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F1: Bottas beats Hamilton to pole in Austria

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Mercedes continued its dominant form in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, but it was not Lewis Hamilton on pole.

Instead, teammate Valtteri Bottas beat Hamilton by one hundredth of a second to claim his first pole of the 2018 season.

It gives Bottas his fifth career pole, and his second in Austria – he also won the pole last year, and went to on win the next day.

Ferrari teammates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen qualified third and fourth, though Vettel will be penalized three grid places for impeding Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. As such, Vettel will start sixth.

Red Bull Racing utilized an odd strategy in which they tried to get the RB18s of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to slip stream each other for better straight-line speed, but it ultimately backfired and created tension within the team – Ricciardo voiced his displeasure over the radio that it pointless for him to “punch a hole” for his teammate.

Verstappen ended up fifth with Ricciardo in seventh, with Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean putting himself in between them in sixth.

Grosjean’s teammate Kevin Magnussen was eighth in a solid outing for Haas, with Renault teammates Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg filling out the top 10.

Results are below. Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix rolls off at 9:00 a.m. ET.


Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.