Max Verstappen produced a clinical performance in front of thousands of adoring fans to win the Austrian Grand Prix and extend his lead in the drivers’ championship.
- Max Verstappen increased his lead in the drivers’ championship to 32 points
- Lewis Hamilton struggled during the race, finishing fourth
- McLaren driver Lando Norris finished third, with teammate Daniel Ricciardo climbing six places to seventh
As he did seven days earlier at the same race track, Verstappen led from start to finish, never looking threatened and taking maximum points with a win and an extra point for fastest lap.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finished second after having a solid second half of the race, with McLaren’s Lando Norris producing the drive of the day to finish third.
Verstappen did the damage in the opening 20 laps of the race, making the most of the inferior grid positions of the two Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton struggled behind the McLaren of Lando Norris for the first third of the race, struggling to pass the young Briton and letting Verstappen drive off into the distance.
By the time Hamilton passed Norris on lap 20 Verstappen was comfortably 10 seconds up the road.
“The car was unreal. On every tyre set we put on it was really enjoyable to drive,” Verstappen said post-race.
As Verstappen continued his charge, Hamilton reported damage to his car which forced him to lose time to his teammate Bottas.
After being told not to race against the defending champion, Bottas was given the all clear by his team to overtake and move into second on lap 52.
Hamilton’s championship defence then took another hit the next lap when Norris, who had been rapidly catching the two Mercedes, made a superb overtake at the end of the third DRS straight to move into third, the fourth podium of his career.
After the race Norris said he should have finished second, but a five-second penalty he was given for an early incident which left Sergio Perez off the track pushed him behind Bottas after the pit-stop phases.
“I’m disappointed because we should have been second place,” the Briton said.
“[Perez] tried to go around the outside, which was a bit stupid, and he ran off the track himself.”
Ricciardo moves on from Saturday woes to climb to seventh
Australian Daniel Ricciardo produced one of his best performances of the year, after a bad qualifying session on Saturday.
Starting the race from 13th, the McLaren driver quickly moved into the top 10 with smart driving through the field.
Ricciardo was able to maintain good pace with the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and both Ferraris, who had fresher tyres.
Ricciardo had a chance for fifth in the closing laps of the race when Perez, who was fifth, had a 10-second penalty.
But the superiority of the Red Bull was too much for Ricciardo to contain, as well as the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who was on faster and younger tyres.
The seventh-place finish, along with Norris’s performance, helped extend McLaren’s advantage over Ferrari for third place in the constructors’ championship.
“I just took a lot more enjoyment from the race. It was a better day,” Ricciardo said.
“Today I just needed to have fun.