The Austrian Grand Prix was set to be a challenging race for Mercedes given the circuit characteristics and thus, Ferrari may find a brief glimmer of hope with pole position secured by Charles Leclerc. Unfortunately, Sebastian Vettel had trouble with his Ferrari in qualifying and started ninth behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
As it turned out, Leclerc and Vettel were marking the wrong car this weekend as Max Verstappen, powered by a Honda engine and a biomass of orange-shirted Dutch fans, took his Red Bull car to the top of the podium and won the home race for his Austrian racing team.
At least that’s how the race ended but in the process of taking his win, Max passed Charles on lap 69 with some wheel-touching results as he dove down the inside of Leclerc and pressed the red car wide on exit of the corner. The stewards deliberated for almost two hours after the race to determine if the move was in accordance to the rules and eventually took the decision that no further actions were required.
A huge win for Red Bull and Max Verstappen who won the team’s home grand prix. The slow start that dropped Max to P8 due to his anti-stall kicking in was adversity enough but he charged back through the field on the hard compounds to pass Valtteri Bottas and eventually Leclerc for the win. The victory moves Verstappen into third in the driver’s championship ahead of Vettel. It was also Honda’s first win since 2006.
A win for the FIA who managed not to cause more controversy by reversing the result of a grand prix over a regulation that most fans are becoming frustrated with.
A win for McLaren and Lando Norris’s 6th place finish and once again, best-of-the-rest. A win also for Carlos Sainz who started last and finished in the points for his 8th place result. McLaren’s pace in France was not reduced by the Red Bull Ring track layout and it does lend some credence that they are the legitimate contenders as best-of-the-rest for the balance of the season regardless of track characteristics.
A win for Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi who both finished in the points with a 9th and 10th place finish. It was Giovinazzi’s first F1 points finish.
Mercedes had a rough day at the office and to be fair, I wasn’t believing their comments ahead of the race weekend, but they were correct, this track was a challenge for them. The speed they have in the corners against Ferrari was neutered because there were only ten turns and perhaps more difficult than that was the heat and car temps that Lewis and Valtteri had to deal with all day long. For Bottas, he did manage to claw back some points against his teammate so a good result for him. Lewis was about 40s away from being lapped in P5 no less.
A fail for Renault who had a poor home race in France and equaled that with a poor non-points result in Austria. They are now 20 points behind McLaren and one has to wonder if Cyril has the answers. A hint, Cyril, it’s not Nico holding you back.
A fail for Racing Point and Haas F1 who still struggle tire temps and finding the pace they had last season. If there is an upside, it is that Sergio Perez was able to get his Racing Point car ahead of the Renault’s so that’s good.
A WTH moment for the FIA as the world waited two hours to hear if they were going to negate the result because two drivers got aggressive during the race. Calmer heads prevailed but it does bring into question all the previous similar situations that were penalized. As much as I think they made the right decision, I am now questioning why previous penalties were given for similar actions?
A WTH moment for F1.com who were duped and the Driver of the Day award went to last-place finisher, Robert Kubica. If the system was hacked by bots voting or if it was a fan message about the current state of F1, I have no idea but in the end, it’s hilarious.
Austrian Grand Prix results
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||71||1h22m01.822s|
|6||Lando Norris||McLaren/Renault||70||1 Lap|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||70||1 Lap|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||70||1 Lap|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||70||1 Lap|
|14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|15||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|16||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|18||George Russell||Williams/Mercedes||69||2 Laps|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||69||2 Laps|
|20||Robert Kubica||Williams/Mercedes||68||3 Laps|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||30|