Montoya disappointed with P3 in Toronto qualifying

1 Comment

Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Juan Pablo Montoya made no secret of his disappointment following qualifying for the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday after finishing third behind Penske teammates Will Power and Simon Pagenaud.

Montoya enters the weekend in Toronto with a lead of 35 points over Power at the top of the drivers’ championship, but toiled to third place on the grid despite finishing fastest in practice on Friday and in the second stage of qualifying on Saturday.

Speaking after the session, Montoya admitted to NBCSN that a more conservative strategy would have been a better route to take after finishing two-tenths of a second behind Power.

In a separate interview, the Colombian driver said that he had made some minor mistakes in the final part of qualifying, costing him dearly in the fight for pole.

“It’s okay,” Montoya said. “We’ve been doing a good job. Today I made too many mistakes at the end.

“Thought I had a really good car, didn’t put a good lap together when it counted. Still qualified third, so I’m happy with that.”

The Honda Indy Toronto is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 3pm ET on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.