It’s on days like this, when rain creates tricky driving conditions, that the great drivers come to the fore – and as if we needed further reminding, Lewis Hamilton showed us why he is arguably the greatest driver in Formula 1 history with a scintillating lap at the Red Bull Ring to beat the heir to his throne Max Verstappen to pole by a staggering 1.2s for the Styrian Grand Prix.
Wet weather raised doubts as to whether qualifying would happen at all on Saturday, with final free practice cancelled because of the treacherous conditions, but there was a window of opportunity when the rain eased to the point where the Race Director Michael Masi deemed it safe to get the session under way.
With the track remaining wet throughout, full wet Pirelli tyres were the compound of choice, and the drivers opted to fill up with a little more fuel than usual so they could complete a flurry of laps in quick succession. But there were two drivers who looked the most comfortable out there – Hamilton and Verstappen.
The two main protagonists traded fastest laps as the session unfolded, the kind of battle for pole position that Formula 1 craves, with Hamilton holding the early upper hand.