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Sport Formula 1 Austria

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Hamilton grabs pole position in Austrian GP

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat crashes during the qualifying session of the Austrian Grand Prix. Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler

Mercedes driver and defending champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position in the Austrian Grand Prix at the end of a thrilling qualifying session that was marked by changing weather conditions.

Hamilton’s impressive performance was a consequence of perfect tyre selection on a fast-drying track after a brief spell of rain. It was his second successive pole position in Austria and the 54th of his career.

His Mercedes teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg came second but the German will start Sunday's race seventh due to a five-place grid penalty he incurred after a gearbox change following his crash in practice on Saturday morning.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was third fastest for Force India ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who also faces a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Jenson Button from McLaren Honda took fifth ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was seventh ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Williams.

Max Verstappen and Brazilian Felipe Massa completed the top 10.

Hamilton will be hoping to carry his qualifying form to the race in order to reduce a 24-point deficit to the championship leader Rosberg.