SPIELBERG, Austria (REUTERS) - Ferrari's Charles Leclerc stormed to pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday (June 29), with last year's winner Max Verstappen joining him on a front row of 21-year-olds after Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton was demoted for impeding.
McLaren's Lando Norris, at 19 the youngest driver on the current grid, will line up behind them in fourth on a remarkable day for the sport's young guns.
Leclerc went into the final top 10 shootout as favourite, having set the pace in two of the three practice sessions and the first two phases of qualifying, and the Monegasque duly delivered.
His second career pole was secured with a time of one minute 03.003 seconds - the fastest ever lap around the undulating 4.3km Red Bull Ring.
"Come on, baby, yes!", he shouted over the team radio after taking his first pole since the Bahrain Grand Prix in March, a race he would have won had a late engine issue not dashed his hopes.
"I'm very happy to bring pole position back home, but tomorrow we'll finish the job."
Verstappen had qualified third for Red Bull but moved up to the front row after stewards found Hamilton had impeded Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and dropped the five times world champion to fifth.
Hamilton, 36 points ahead of Valtteri Bottas after winning six of eight races this season and the last four, now starts fifth and behind his team mate.
"Totally deserved the penalty today and have no problem accepting it," he said on Instagram.
"Was a mistake on my behalf and I take full responsibility for it. It wasn't intentional. Anyway, tomorrow is another day and an opportunity to rise. These things are sent to try us."
The 34-year-old Briton faces a big challenge to extend Mercedes' run of 10 wins in a row, and eight this season, on Sunday.
"Congratulations to Charles, he's been quick all weekend," he said before the penalty was announced.
"We've just really not been able to keep up with them.
"Max has been driving really well all weekend as well... I've got to fight the young 'uns. That's cool."
Saturday's pole was Ferrari's second in three races but only their third of the season.
It was a bittersweet success, with Leclerc's team mate Sebastian Vettel failing to make it out of the pits in the final phase of qualifying.
The German sat stranded in the garage, mechanics working furiously on the engine after discovering a problem with the air pressure line feeding the power unit.
"Obviously the car was broken so we couldn't fire up and go," said Vettel.
"We lost parts of Q2 (the second phase) and then Q3 completely.
"The guys did everything they could but we couldn't do it in time. It's frustrating but nothing you can do inside the car and nobody's fault."
Vettel will start ninth thanks to Kevin Magnussen, who qualified fifth for Haas but collected a five-place grid drop for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Norris had qualified an impressive sixth but Magnussen's penalty moved him up to fifth before Hamilton's demotion gave him another place.
Raikkonen, who vented his frustration at Hamilton by throwing a rude gesture the Briton's way, set the seventh fastest time ahead of team mate Antonio Giovinazzi with Red Bull's Pierre Gasly set to line up eighth.