Formula 1

Hamilton dominates Styrian GP ahead of Bottas and Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton lead every lap on his way to victory in the first every Styrian GP. Valtteri Bottas made it a Mercedes 1-2 after a late overtake on Max Verstappen, while Lando Norris stars again with two overtakes on the final lap.

Race Report

In complete contrast to yesterday’s sodden qualifying, conditions were perfect for the Styrian GP. Lewis Hamilton entered the race as the favourite, following a supreme performance in qualifying.

There were battles throughout the grid as the lights went out, with Carlos Sainz looking for a way around Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. But, as the midfield pack stormed into turn 3, the Ferrari’s collided, with Charles Leclerc being launched in to Sebastian Vettel’s rear wing. Vettel had to retire and Leclerc limped into the pits for a new front wing, but would retire 3 laps later. He later took to social media to accept full responsibility for the incident. Lewis Hamilton had a superb restart as the safety car came in and managed to pull away from Max Verstappen. George Russell was battling for points, but unfortunately dropped behind after falling off the track.

As the Mercedes and Red Bulls pulled away, a tense, race-long battle started between the midfield drivers. Carlos Sainz started as best of the rest, while the Renaults had a fierce battle, both drivers having a point to prove. Daniel Ricciardo came out on top after a superb multi-lap battle. Unfortunately, the battle would go no further as Esteban Ocon retired on lap 27. The Mercedes pulled out different strategies, Valtteri Bottas’ soft tyre stint ran 10 laps longer than that of his teammate. After the pitstops Ricciardo was 5th, followed by both Racing Point cars. Carlos Sainz suffered a 7 second pitstop and dropped behind. After battling his teammate, Sergio Perez showed great pace to breeze past Daniel Ricciardo and started to attack Alexander Albon.

As the race came in to the final stages, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen showed a masterclass of racing, taking multiple corners side by side. Eventually the Finnish driver got past and secured a 1-2 finish for Mercedes. However, as many cars pitted in an attempt for the fastest lap, the battle for best of the rest came to a head. Lando Norris made two opportunist overtakes on Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo to take 6th. But just ahead, Sergio Perez damaged his front wing on Albon’s sidepod and lost a huge amount of time. Norris caught the ailing Racing Point on the last corner and managed to snatch a sensational 5th place. It was almost a 3 way tie to the line, Perez winning out ahead of Stroll and Ricciardo. Carlos Sainz managed to record McLaren’s second fastest lap in a row.

A very entertaining end to the end of the first Styrian GP and Bottas leads Hamilton in the standings. McLaren remain 2nd overall, with Norris currently 3rd in the drivers standings. Next up is Budapest in one week’s time, a track that should suit the Red Bull more. Will we see the first non-Mercedes victory of 2020?

Full Race Standings:

  1. Hamilton
  2. Bottas +13.719
  3. Verstappen +33.698
  4. Albon +44.400
  5. Norris +61.470
  6. Perez +62.387
  7. Stroll +62.453
  8. Ricciardo +62.591
  9. Sainz + 1lap
  10. Kvyat +1lap
  11. Raikkonen +1lap
  12. Magnussen +1lap
  13. Grosjean +1lap
  14. Giovinazzi +1lap
  15. Gasly +1lap
  16. Russell +1lap
  17. Latifi +1lap
  18. Ocon RET
  19. Leclerc RET
  20. Vettel RET

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