Vettel disappointed to not reach podium in Canada


Sebastian Vettel felt disappointed not to have finished on the podium in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix despite charging from 18th on the grid to cross the line in fifth place.

Vettel was unable to make it out of Q1 on Saturday due to a lack of engine power and was then handed a grid penalty for passing Roberto Merhi under a red flag during FP3.

Starting 18th, the German driver made a good start to pass Felipe Nasr, Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso on the super-soft tire, but became stuck behind Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Massa in their battle for 11th place.

Ferrari opted to pit Vettel to prevent him from losing any more time behind this battle, allowing him to find some clean air on the prime tire. Although he had to switch to a two-stop strategy, it worked in the German’s favor as he rose to fifth place by the end of the race.

Speaking to NBCSN after the checkered flag, Vettel admitted that although he was pleased with his aggressive charge through the field, he felt a podium finish was within Ferrari’s reach.

In fact, this raced marked the first race of the season that Ferrari did not finish on the podium, with Valtteri Bottas claiming Williams’ maiden top three finish of 2015.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.