Starting grid for the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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2003 may not be a year that many remember with a particular fondness, but it does hold a great deal of relevance this weekend in Austria.

It was the year that the last race in Spielberg was held at the old A1-Ring, and it was also the year that Williams last locked out the front row in qualifying in Formula 1.

Eleven years later, all of that has changed. We’re back in Austria at the revamped and renamed Red Bull Ring, and Williams is back on top. Despite Mercedes dominating proceedings so far this season, both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came unstuck during Q3 on Saturday, allowing Felipe Massa to secure pole position for the first time in five years. Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas will join him on the front row of the grid, with Rosberg in third place and Hamilton down in ninth.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • Sergio Perez has carried over a five place grid penalty for causing the accident at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix with Felipe Massa.
  • Marussia’s Max Chilton received a three place grid penalty for crashing into teammate Jules Bianchi in Montreal two weeks ago.
  • The stewards were busy deleting times during qualifying for drivers running wide at turn eight. In total, fourteen times were deleted.
  • Race director Charlie Whiting has written to the drivers explicitly warning them against running wide at turn eight. The letter reads: “Any driver leaving the track on the exit of turn eight who appears to have gained a clear and lasting advantage by doing so, will be reported to the stewards. We would not, for example, expect a driver who left the track on the exit of turn eight to attempt to pass a driver in front of him into turn one.”
  • The stewards have also reminded the teams about the fuel flow limit rule, having done the same ahead of the Canadian GP.
  • 0700 ET – Romain Grosjean will start from the pit lane after the team broke parc ferme rules to change his gearbox and his rear aerodynamic setting.

2014 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1. Felipe Massa Williams
2. Valtteri Bottas Williams
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
11. Jenson Button McLaren
12. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
15. Sergio Perez Force India
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber
17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia
19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
21. Max Chilton Marussia

Pit Lane: Romain Grosjean Lotus

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET. For live streaming options, click here.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.