Bottas showed impressive composure to win Austrian GP — which had no fans present due to the coronavirus pandemic — with teammate Hamilton just a half-second behind him for spells.
Formula 1 2020: Charles Leclerc says Ferrari's pace 'not even close' to expectation after qualifying seventh at Austrian GP
Leclerc was on pole at the Red Bull Ring last year but this time qualified seventh, his quickest flying lap nearly a second slower than Valtteri Bottas who took the top slot for Mercedes.
There will be no fans in Austria, no sponsors, no hospitality units or VIPs and no socialising between teams within a paddock ‘bubble’ where safe spacing and face masks are the ‘new normal’ and everything will take a little longer.
The experiment was mooted already last year, before COVID-19 played havoc with the calendar, with Formula One keen on having three reverse grid races in 2020.
Coronavirus Outbreak: Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey says they hope to start delayed season with Austrian Grand Prix in July
Formula One hopes to start its delayed 2020 season in Austria in July without spectators before ending in Abu Dhabi in December after races in Asia and the Americas, chairman and CEO Chase Carey said.