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Davidson to miss WEC Mexico City round through injury

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Anthony Davidson will miss this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship round in Mexico City through injury, Toyota has confirmed.

Davidson sustained an injury to his ribs while testing at Magny-Cours in France last month, but traveled to Mexico City with a view to taking full part in the weekend.

However, after taking part in this morning’s test session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Davidson was withdrawn from the remainder of the weekend in a joint decision made between the driver and the team.

“That decision was taken to ensure he is fully recovered in time for the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas on 17 September,” a statement from Toyota reads.

“High temperatures in Austin make it essential for each car to have its full complement of three drivers.”

Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima will share running in the no. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid for the remainder of the weekend.

“It is disappointing to come all the way here and then not be able to race but it’s the right decision,” Davidson said.

“I wasn’t comfortable in the car this morning and there is no point to take any risks, especially with Austin coming up. It’s not a problem to race here with two drivers but it would be impossible in Austin due to the high temperatures.

“So I’ll be a frustrated spectator for the rest of the week but I know Seb and Kazuki will do a good job.”

Toyota suffered another setback in the maiden test session on Thursday morning when the no. 6 car sustained a heavy crash at the final corner, breaking the monocoque.

As a result, Toyota will only run the no. 5 car in both FP1 and FP2 before the no. 6 returns for FP3 on Friday.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

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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.