Despite starting number-seven on the grid at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, Monaco’s Charles Leclerc finished in a very happy second place, 2.7 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton came in at number four, having started in fifth place on the grid following a penalty for speeding during a yellow flag and then another penalty for forcing a collision with Alex Albon in the closing laps of the race.
Leclerc said he was surprised and happily so, after pulling up five places. The Monegasque driver stands at 18 points, behind Bottas on 25. Leclerc’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel managed 10th place. The 2020 season is an unusually short one so drivers have to go into every race with everything they’ve got to earn those precious points.
The race was held behind closed doors. Before receiving his trophy, Lecler said: “I did not expect such a result at all. It’s a surprise. An excellent surprise! In the current situation, we have to seize every opportunity. Mission accomplished. The whole team worked perfectly. Some racing facts helped us. We needed a little luck to to make such a comeback. Now there is still a lot of work to do. Sure it will take time. So it’s up to us to know how to stay positive and united.”
McLaren’s Lando Norris came in at a solid third place as he bridged the gap to just over 4.8 seconds to second place Lewis Hamilton, who had received a 5 second penalty for an aggressive corner which saw Red Bull’s Albon spinning off the track. This was the young Brit’s first ever F1 podium finish and one to remember.
Check out the reactions from either side concerning that collision.
The favourites for victory today were Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, and for good reason. Verstappen won the two previous races at the Red Bull Ring and Hamilton dominated both practice and qualifying. However, the Red Bull tragically lost power in his wagon, his frustration could be heard over the team radio.
The wait for a return to formula 1 racing has been put to an end with a dramatic opening race. Fans of the motorsport must surely be satisfied with the drama and intensity displayed in Austria to commence what promises to be another exciting season of Formula 1.
Check out the highlights of the 2020 Austrian GP below: