Sun, Jul 9, 1:14pm by Senior Writer
Valtteri Bottas starts $2.50 favourite to win Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix after securing pole position in the race, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton will start from eighth on the grid.
The Finn put himself at the front of the grid by just 0.045 of a second, holding out Ferrari’s world championship leader Sebastian Vettel in a qualifying session that was impacted when Romain Grosjean broke down and Max Verstappen crashed in Q3.
With none of the major contenders able to improve their times for Q2, Bottas got pole, to the relief of Hamilton, who would not have wanted Vettel to qualify fastest, given the Englishman had to serve a five-place grid penalty for a gear box change.
Vettel is $2.75 second pick while Hamilton, who will take a different strategy and run with the harder super soft tyres to start out with, and look to run longer, is $5.50, having been third fastest,
The tension between Vettel and Hamilton was palpable after qualifying after their collision in Azerbaijan which saw Vettel punished with a 10 second stop-go. Hamilton refused to shake Vettel’s hand on Saturday in Austria.
Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, who benefited from the Hamilton-Vettel spat in Baku to claim a victory, is fourth on the grid and rated a $15 chance to go back-to-back at the home track of his team.
Bottas is 42 points adrift of Vettel in the drivers’ standings and 28 points shy of Hamilton, but he still believes he is in with a chance of winning the title.
“I still feel personally there are all the possibilities for this year and I’m still in the championship fight. There are 12 races to go, so that’s a huge amount of points. I am only developing with the team and getting better, so I always look at things positively and I know that I will be in the fight.”
Austrian GP Winner (Sportsbet)
V Bottas $2.50
S Vettel $2.75
L Hamilton $5.50
M Verstappen $9
D Ricciardo $15
K Raikkonen $19
S Perez $151
N Hulkenberg $301
C Sainz Jr $301
R Grosjean $301
F Alonso $301
E Ocon $301
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