Formula 1 has returned to the Styrian Hills for the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, and Max Verstappen’s orange army came out in full force to show support for their favourite Dutchman, as he defended against Charles Leclerc on the Red Bull Ring. However, the Monegasque went on to disappoint the home crowd with a big win deep into Red Bull territory.
Having won the starting order deciding sprint race, Verstappen began the race in pole position, but lost the lead to Leclerc as he pitted on the twelfth lap. The Ferrari strategists actually got it right on this occasion, as Leclerc pitted much later on the 27th lap, and retook the lead with a pass ten laps later.
Leclerc’s second and final pit stop arrived at the 51st lap, but by the 53rd lap he was once again in the lead. Carlos Sainz was now closing in on Verstappen in chase of a Ferrari 1-2 finish, but the Spaniard slowed down on the track before flames erupted from the rear of his car.
Then it seemed that the situation was about to get even worse for the Scuderia, as Leclerc appeared to suffer with a throttle pedal issue, which allowed Verstappen to close the gap to 2.3 seconds. However, a determined Leclerc crossed the line first to claim his first win of the season since the third race in Melbourne.
Verstappen was left with second place, while Hamilton completed the podium in third, having started the race back in eighth place. An all-Monaco podium saw a Monegasque stand with the trophy on top with two Monaco residents standing either side of him.
Meanwhile, Mercedes’ George Russell finished his race in fourth place having started there and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon rounded out the top five having started sixth. Haas driver Mick Schumacher was the fan voted ‘Driver of the Day’ for claiming his best-ever finish in F1 in sixth place.
Unfortunately for F1 fans, next weekend will be without a race, but the action will resume on Sunday, July 24 with the French Grand Prix set to take place rather locally to Monaco at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
Featured image courtesy of @Ben_Sulayem on Twitter