Brit struggled in qualifying as he trails rival by 14 points in the Drivers’ Championship
LEWIS HAMILTON’S week went from bad to worse and will start down in EIGHTH place for the Austrian GP.
The Brit faces a huge task now if he is to chip away at Sebastian Vettel’s 14-point lead in the championship.
The two, who clashed in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, has been hit with a five-place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
It is a huge blow for Hamilton, who risks getting caught up in the melee going into the first corner.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas took pole while Vettel was second in his Ferrari.
Hamilton tried to make up time in his final flying lap but a mistake early on wrecked his chances of bettering Bottas’s time.
He said: “Congratulations to Valtteri. He did a fantastic job, I am happy to be third but it was just not meant to be today.
“I will do the best job I can I will try to get up there with Valtteri and be a one-two on the podium.”
Bottas added: “It feels good. I enjoyed it and the car was getting better and better…”
Meanwhile, Vettel, who escaped punishment, despite ramming Hamilton in the last race, is now targeting a win.
Vettel said: “I was not quick enough but I am very happy I was hoping for a late run but it was an anti-climax with the yellow flags.
“It is a long race, we will see what can happen. It will be a tough race with Valtteri as he has been quick all weekend.”
Which F1 races will be live on Channel 4 in 2017? Full Formula One TV schedule for the new season – all you need to know
When is the F1 Austrian Grand Prix 2017, what TV channel is it on and what time does it start?
Billy Monger back behind the wheel just ELEVEN WEEKS since teenage Formula 4 racer lost his legs in horror crash
When is the next F1 race? Austrian Grand Prix 2017 start time, TV coverage and information
Shake it off
Lewis Hamilton snubs TV reporter’s request for him to shake hands with rival Sebastian Vettel
Call a vet
All the action as Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton renew hostilities following Baku crash
LEW’S NO PARTY ANIMAL
Lewis Hamilton’s No1 girl in F1 defends his playboy lifestyle and claims he is ‘not a party boy’
The McLaren duo of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne qualified in 11th and 12th place respectively.
But there was more misery for Brit Jolyon Palmer after he qualified way down in 16th place in his Renault.
Palmer, who was particularly down-beat at the last race in Baku, is struggling for form and facing increased pressure as questions about his future in the team continue to grow.
He said: “I thought we were looking strong and today it got away from us. It was very close.”
Palmer is also set to face a grilling by race bosses for blocking Kimi Raikkonen.