Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday after overtaking Charles Leclerc in the closing laps. Verstappen’s Red Bull touched wheels with Leclerc’s car triggering an immediate investigation with Leclerc forced off the circuit.
Valtteri Bottas came in third, with Sebastian Vettel in fourth. Here are our key talking points from the race.
A scintillating drive from the Dutchman. Verstappen, who won the Austrian Grand Prix last season, started from second on the grid but a poor start saw him drop down to seventh by turn one.
At this early point of the race, it was hard to see him climb back up to a podium spot. However, it’s not about the start of the race but the end, and Verstappen roared back, benefiting from fresher tyres to mount successful attacks on both Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.
He pushed hard in the final frenetic laps, and after reeling in Leclerc, he finally dived in to take the lead with two laps remaining – touching Leclerc’s wheels in the process.
It may be split opinion with the touch of tyres, but this is racing against two drivers of the future, and should be allowed.
HEARTBREAK FOR LECLERC
More heartbreak for the Monaco man. The 21-year-old drove superbly around the Spielberg circuit all weekend, maintaining his pace for large spells of the race before conceding the lead with two laps to go.
Leclerc was the faster driver for much of the weekend but couldn’t hold off the searing pace of Verstappen late in the race, despite the Dutchman touching his wheels.
After being denied victory in Bahrain three months ago, Sunday’s second place will at least add more positives for a driver who is only in his second season in Formula One.
He will be disappointed no doubt, but let’s hope this podium finish will at least be the start of more success for the Scuderia.
The Briton qualified second fastest but was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding Kimi Raikkonen.
Starting from fourth, he could only manage fifth, with his edginess in the car down to a lack of pace on the straights, where Red Bull and Ferrari dominated all weekend.
Although he will be disappointed with the result, it doesn’t have much affect on the drivers’ standings where he still holds a 31-point lead over Bottas. His confidence won’t be affected either, with six wins from the first nine races.
Next up is the British GP – a track Hamilton has won a joint-record five times.
MIXED SHOWING FOR VETTEL
Poor old Seb. The German started ninth after an engine-related problem stopped him from setting a laptime in Q3 on Saturday.
A bright start to the race saw move up to fourth and threaten a podium position early on.
However, when Vettel came in to pit on lap 22, the Ferrari mechanics had an issue with their radios and they didn’t receive the message. As a result the stop took 6.1 seconds, denting his hopes of a podium finish.
Overtaking Hamilton for fourth late on will put some gloss on a mixed weekend.
MCLAREN SHINE AGAIN
The McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz are slowly becoming one of the most likable driver line-ups on the gird.
Not only do they come across as genuine and outgoing people, but they are also fearless, pacey and continue to get the best out of the McLaren car.
Norris finished a joint-season’s best sixth, while Sainz crossed the chequered flag in eighth after starting from the back of the grid.
A superb weekend for the Woking side.
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