Red Bull's Verstappen clinches Austrian GP, subject to investigation

Updated: Jul 01, 2019, 08:02 IST | Abhishek Takle |

Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top ten. Sunday's race saw no major incident with each of the 20 cars making it to the flag

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Austrian GP yesterday. Pic/AFP
Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Austrian GP yesterday. Pic/AFP

Spielberg: Red Bull's Max Verstappen banged wheels with Charles Leclerc in an incident being looked at by stewards to win a battle of the 21-year-olds in Sunday's Formula One's Austrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman, who also won in Austria last year, seized the lead from the Ferrari driver two laps from the end, with the pair making contact into the tight uphill turn three.

He crossed the line just 2.7 seconds ahead of the Monegasque, with the pair becoming the sport's youngest top-two. Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, who saw their streak of ten successive wins come to an end. Leclerc, who had started from pole, had appeared to be on course for his and Ferrari's first win of the season, having only conceded the lead through the pitstops. Verstappen, meanwhile, who lined up second alongside Leclerc on the grid, seemed to have fallen out of contention after a poor getaway saw him drop five places at the start. But the Red Bull came into a league of its own after the pitstops with Verstappen scything through the field one car at a time.

Also Read: F1: This is a wrong world, says Sebastian Vettel after penalty costs him Canadian GP

"Max, you drove a mighty race," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told his driver over the radio on the cool-down lap. "You are the man. "I mean what a race, so proud of you!" "After that start, I thought the race was over," said Verstappen later. "After the pitstop, we were flying. "I'm extremely happy for the whole team, also for Honda." Sunday's win was the sixth of Verstappen's career. It handed Red Bull their first win of the season, with every other race having been won by Mercedes, and came just a week after a soporific French Grand Prix. It was also engine supplier Honda's first triumph since the Japanese manufacturer returned to the sport in 2015 and first since Jenson Button won for their works team in 2006. Leclerc, who was denied victory at the second race of the season in Bahrain by an engine issue, raged over the radio at Verstappen after the pair made contact.

"On the incident for me it was pretty clear in the car," he said later. "I don't know what it looked like from the outside but we'll see what the decision is. "We touched and I had to go wide, and I didn't have a chance to fight back," added the Monegasque who had fended off another attack from the Red Bull a lap earlier. Behind the top three, Sebastian Vettel finished fourth. The German made two pitstops and used his fresher tyres to put a late move on Lewis Hamilton who finished fifth. The Briton had qualified second but started fourth after collecting a penalty for impeding Kimi Raikkonen in Saturday's qualifying.

Winner of six of this season's nine races, he had to take on a new front wing at this pitstop and then later had to manage his pace as his Mercedes struggled in the heat. The 34-year-old continues to lead the overall standings, however, 31 points ahead of team-mate Bottas. British rookie Lando Norris finished sixth for McLaren ahead of Verstappen's under-pressure Red Bull team-mate Pierre Gasly. Carlos Sainz in the other McLaren was eighth. Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top ten. Sunday's race saw no major incident with each of the 20 cars making it to the flag.

Also Read: Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on pole in Austria

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