Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix as Hamilton finishes fifth
BORING? Pah! Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc served up a thrilling Austrian Grand Prix.
Verstappen overcame a dreadful start before passing Leclerc on lap 69 – although the incident will be reviewed by the stewards.
It was a belting race and just what the sport needed after a dreary French GP, won by Lewis Hamilton.
And what of the six-time race winner this season? He finished down in fifth place after he was passed by Sebastian Vettel on lap 70.
Vertsappen said: "After that start I thought the race was over, but I kept on pushing hard. And then after the pitstop were flying.
"We had good pace and I am extremely happy for the whole team. To win here is incredible."
Of the incident when he squeezed past Leclerc at Turn Three, which will be reviewed by the stewards, Verstappen added: "It is part of racing otherwise we have to stay at home.
"If those things are not allowed in racing, then what's the point of being in Formula One?"
Leclerc, however, had a different view and said he felt Verstappen gave him no room to move.
He said: "Overall the race was good but Max came back. On the incident, I will let the stewards decide.
"It was clear from me inside the car. We touched and I had to go wide. It was a shame."
Verstappen, who started second on the gird, dropped to seventh by the end of first lap after a poor get away while Leclerc, was untroubled out in front.
At the end of lap 21, Vettel was dealt a blow when he had a slow pitstop while Hamilton too had problems with a damaged front wing, causing him to have an 11 second pitstop himself.
But after the stops, Verstappen started cutting through the field. Passing Vettel on lap 50, and Bottas, who was third, on lap 56.
He then pulled off a great heart-in-the-mouth overtake on Leclerc on lap 68 to move into the lead while Vettel got past Hamilton late on.
It was Verstappen's second win here in Austria and the packed orange-clad grandstands of the Dutch fans who had come to support him.
It was also Red Bull's first win since switching to Honda engines.
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