The Austrian Grand Prix was an unexpected thriller, mechanical problems at Mercedes opened up oppurtunities for a surprising result. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the race at the team’s home track in front of many Dutch fans. Kimi was 2nd and Seb 3rd.
Qualifying was a Mercedes party, as Bottas set a new track record and then improved again while Hamilton was just a fraction slower. Vettel got penalised for blocking Sainz in Q2 (a team error) and was moved from P3 to a challenging P6. Kimi inherited the P3 starting position.
The race start was exciting, Bottas had a poor launch while Hamilton positioned himself on the inside for Turn 1. Kimi Räikkönen had a great start and squuezed himself in a Mercedes sandwich but lost out while fighting Hamilton on the outside of Turn 3. He later dropped to 4th after a light tap from Max Verstappen. Seb ran wide at turn 1 and lost a few places.
The race got turned around when Bottas parked his broken Mercedes and caused a VSC. Both Red Bull and Ferrari pitted but Hamilton didn’t, which meant he had to pit under green flag conditions and lost 3 places. Drama didn’t end there, as the tires started to crumble in the hot conditions. Kimi Räikkönen passed a struggling Ricciardo and later pitted for fresh rubber. Vettel passed a disappointed Hamilton for 4th, who later retired from the race.
This meant a double Mercedes DNF and just like in Spain 2016, Verstappen won followed by Raïkkönen and Vettel. Ricciardo also retired which meant the “best of the rest” battle was for P4! This was taken by the Haas Team in their best result yet. A stunning drive once again from Charles Leclerc, who recovered from an early mistake through the gravel to take P9 in his Alfa Sauber. This GP will be remembered!