Austrian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole as Nico Rosberg gets penalty

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    Story highlights

    • Lewis Hamilton claims pole at Austrian Grand Prix
    • Nico Rosberg handed five-place grid penalty
    • Force India's Nico Hulkenberg starts in second
    • Sebastian Vettel also penalized

    (CNN)The force is strong in Lewis Hamilton -- that's the takeaway from qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix after the world champion took pole position in front of Star Wars creator George Lucas.

    Lucas watched on from the pit lane as Hamilton showed why he's the the man when it comes to coping with changeable conditions by topping the charts at Spielberg for the second year in succession.
      The Mercedes driver took top spot Saturday after recording a fastest lap of one minute and 7.922 seconds to finish ahead of teammate and world championship leader Nico Rosberg.
      But Rosberg, who goes into Sunday's race with a 24-point lead, will start from seventh on the grid after being handed a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox following a crash in practice.
      Hamilton, one of the best in the business when driving in wet and changeable conditions, judged his run perfectly to leave him with a great opportunity to trim Rosberg's lead in the title race.
      "That was a really fun session," Hamilton told reporters. "The first time I have driven in the wet here. It's incredible how fast it dries up. It's like driving through fog!
      "It was very, very slippery, but it was drying up corner by corner -- at the end it was just about getting that last lap in so I am very happy."
      Rosberg's gearbox change was enforced after an accident in practice which was caused by a rear suspension failure.
      While he managed to get out again and produce a fine lap in qualifying, the German will face a difficult task to claim victory on Sunday.
      "First of all a really unbelievable job from everybody," Rosberg told reporters.
      "Even Lewis's mechanics came onto my car to help. A very exciting qualifying. Lewis just did a good job there in the end.
      "The five places will be very costly for tomorrow unfortunately. But I'll try and make the best of it."
      Hamilton will be joined on the front row by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, while McLaren's Jenson Button will start in third despite qualifying in fifth position.
      That's because as well as Rosberg's demotion, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel also received a penalty for the same offense to leave him down in ninth.
      Hulkenberg is still awaiting a decision from the stewards after being investigated for going too fat through a yellow flag in the first session of qualifying.
      Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen will start in fourth, ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo while Valtteri Bottas of Williams and Red Bull's Max Verstappen are just behind.
      The afternoon session got off to a dramatic start when Torro Rosso driver Dani Kvyat lost control of his car after skimming over a 'sausage' curb at the penultimate corner and breaking his rear suspension. The impact sent him spinning into the barriers.
      The session was halted for 17 minutes with a red flag before Kvyat's teammate, Carlos Sainz, was forced to pull up with smoke billowing from his car.
      "Once you're on those curbs you're not in control if the suspension breaks," Kvyat told reporters." At least on the AstroTurf, you had control.
      "At the last corner, everyone is going off [with] four wheels -- they wanted to make it better but actually they made it worse."
      Niki Lauda on safety in F1
      spc the circuit niki lauda f1 safety_00002011

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