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Formula 1: Ferrari mechanic suffers leg fractures after Raikkonen pit incident


A scary incident on Lap 36 of the Bahrain Grand Prix saw Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen leave his pit stall early after his second pit stop, and in the process he clipped one of the Ferrari mechanics with the left-rear tire.

The mechanic immediately fell to the ground, while Raikkonen immediately came to a stop after learning that the left-rear tire had not been secured.

As Raikkonen walked back to his pit stall, medical personnel immediately began tending to the injured Ferrari mechanic.

After the race, Scuderia Ferrari released an update on their twitter page, detailing that the crew member Рonly identified by the name of Francesco Рhad suffered fractures to his shinbone and fibula.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel was somewhat subdued on the podium afterward, and mentioned that his thoughts were with the injured crew member.

“We’re sending thoughts to the mechanic and hoping he’s okay. It was a mixed day.”


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.