Mercedes Valtteri Bottas has taken his second career win by less than a tenth second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the Austrian Grand Prix. The Finn put in another dominant performance in a race which didn’t really give much in terms of action, but the race did come alive in the closing stages.
The Finn made a brilliant getaway from pole to be in a comfortable position going into turn one, but he was placed under investigation for jumping the start. But that wouldn’t stop Bottas from taking the win. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo held off Lewis Hamilton’s last lap charge to take third.
But Bottas’s was building up the early lead, in the race which aid him as he was placed under investigation for jumping the start. The swing would later return to Ferrari, as Vettel closed up after Bottas blistered his tyres, but then the traffic allowed the Finn to gain almost half a second in traffic three laps from the end and made no mistake during a tension-filled final lap
Bottas said “I had a bit of deja-vu in the end from Russia, Vettel was catching up but the problem was I had a massive [tyre] blister. At the beginning, I could control the race but it was trickier towards the end. I’m really happy, it’s only the second win in my career. I think that was the start of my life.”
The Aussies fifth podium in a row was partly helped by his aggressive start, attacking the Ferrari at Turn One and staying with him on the long run to Three where he made the move stick. That battle allowed Romain Grosjean to get pass the Ferrari aided by Ricciardo, as he closed up.
The Finn, however, would get back passed the Frenchman later in the race.
It was a good recovery drive from Hamilton for fourth after started eighth, thanks to a gearbox penalty. But, he was frustrated in the closing stages as he failed to get passed the Red Bull, he did get past on the final lap however he couldn’t make the move stick.
Hamilton’s charge started early with moves on the Force India of Sergio Perez and the Haas of Romain Grosjean on the opening lap. Then an early stop meant he leapfrogged Raikkonen’s Ferrari, giving him track position.
But, Max Verstappen’s race was over before it had really begun. The Dutchman only made it to the first corner, before being hit by Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, as a result of the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat misjudging his braking and hit pushing it into Verstappen.
The Toro Rosso driver was awarded a drive-through penalty for the incident, which led to Verstappen stopping further round the lap and Alonso returning to the pits immediately with terminal damage. That penalty meant the Russian finished the race being the last of the runners in sixteenth.
Grosjean had the best finish of the season so far, he lead the Force India’s of Perez and Esteban Ocon. With the Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll, turning their disappointing qualifying into points.