Hamilton charges from ninth to second, but loses more ground to Rosberg

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Ordinarily, making up seven places across the course of a grand prix and finishing in second place after a difficult qualifying session would be considered a success.

However, for Lewis Hamilton in Austria, this result only saw him lose more ground to teammate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship after the German driver claimed his third victory of the season today.

Hamilton started the race from ninth after failing to set a time during the final part of qualifying yesterday. The Briton made a rocket start, and was up to fourth on the second lap. He then fought past the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa to move up to second place, but just could not find a way past Rosberg in the final stages of the grand prix.

In fact, had both of his pit stops been marginally quicker, Hamilton may have been able to get the jump on his teammate, and he will look at the data to see if there is any room for improvement.

“I don’t know, I’ll have to have a look at the feedback and just see what the team say about the stops,” Hamilton said on the podium after the race. “Maybe my position is not right, but obviously in those situations you’re just pushing.”

He quickly switched focus to yet another fantastic team performance by Mercedes, praising his colleagues for masterminding their sixth one-two finish in the last seven races.

“The guys have done a fantastic job,” Hamilton said. “As Nico said, to get another one-two here is just incredible. This track has been fantastic and the fans have been insane this weekend, so thank you all for the support.”

On Red Bull’s home turf, Mercedes was simply unstoppable. However, in the post-race press conference, Hamilton did look slightly subdued, and will undoubtedly be wondering what happened to the championship lead that he enjoyed just three races ago.

Unquestionably, it was a fine performance from the 2008 world champion, but by his own high standards, not winning the race will have come as a bitter blow.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.