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Sebastian and Lance both make Q3 ahead of BWT Austrian Grand Prix

Lance and Sebastian will start the 2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix in ninth and 11th respectively, as Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team got both cars into Q3 for the first time this season.

2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix

Unfortunately, Sebastian's initial result of eighth became 11th due to a three-place grid penalty for an incident with Fernando Alonso, which lifted Lance into ninth.

Lance

Lance would focus on Soft tyre running in the morning's session, ending FP3 in 15th as he focused on improving the car's baseline.

At the beginning of Q1, Lance would head out on a set of new Medium tyres to lead the timesheets early on after a 1.05.354 lap time.

All teams evaluated the Medium and Soft tyre as the optimum choice throughout the session, but Lance switched to a set of new Soft tyres to secure a Q2 place.

Heading back out in a provisional sixth ahead of the second runs, Lance was one of 19 drivers battling for space on the short Red Bull Ring circuit.

Lance used the benefit of a softer tyre to significantly improve his time to 1.04.927 to secure 13th and a place in Q2.

While teams again diverged on tyres, Lance committed to the Soft tyre and took to the track early in the session to take advantage of the quieter circuit conditions.

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Austrian Grand Prix

Get ready for this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix with our in-depth preview. Discover the key talking points from the previous weekend. Hear from Lance and Sebastian ahead of the race.

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2021 Austrian Grand Prix
2021 Austrian Grand Prix

His first effort of 1.05.420 was enough for second early on, which became ninth at the end of the field’s first runs.

On the cusp of making Q3, Lance made sure of progression with a second run on new Softs, narrowly making it across the line before time ran out. Lapping in 1.04.547, Lance sealed ninth and a place in Q3.

Lance would use both a worn and new set of Soft tyres in Q3, setting his best time on the latter and securing 10th on the grid with a time of 1.04.618.

The Canadian will now start the race from ninth.

FP3
1.05.546
11th
Q1
1.04.927
13th
Q2
1.04.547
9th
Q3
1.04.618
10th*

"We can be happy with qualifying today because starting inside the top 10 gives us a good shot at points tomorrow.

"In hindsight, I think we could potentially have started a little bit higher up. The car felt good in Q2 and the laps came together nicely, but it was a little bit more tricky to put clean laps together during Q3.

"We could see today that teams were considering both the Soft and Medium tyres in qualifying, so the compounds could be quite close to each other. That is something for us to go away and think about for tomorrow because strategy could be more important with the softer tyre compounds this time out.

"We will go do our homework and come back tomorrow to fight for points."

Sebastian

Sebastian used the third practice session to conduct further running on the Soft tyre ahead of qualifying, lapping comfortably inside the top 10.

He carried his Q3-potential pace into the first qualifying session, but Sebastian initially began the session on the Medium tyre.

Sebastian initially shot to the top of the times, maximising the quieter track conditions, and posted a 1.05.354 lap time.

Despite the tyre offset to the majority of the field on soft tyres, Sebastian’s lap time remained on the fringes of the top 10 before the second runs.

A switch to soft tyres in the final moments on an increasingly busy track helped Sebastian lower his time further.

Lapping in 1.04.846, Sebastian comfortably sealed progression into Q2 with the 10th-quickest time.

Q2 followed the pattern of the preceding session, and the field was split on the tyre of choice on a traffic-filled track.

Sebastian headed out on the Soft tyre early on and lapped at the front of the field as a result, posting a 1.04.493 time for seventh at the end of the session.

Q3 proved tricky as Sebastian was affected by cars backing up at the end of laps, which cost him a second run.

When Fernando Alonso quickly arrived at the scene in the final moments of the session, Sebastian unintentionally blocked the Spaniard, immediately signalling an apology to his rival.

However, Sebastian's 1.04.570 lap time from earlier in the session still secured eighth, which became 11th once the post-session penalty was applied.

FP3
1.05.542
10th
Q1
1.04.846
10th
Q2
1.04.493
7th
Q3
1.04.570
8th*

"We can certainly aim for points tomorrow and I am happy with our approach to start on the Soft tyres They will not last as long as the Mediums or Hards, but it will be a fast tyre so let’s wait and see what we can do tomorrow.

"We made some small improvements across all the sessions and the car has been better balanced today. We have been competitive all weekend and it is the first time this year that both cars have been in Q3. If we can run in some clean air tomorrow, we will be able to show some decent race pace.

"It is a shame that Fernando [Alonso] had his lap impacted during Q2. All the drivers agreed yesterday to slow down on the straights between Turns Eight and Nine, which I did, but other drivers jumped the queue, then slowed down in the final corners, which is not allowed. That backed me up as well. It is a strange situation and something that is really difficult to avoid.

"I am sorry for Fernando because there is nothing he could have done."

BWT Austrian Grand Prix

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BWT Austrian Grand Prix

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