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.

Credit: Red Bull
Dutch Fans
Credit Red Bull

Austrian Grand Prix Result

1Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda711h22m01.822s
2Charles LeclercFerrari712.724s
3Valtteri BottasMercedes7118.960s
4Sebastian VettelFerrari7119.610s
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes7122.805s
6Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault701 Lap
7Pierre GaslyRed Bull/Honda701 Lap
8Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault701 Lap
9Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari701 Lap
10Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari701 Lap
11Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes701 Lap
12Daniel RicciardoRenault701 Lap
13Nico HulkenbergRenault701 Lap
14Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes701 Lap
15Alexander AlbonToro Rosso/Honda701 Lap
16Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari701 Lap
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda701 Lap
18George RussellWilliams/Mercedes692 Laps
19Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari692 Laps
20Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes683 Laps

Drivers’ Standings

1Lewis Hamilton197
2Valtteri Bottas166
3Max Verstappen126
4Sebastian Vettel123
5Charles Leclerc105
6Pierre Gasly43
7Carlos Sainz Jr.30
8Lando Norris22
9Kimi Raikkonen21
10Daniel Ricciardo16
11Nico Hulkenberg16
12Kevin Magnussen14
13Sergio Perez13
14Daniil Kvyat10
15Alexander Albon7
16Lance Stroll6
17Romain Grosjean2
18Antonio Giovinazzi1
19George Russell0
20Robert Kubica0

Constructors’ Standings

3Red Bull/Honda169
6Alfa Romeo/Ferrari22
7Racing Point/Mercedes19
8Toro Rosso/Honda17

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

Charles Leclerc Org_CGP 2019_b
Charles Leclerc on Pole. Credit: @wooschneider

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

1Charles LeclercFerrari1m03.003s
2Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda1m03.439s0.436s
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1m03.537s0.534s
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m03.262s0.259s
5Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault1m04.099s1.096s
6Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari1m04.166s1.163s
7Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari1m04.179s1.176s
8Pierre GaslyRed Bull/Honda1m04.199s1.196s
9Sebastian VettelFerrari
10Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari1m04.072s1.069s
11Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m04.490s1.487s
12Daniel RicciardoRenault1m04.790s1.787s
13Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes1m04.789s1.786s
14Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes1m04.832s1.829s
15Nico HulkenbergRenault1m04.516s1.513s
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda1m05.324s2.321s
17Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes1m06.206s3.203s
18George RussellWilliams/Mercedes1m05.904s2.901s
19Alexander AlbonToro Rosso/Honda1m04.665s1.662s
20Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault1m13.601s10.598s

*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.


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