F1: Charles Leclerc wins Austrian GP pole, Hamilton to start fifth after penalty

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Charles Leclerc won the pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix Saturday afternoon, setting a new track record with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 3.003 seconds around the 2.683-mile Red Bull Ring circuit.

“It’s a big pleasure to drive this car on the limit,” Leclerc said following qualifying.

“I’m very happy to bring pole position back home. Tomorrow will be very difficult physically and for the car.”

Lewis Hamilton initially qualified second for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with a lap of 1 minute, 3.818 seconds. However, the defending World Champion received three-place grid penalty from race officials after appearing to block Kimi Raikkonen heading into Turn 3 of the 8-Turn circuit during Q1.

The incident drew anger from Raikkonen, with replays showing the Alfa Romeo driver flashing his middle finger at Hamilton.

“Hamilton totally blocked me,” Raikkonen complained to his team over the radio.

Hamilton’s penatlty bumps Max Verstappen up to the second position in Red Bull’s home race after initially qualifying third.

Valtteri Bottas will now start Sunday’s Grand Prix from the third position after qualifying fourth.

Lando Norris now starts fifth after qualifying sixth thanks to Hamilton’s penalty as well as a penalty issued to Kevin Magnuessen.

The Haas driver orignally qualified fifth, but was issued a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.

Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel will all move up one position as well, and will start Sunday’s race from sixth through ninth after qualifying seventh through tenth.

Vettel failed to run a single lap in Q3 due to a power unit issue.

Full qualifying results and times are below:

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