STYRIAN GP – Lewis Hamilton takes dominating victory admit another Ferrari implosion

Testing & Race Reports

Lewis Hamilton has led a Mercedes one-two finish to secure his first win of the season in the Styrian Grand Prix, taking his first win at the Red Bull Ring since 2015. The six-times champion looked in fine form dominating the race beating his teammate Valtteri Bottas by seventeen seconds.

Hamilton pulled away at the start, converting pole into the lead before remaining in the lead for most of the race and then going on to take a win to close the gap in the drivers’ championship. The Englishman maintaining his record of fifteen seasons since his debut in 2007 where he has won at least one race.

The world champion is now within six points of the championship lead, after Bottas managed to defend from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after catching him in a brilliant closing stages. But Hamilton knew this weekend he needed to bounce back.

Bottas’s strategy created the battle between the two with five laps to go, the Finn getting past in a thrilling wheel to battle, going round the outside to hold the position. Verstappen had on paper the advantage, but by keeping Bottas out longer gave Mercedes the edge.

Hamilton said “I’m so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming since the last race last year and to come back in after a difficult weekend last week is a great, great step forwards.”

The second Red Bull of Alex Albon was fourth, forty-four seconds behind Hamilton. The British-Thai driver almost lost the place to Sergio Perez following a collision at Schlossgold, where he collided with Hamilton in last weekend’s race.

Perez sustained front wing damage and dropped back, allowing Lando Norris to enjoy another unbelievable late surge, passing Daniel Ricciardo, and both Racing Points taking fifth on the last lap. Teammate Lance Stroll was seventh.

That undid the brilliant race for the Mexican who started seventeen, and as he limped to the flag, he was overtaken by Lando Norris, who had put in his own late-race rise, at the event’s penultimate corner. Carlos Sainz was ninth ahead of Daniil Kvyat.

Sainz handing the place to Norris before his late stop to take fresh softs for an attempt at the fastest lap, which Verstappen also did, with Sainz ultimately taking the extra point on offer.

Ferrari’s difficult season appeared to get worse, as Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel collided for the second time in four races. On the opening lap, Leclerc went to dive down the inside to try and pass him Schlossgold when he bounced into the rear win of the German.

That broke the wing and the German immediately retired from the race, with Leclerc, took full responsibility for the incident – following him into the garage and an early DNF soon after. The team would have been hoping for data for their crucial new parts as they bid to make ground up.

Vettel told reporters “I was fighting two other cars, we were already three cars into turn three, and I was very surprised. I was not expecting Charles to try something. I don’t think there was any space. A big pity and something we should avoid, but not much I could have done differently.”

Kimi Raikkonen eleventh ahead of the two Haas’s, Pierre Gasly could only manage fifteenth after being hit by  Ricciardo at the first corner and lost out to the Renault driver as they scrapped over seventh at the start, but his race unraveled with the second stop finishing just ahead of the Williams pair.

George Russell started strongly before dropping to last at the safety car restart when he skated into the Turn Six gravel as he battled Magnussen.

Esteban Ocon was the only other retirement with suspected cooling problems, coming to a stop on lap 25 after he had been battling teammate Ricciardo in the opening stint.

George Russell started strongly before dropping to last at the safety car restart when he skated into the Turn Six gravel as he battled Magnussen.

Esteban Ocon was the only other retirement with suspected cooling problems, coming to a stop on lap 25 after he had been battling teammate Ricciardo in the opening stint.

George Russell started strongly before dropping to last at the safety car restart when he skated into the Turn Six gravel as he battled Magnussen.

Esteban Ocon was the only other retirement with suspected cooling problems, coming to a stop on lap 25 after he had been battling teammate Ricciardo in the opening stint.

Austria again delivered a race which was dramatic, after two weekends which have generated headlines Hungary has a lot to live up to…

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Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.