

But Vettel did not rule out Hamilton's chances of challenging on Sunday.

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"I'm sure people don't even realize we still have spark plugs because these engines are so complex". Here is a look at the odds for this race.

"There were some cars in the last sector [during the first push lap], the last three corners, which didn't help".

In the fight for pole still chose to first fastest lap from Bottas - Finnish driver of "Mercedes" on 0,042 thousandths of a second ahead of Vettel, while Hamilton is located on the third intermediate position. It is a great track, it is a shame it is a bit short, but really enjoyable with a lot of high-speed corners and the auto was been really phenomenal.

The sister Red Bull of Max Verstappen is fifth while Romain Grosjean will start sixth for Haas.

It was the second time in a matter of months that Vettel faced possible sanction for his on-track behaviour, with the Ferrari driver warned in Mexico for abusing race director Charlie Whiting over the team radio.

But his Williams teammate Felipe Massa hardly fared better and starts from 17th.

"Bottas on pole, he deserved it".

Hamilton, who had told reporters earlier that pole was the goal, is 14 points behind Vettel after eight of 20 races.

In Q1, Jolyon Palmer ended up just on the wrong side of the cut-off in 16th for Renault - 0.029secs shy of Vandoorne and Q2.

Hamilton, who described the actions as "disgraceful" at the time, said he had the "utmost respect" for Vettel in a press conference Thursday.

The Formula One technical delegate said in a statement he had been informed by Mercedes last Tuesday that the gearbox was damaged and needed changing, a detail the team had kept secret.

Speaking for the first time since the FIA's decision, Todt has made it clear that Vettel would be unlikely to escape further punishment if he was to be involved in a similar incident to his Baku clash or the outburst against F1 race director Charlie Whiting in Mexico past year.

Hamilton has taken pole for the last two years on the Spielberg track, winning the race last year.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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