© GP2 Series

Louis Deletraz joins Carlin for GP2 finale in Abu Dhabi

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Formula V8 3.5 vice-champion Louis Deletraz will make his GP2 Series debut in Abu Dhabi next weekend with Carlin.

Deletraz, 19, won the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC title in 2015 before moving up to the 3.5 litre series for this season, losing out in the title race at the final round to Tom Dillmann.

The son of three-time Formula 1 starter Jean-Denis Deletraz will now make his GP2 debut at Yas Marina, linking up with the Carlin team ahead of a possible full-time move into the series for 2017.

“GP2 is the championship that I want to race in next season so it’s great that I have the opportunity to contest the final race of the season with Carlin,” Deletraz said.

“They are a very experienced team and have been successful in GP2 after finishing second in the 2014 championship. That’s something that will benefit me as I start to learn about a completely new racing formula.

“It’s going to be a big challenge at Yas Marina because I have no previous GP2 experience. I’ll be learning a new car, a different kind of tire, a new track and working with a new team.

“I’m definitely excited by the opportunity to make my GP2 debut and test myself in a new category. It will be interesting to see what the performance is like in Abu Dhabi.”

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.