Epic Battle between Verstappen and Leclerc
There was no way to make it more exciting! Incredible race at the Austria Grand Prix in Spielberg. Red Bull star Max Verstappen won after a spectacular comeback ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. Sebastian Vettel made a strong come back as well – P4. Lewis Hamilton only P5.
“Winning here is incredible,” rejoiced Verstappen. “After the start, I thought the race was over, but we kept pushing and after the pit stop, the car just flew. I am very happy for the team and Honda,” a jubilant Dutchman told reporters.
That’s he was investigated for his move against Leclerc is beyond him:
“This is tough racing, otherwise we have to stay at home. If that’s not allowed, what’s the point in racing in F1?”
Naturally, Leclerc saw the whole situation differently:
“I let the stewards decide the incident. It looked clear to me out of the car, but I don’t know what it looked like from the outside.”
However, after an investigation by the stewards, no penalty was given. It was considered a racing incident. It took more than three hours to confirm the final result for Verstappen’s victory.
Austrian Grand Prix Result
|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|
Saturday: Leclerc beats Hamilton to pole
Charles Leclerc stopped Mercedes’ qualifying series. The Ferrari driver took pole in Spielberg. Sebastian Vettel P9 after technical issues, Lewis Hamilton after penalty P4
Formula 1 can still be exciting – at least, without a Mercedes in the first row! Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc took his second pole position this year at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg.
Behind him, Lewis Hamilton who achieved the second fastest time but was given a three-place grid drop for an incident with Raikkonen, which happened early in Q1.
Red Bull’s local hero Max Verstappen inherited Hamilton’s second place. He was delighted to see so many Dutch fans celebrating him at the race track. Together with Leclerc, it will be the youngest front row starting grid in Formula 1 history.
Charles Leclerc Second Pole
Charlies Leclerc: “The car felt incredible,…”
For Mercedes, however, Saturday qualifying wasn’t going according to plan: Hamilton was beaten by 0.259 seconds. He complained on team radio: “They killed us on the straights today.”
Despite losing pole, he was still upbeat:
“It’s cool to see three different teams in the top three positions.”
Again unlucky in qualifying – Sebastian Vettel. All of a sudden there was commotion in the Ferrari’s garage in the break between Q2 and Q3. The Ferrari mechanics suddenly started working frantically on Vettel’s car.
While team-mate Leclerc already finished his first lap in Q3, Vettel’s Ferrari still wasn’t ready. A disappointed Vettel got out of his while still cheering up his mechanics.
Later, it was reported that Ferrari had a problem with the pneumatic system. Vettel will start the race from P9 tomorrow.
On Sunday the two Ferraris will start with soft tires while the Silver Arrows and the Red Bull drivers start with the medium tire compound.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen qualified 5th. Apparently, he was very jubilant as we could hear on team readio: “Surreal!”
Unfortunately, the moment of celebration lasted only for a short while. The Dane was put five places back due to a gear change.
Another disappointment for Renault as well. Nico Hulkenberg qualified twelfth while Daniel Ricciardo starts from P14.
The German has also placed 5 positions back due to an engine change. This is already the fifth time this season. Only three are allowed.
After all: The new expansion stage, which Ricciardo already got in France, should have more horsepower. As usual both Williams drivers in the back row with Robert Kubica behind his teammate George Russell.
Provisional Starting Grid
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m03.439s||0.436s|
|6||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m04.166s||1.163s|
|7||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m04.179s||1.176s|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m04.199s||1.196s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m04.789s||1.786s|
|14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m04.832s||1.829s|
|16||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m05.324s||2.321s|
|19||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m04.665s||1.662s|
|20||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m13.601s||10.598s|
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.