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2017 F1

Intra-team Qualifying Analysis: Austria Grand Prix

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Qualifying for the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix is done and dusted, and it’s Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes who has taken pole position for tomorrow’s big race ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

This is Valtteri’s  second career pole and the Finn looked in top form during qualifying out-qualifying  his team-mate and main championship rival Lewis Hamilton for the 4th time this season, With 10 more races to go, the intra-team battle at Mercedes is heating up with score being in Hamilton’s favour 5-4.

At Ferrari, usual order resumed with Sebastian Vettel out-qualifying Kimi Raikkonen for the 7th time this season, The Finn being  4 tenths off the pace of Vettel and struggling to get on terms with the setup of his Ferrari. Vettel leads their intra-team battle with a score of 7-2 with change looking unlikely.

The Red-Bull boys slotted themselves into their usual position i.e behind the two Mercedes and the Ferrari’s to end up in P5 and P6 with Daniel Ricciardo having the advantage over Max Verstappen, over the past 8 races there has been nothing to choose between them during the qualifying sessions, but score stays in favour of Verstappen, 5-4.

Up at Force India, there has been lot of talk between the intra-team relationship of their drivers following the incident in Baku where both of them crashed into each other effectively giving up on a very strong result and maybe even a win for the Indian team, But come the qualifying Sergio Perez has had an edge over the rookie Esteban Ocon and that trend continued in Austria, Sergio leads with score of 8-1.

Toro Rosso were showing good turn of pace during the qualifying sessions but they failed to convert that into good qualifying, with Carlos Sainz qualifying P10 and Daniil Kvyat P14, As far as their intra-team battle is concerned it was all even-stevens going into this weekend, but after Qualifying Sainz leads with 5 out-qualifications.

At Haas, the rivalry between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen has been intense and the it looked like the trend would continue in Austria until Kevin suffered a suspension failure in Q1 which put him out of the reckoning for the rest of qualifying, his team-mate Romain Grosjean seems to have got over the brake problems and he put in a stunning lap to qualify P7, their intra-team score is currently in favour of Grosjean, 5-4 .

Renault again endured a tough qualifying in Austria with neither of their drivers making into final Q3 shootout, Nico Hulkenberg drove the wheels off that Renault to qualify P11 and missed out on Q3 by only 0.042 second while Jolyon palmer continued his poor run off form and could only manage P16. Regarding their intra-team battle, it is strongly one sided with Nico out-qualifying Jolyon in all the races this season.

Mclaren had a stronger performance with Stoffel Vandoorne hailing the new Spec-Honda engine, but the Belgium was again out-qualified by the Spanish Maestro, Fernando Alonso who was using the older-spec Honda engine, their intra-team score being 8-0 in favour of the Spaniard.

Williams encountered their worst qualifying of the season with both Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll failing to get through into Q2, their intra-team score stays in favour of Massa, 8-1. But, Lance Stroll is now performing at a higher level and matching Felipe in-terms of lap-time, so this is an intra-team battle to watch out for as the young Canadian climbs up the ranks.

At Sauber, their poor run continued with Marcus Erricson P19 and Pascal Werhlein P20, but interestingly Erricson got better over of Werhlein for the 1st time this season and at a track where Pascal has had good results in the past, so that should boost the confidence of the Swede. Their intra-team score stays in favour of Pascal, 5-2

Head-to-Head qualifying score after Austrian Grand Prix
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By Nishant F1

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