Max Verstappen enjoyed his second victory in the space of just seven days, as the Dutchman dominated on the Red Bull Ring at the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday, June 28.
Verstappen led the pack from pole position as the lights went down on a dry Red Bull Ring, leading every lap of the race to finish first with a very comfortable 35.7 seconds gap between himself and his title rival, Lewis Hamilton.
Behind the usual Mercedes and Red Bull crowd at the front of the grid, drama ensued right from the beginning of the race, as Charles Leclerc accidentally made contact with Pierre Gasly’s left-rear tyre, leaving the Frenchman with a puncture and at the mercy of his machine.
On his way off the track, Gasly tagged the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi and sent him spinning, while also nudging the Williams car of Nicolas Latifi. After the incident, Leclerc returned to the pits to change his front wing, but Gasly did not come off so lightly and was forced to retire in the pits on his first lap.
Seemingly spurred on by this early fiasco, Leclerc drove his heart out, over taking the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Yuki Tsunoda, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll on his way to a respectable seventh place finish. This impressive display of driving capability also saw the Monegasque claim the fan-voted ‘Driver of the Day’ award.
Finishing in sixth place ahead of Leclerc was his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz, who put in a big shift, having started the race in 13th place. Meanwhile, a consistently rapid Lando Norris crossed the line in fifth place, behind Sergio Perez. The Mexican was unable to get past Valtteri Bottas, who kept that Red Bull in his rear view mirror in order to complete the podium.
With the race firmly in the bag, Verstappen slowed down to complete his 71st and final lap, before celebrating his crucial victory with a burnout. Red Bull have now won four consecutive victories for the first time since a very memorable 2013 season.
Verstappen has now extended his Drivers Championship lead over Hamilton by 14 points, but only time will tell if the young challenger can hold off the defending world champion.
The Formula 1 circus will stay at the Red Bull Ring for another week, as the Austrian Grand Prix promises to pack a punch on Sunday, July 4.
Featured image courtesy of @redbullracing on Twitter