What comes around, goes around. Just as Nico Rosberg’s off at Mirabeau in the final stages of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix denied Lewis Hamilton a shot at pole position, Hamilton’s spin in Austria today meant that his German teammate had to settle for third place on the grid.
Both of the Mercedes drivers made mistakes during their first runs in Q3, leaving Rosberg in second place behind Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton without a time. The team opted to wait before sending its drivers back out again, giving them just one lap at the very end of qualifying to try and secure pole.
However, it was not to be. Hamilton spun while on his hot lap, ending his hopes of a fifth pole in 2014. Ironically, this stopped Rosberg from scoring pole in Austria, with the yellow flags brought out for the incident causing the German driver to slow his car down.
Meanwhile, further down the track, Felipe Massa sprang a surprise on the field by securing his first pole position since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. With Bottas in second place, it also marks Williams’ first front row lock-out in over ten years.
Although Hamilton’s mistake did hinder Rosberg’s chances, the German driver is still the better placed Mercedes driver on the grid for the race. After failing to set a time, Hamilton will start the Austrian Grand Prix from ninth place. It will be his first start from outside the top two positions this season.