Max Verstappen claimed victory for the second week in a row at the Red Bull Ring by winning the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris on Sunday afternoon, with main championship rival Lewis Hamilton coming back fourth.
Verstappen led in the first lap with Norris keep second place in front Sergio Perez, Hamilton and Bottas, before a first safety car was called after Antonio Giovinazzi typed Esteban Ocon to break the Frenchman’s suspension and finish his race just after the third corner.
Once the safety car returned to the pits, Perez set about trying to pass Norris, to his detriment in the end.
Outside turn four, the Mexican ran out of room alongside the Briton and bounced through the gravel trap, falling to the outskirts of the top ten as the commissioners chose to hand over the Mclaren man a penalty of 5 seconds.
Then for Norris, a battle with Lewis hamilton who was now third and needed to get into second as quickly as possible to try to close Max Verstappen, who was now about ten seconds away to clear the road.
It wasn’t until lap 20, however, that Hamilton managed to take P2, with his teammate Valtteri Bottas losing a few seconds behind the British pair to try to preserve his tires.
Elsewhere, Norris’ teammate Daniel Ricciardo was going well, going from 13th on the grid to 5th to 30th lap before going to the pits, ahead Charles Leclerc who was building well on his winning performance as “Driver of the Day” last weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
This was when most of the leaders clashed and Bottas would benefit more than most. With Norris serving his 5-second penalty on his stoppage, the Finn was able to move up to third place, while Red bull and Perez managed to overtake Leclerc, as he continued his recovery.
It was also this battle that provided our next moment of real drama in Round 41. Leclerc got a good run in turn three and sent one outside of turn four. In a carbon copy of what happened to Perez with Norris, the Mexican was now the man to receive a 5 second penalty as he was on trial for running the Monegasque through gravel.
Indeed, it was something we would see again six laps later at turn six, with another time penalty for Perez and Leclerc leaving to express his fury on the radio.
Back in the lead, Max Verstappen was still in the lead but second place was soon to be disputed.
Lewis Hamilton had sustained damage to some aerodynamic parts on the back of his Mercedes and, after being initially ordered to stay on, his teammate Valtteri Bottas was given the green light from the Silver Arrows to attack and take second place , with Lando Norris on the scene once again and lobbying.
Ultimately, a premeditated move played out in round three, releasing Bottas in the top two before Lewis’ woes continued as Norris quickly took third place.
While this was going on, Perez pounced on Daniel Ricciardo and brought down the hammer in an attempt to create a 10 second gap to negate the penalties he had been given, while the Aussie and Leclerc have now engaged in a battle. their.
With cooler tires, Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz was passed up to try the McLaren man, with the Spaniard behind them in the finals, and he would pass into the penultimate lap – before being promoted to fifth as he would be the only man to benefit from Perez penalties .
George Russell, meanwhile, suffered a late heartbreak as he and his team Williams were denied their first point together and the team’s first since Germany 2019, with that of Fernando Alonso relentless nature finally took 10th place from the Briton in charge after many attempts.
Bad luck for Verstappen, however, who, with so much going on behind him, had a serene Sunday to enjoy under the mountains of Styria for his third straight victory.
Then, Silverstone and the British Grand Prix.