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Austrian GP: Verstappen storms to beat Leclerc in Austria

  • Published on 30 Jun 2019 16:32
  • comments 14
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen has won the Austrian Grand Prix after pulling off an overtake on Charles Leclerc in the final laps of the race.

Verstappen was forced to recover after he dropped down the order off the line, as his Red Bull kicked into anti-stall when the lights went out.

The Dutchman raced his way through the field and overtook Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas in the second half of the race before coming out on top in an intense battle with Leclerc. 

Leclerc held his lead for much of the race, only yielding it when he made his pitstop on lap 31, nine laps after Verstappen made his stop.

Leclerc's stop came after Vettel and Bottas' as however Vettel's stop was compromised as the mechanics didn't have his tyres ready due to a communication issue with the mechanics' radio. 

Lewis Hamilton was enjoying his pace on the red-walled soft tyres, and extended his first stint, but his race was ultimately ruined when it was discovered that he was losing downforce due to an issue with the front wing.

Mercedes opted to fit a new front wing to Hamilton's car, which dropped the five-time world champion down into fifth place.

However, he was promoted up one stop when Ferrari decided to pit Vettel for a second time on lap 50 for the soft tyre to go to the end.

Vettel managed to overtake Hamilton on the last handful of laps to take fourth place and end Hamilton's run of consecutive podium finishes. 

Verstappen's victory marks Red Bull's second consecutive home race win, and Honda's first since returning as an engine manufacturer in 2015.

McLaren triumphs in the midfield 

McLaren enjoyed another strong race as Lando Norris powered his way to sixth place, holding off the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.

Norris was running as high as third on the first lap after pulling off a move around the outside of Lewis Hamilton at Turn 1. 

Both he, Gasly and Kimi Raikkonen were involved in a lengthy battle, however Raikkonen slipped back towards the end as Carlos Sainz, who started from the back row, climbed his way to eighth, behind Gasly.

Antonio Giovinazzi picked up his first world championship point, as he held off the threat of the Racing Point and Renault cars. 

AT Red Bull Ring - 30 June 2019

Photos Austria 2019

Replies (14)

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  • THE POWER OF DREAMS!!! :D

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 16:41
    • Absolutely brilliant. Glad for Honda as well. This is a big milestone!

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 18:04
    • Wonderful race, this was one we needed after a drought of exciting races.

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 20:35
  • Kevin

    Posts: 4,434

    What a race this was! Finally, a Honda powered car winning a race again. Great gesture from RBR to let Honda take the constructors trophy.

    This was the best F1 race in a long, loooong time. Verstappen drove superb. Managing his tyres so well, while overtaking the guys ahead. Leclerc defended greatly, but the Red Bull was way too quick. Vettel, Sainz and Norris were the other stars of the day for me. If it were not for Ferrari’s mistake, Vettel would have been on the podium today.

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 17:05
    • Yep, good race. Would have liked to see VER win cleanly, but he drove a great race otherwise. The McLarens impressed and the Alfas looked pretty good too. Looks like Gasly may be in trouble, he was what, a minute behind Max?

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 17:17
  • abhidbgt

    Posts: 171

    Unexpected. I jinxed it. He'll have to wait longer.
    What a race!
    I mean just awesome.

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 17:05
  • JCF1

    Posts: 22

    And now we wait until they tell us who won.

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 17:06
  • I rest my case that VER cannot win a race cleanly. I was about to give him a higher rating until the last few laps. LeClerc was racing cleanly giving plenty of room and then VER crashed into him unnecessarily. Even when he looks to get the position he has to hit the other guy! WTF?! Such a shame, he was running a great race and then had to win in such a sleazy way.

    • + 1
    • Jun 30 2019 - 17:13
    • I completely disagree. The contact maybe was optional, but Leclerc was already beaten when they went side by side into the corner with Max holding the racing line. It's a move that I would expect every driver fishing for a win to execute. No exceptions. Sure, Max could have left more space. But why would he? He was on the racing line. This wasn't like Rosberg in 2016.

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 18:03
    • Aswin

      Posts: 10

      Agree with you. Till that incident Max looked like a hero but after that we know...he tried passing lec the previous lap legibly but when that did not work Max as usual forced it with his own way of getting things done. And the huge fan presence also had to do with stewards decision to be delayed.

      • + 1
      • Jun 30 2019 - 19:09
    • f1ski

      Posts: 472

      When cars are equal that’s how you pass. That is how it should be viewed. It has gotten so bad in f1 drivers are calling foul to get past one another.canada was a bad call. This is really not dissimilar and I think the best way would be to let the result stand then reverse canada

      • + 0
      • Jun 30 2019 - 19:54
  • this was amazing!!

    • + 0
    • Jun 30 2019 - 17:39
  • f1ski

    Posts: 472

    Great race ! Wonder what would have happened if Ferrari left Leclerc out longer and put on mediums I was thinking the yards might not work so well for Ferrari. Hope they let the result stand then reverse the Canadian ruling

    • + 1
    • Jun 30 2019 - 19:51
    • They would've likely won. There was a chance that they'd mess up somehow had they stayed out longer, but it's hard to guess. It wasn't really bad strategy to pit Leclerc when they did, since it covered off any Merc' threats, it was just that Red Bull's strategy was better.

      • + 0
      • Jul 1 2019 - 19:22

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