Red Bull’s most lethal weapon, Max Verstappen dominated at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, July 4. The Dutchman started in pole position and lead every lap of the race to win his second race in as many weeks, extending his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers Championship standings.
In contrast to the previous weekend at the Styrian Grand Prix but on the same circuit, Verstappen faced no looming threat in his rearview mirror throughout the race, and even found the time to pit with 10 laps to go in order to attempt to claim an extra point for the fastest lap, earning the driver his first ever ‘grand slam weekend’.
Behind the young challenger was Hamilton, who had worked his way up to second place, having started fourth on the grid. However, the defending world champion picked up aerodynamic damage after driving over the track’s exit kerbs.
This did not help the Brit’s cause, as the damage slowed him down considerably, allowing Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris to slip past. Norris would go on to put up a fight as he tried to get past Bottas, but ultimately the Finn was able to keep him at bay and finished the race in second place, leaving Norris to complete the podium with a more than respectable third place finish.
Red Bull could have enjoyed a more successful race Sunday, had it not been for all that action on Turns 3 and 6. Having started in third place on the grid, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez attempted to pass Norris going into the corner but was forced off, leaving Norris with a time penalty.
Not so funnily enough for Charles Leclerc was the reception of the same treatment from Perez himself, twice. Like Norris, Perez directed Leclerc’s Ferrari off the track, leaving the Monegasque less than impressed.
The double time penalty meant that while Perez crossed the line in fifth place, he actually finished the race in sixth place, putting the second prancing horse of Carlos Sainz ahead for a top five finish.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in seventh place, ahead of Leclerc who finished eighth. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly put in a big shift to complete his race in ninth place, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso completed the point taking places in 10th. Alonso only just managed to overtake George Russell for that one remaining point, depriving Russell of the opportunity to take his first ever points with Williams Racing.
The drama didn’t stop there though, as the last lap saw a nasty collision between Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel as they fought for 12th place.
With an eventful triple header now in our rear view mirrors, the Formula 1 circus will enjoy a well deserved weekend off before descending upon Silverstone for the iconic British Grand Prix on Sunday, July 18. Before that though, fans of the motorsport will be treated to the first ever F1 Sprint race on Saturday, July 17.
Featured image courtesy of @redbullracing on Twitter: The orange army, who Lando Norris jokingly said had turned out to support McLaren