Motor racing: Valtteri Bottas on pole for Austrian Grand Prix

Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas drives his car during the third practice session of the Formula One Austria Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, on July 7, 2017.
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas drives his car during the third practice session of the Formula One Austria Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, on July 7, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Finland's Valtteri Bottas kept champions Mercedes on pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday after title-chasing team-mate Lewis Hamilton was hit with a five-place grid penalty.

Hamilton, who is 14 points behind Ferrari's championship leader Sebastian Vettel after eight races, qualified third fastest but will start in eighth place due to the automatic drop resulting from an unscheduled gearbox change.

Vettel will share the front row with Bottas, with Finnish team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Australian Daniel Riccardo on the second row.

The pole was the second of Bottas's Formula One career after Bahrain in April.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

Vettel won that race but Mercedes have triumphed in Austria in every year since the Red Bull Ring returned to the calendar in 2014.