Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in Austria to lead a Mercedes one-two, but it was a nightmare race for the Ferraris.
Hamilton avoided the problems that hampered his race on this track last week, to finish ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who passed Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in the closing stages.
However, it was a crash between Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel that will keep this race in the memory. Leclerc’s ill-advised attempt to pass Vettel took out the German and caused floor damage to his own car too, forcing him out before the sixth lap.
Leclerc immediately apologized for the maneuver, saying he had let down the Ferrari team.
1. Hamilton (Mercedes) — 25 points
2. Bottas (Mercedes) — 18 points
3. Verstappen (Red Bull) — 16 points
Fastest lap — Carlos Sainz (McLaren), 1:05.619
Best team — Mercedes, 38 points
Drivers’ championship standings
1. Bottas (Mercedes) — 43 points
2. Hamilton (Mercedes) — 37 points
3. Norris (McLaren) — 26 points
Drive of the day — Sergio Perez. Despite making a mistake at the end of the race that cost him a place, the Mexican driver did the most overtaking, including a ding-dong battle with his Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll. He only beat Stroll by a whisker in the end, but it was a great performance overall from Perez. Lando Norris, who finished fifth after a breathless final lap, also deserves an honorable mention.
Ferrari’s day was over before it started
Biggest controversy — The Ferrari debacle
Charles Leclerc is a talented young driver but his move on Vettel showed his inexperience. The track was packed with drivers just after lights out, and Leclerc needed to show some calmness and composure. Instead, he took himself and his teammate out of the race, and the recriminations at Ferrari will begin straight away.
Quote of the day — Charles Leclerc
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX!
Lap 71/71 Drama on the last lap as Ricciardo leaves the door open for Stroll. Norris joins the battle and passes Ricciardo, but Stroll keeps sixth. But Norris has another go as they’re scrapping for the points here, and Norris takes sixth and then fifth from Perez! Norris producing a brilliant display on the last lap again here. Perez and Stroll cross the line in a photo finish — Perez takes it.
Lap 67/71 Bottas passes Verstappen! Quite the battle between these two as Bottas passes Verstappen on the outside, but the Red Bull fights back and reclaims the position! They were going wheel-to-wheel there. However, Bottas has another go and this time he makes the pass. Verstappen tried his best to hold on, but it’s a Mercedes 1-2.
Lap 61/71 Alfa Romeo call on Giovinazzi to allow Raikkonen, on the faster and fresher tyres, to pass him. A similar instruction at McLaren as Sainz allows Norris to pass for eighth place.
Lap 55/71 The Mercedes team have reviewed their analysis of when Bottas can catch Verstappen. Now they’re saying Verstappen can be caught on the final lap, which doesn’t give Bottas much time to make his move. Final laps, fireworks? We’ll have to wait and see.
Lap 52/71 Sergio Perez absolutely flying out there and grabs the fastest lap. Brillaint pace by the Racing Point driver, who is closing in on fourth-placed Albon. However, Bottas is faltering in his attempts to catch Verstappen, and remains seven points behind the Red Bull, who is looking like a good bet to get second place.
Lap 45/71 Nice battle between the pink cars for sixth. Stroll passes his teammate with a neat pass but Perez bites back to recover the position. Stroll came back for seconds, but Perez defended it well. Very nice contest, although these points are big ones for Racing Point.
Lap 40/71 Bottas is on course to catch Verstappen by about lap 58. Quite a way off but if Bottas can get there, we should be in for quite a battle for second in final 10 laps or so.
Lap 33/71 Ricciardo closes in on Sainz as the McLaren comes in to pit. But it was a slugglish stop and Ricciardo takes fifth place, and will now set his sights on Albon in fourth, although the Australian is yet to pit. Meanwhile, Bottas pits for new tyres and returns in third place. Verstappen hangs on to second, but for how long?
Lap 27/71 Ocon retires! What looked like a routine pit stop is actually an early bath for the Renault. Smoke starts to billow out of the front of his car, and his race is run. Hamilton also pits for all of 2.6 seconds to get the medium tyres too. Bottas leads but it promises to be brief.
Lap 24/71 Bottas receives some words of encouragement down the team radio. “This is excellent stuff, Valtteri, close that gap, it will make your race.” Verstappen is in range now, but Red Bull choose this moment to bring Verstappen in and put him on the medium tyre.
Lap 18/71 Ricciardo shows some skill to get past his teammate Ocon, and that puts the Australian up to sixth. Meanwhile, Hamilton clocks another fastest lap and his lead is now over 5 seconds.
Lap 15/71 While the front three continue to fight it out, a gap is emerging between them and the rest of the field. Albon, currently fourth after passing Sainz, is almost 15 seconds behind Bottas already.
Lap 10/71 Hamilton has extends his lead over Verstappen to 2.7 seconds, but the Dutchman bites back with a lap 0.3 seconds faster than the Briton. Then Bottas chips in with a fastest lap, which Hamilton quickly trumps with a 1:08.484.
Lap 5/71 Leclerc is out! The other Ferrari crawls around the track for a few more laps but he too has to retire. A double DNF for Ferrari and we’ve only raced for five laps. Nightmare for them. Meanwhile, Bottas passes Sainz to take third and leave Verstappen sandwiched between the two Mercedes.
Lap 1/71 GO GO GO! Hamilton holds the lead into the first corner but there’s drama behind as Vettel and Leclerc, the two Ferraris, clash! Leclerc attempts pass his teammate but hits Vettel — a mistake by the young driver. Lerclerc ends up on the kerb but Vettel has serious damage and is forced into the pits, where the German has to retire. Another awful race for Ferrari — and Leclerc has damage too, but continues.
Lewis Hamilton demonstrated why he’s the king in the rain, keeping his composure on a drenched track to take pole position for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
It was the Mercedes driver’s record-extending 89th career pole. Hamilton first beat Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s early time and then his own leading mark on his final lap to finish 1.216 seconds ahead of the Red Bull.
Carlos Sainz grabbed third as Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas could only qualify in fourth place after taking pole position and winning last Sunday’s Austrian GP.
It was another tough day for Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel 10th and Charles Leclerc 11th.
1. Bottas (Mercedes) — 25 points
2. Leclerc (Ferrari) — 18 points
3. Norris (McLaren) — 16 points
4. Hamilton (Mercedes) — 12 points
5. Sainz (McLaren) — 10 points
Quote of the day
“The main problem was that we weren’t quick enough.” — Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Circuit profile: Red Bull Ring
The weather might have been different from last week, but the track was the same.
Situated near the city of Spielberg, the Red Bull ring has been on the F1 calendar on and off since 1970. Formerly known as the Österreichring and later the A1 Ring, the track is nestled in the central Austrian mountains.
At 4.32 kilometers and with only nine corners, it’s the shortest lap time of any circuit this season. It has four long straights and plenty of elevation variation with an average speed of 224 km/h, making it one of the fastest tracks on the calendar.