Bottas earns 1st pole position of season at Austrian GP

Heather Diaz
July 5, 2018

On his win, he added: "It's wonderful to win with Red Bull at the Red Bull Ring and with so many Dutch fans around here, it's incredible".

Max Verstappen managed his tyres and showed his maturity on the way to victory in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Despite still being hampered by its Renault power unit, which has failed to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari, Red Bull has still been able to stay competitive this season.

Hamilton had already been on the back foot before he stopped, his auto suffering lost fuel pressure, after a glaring strategy error by Mercedes had cost him the lead.

Hamilton then, somewhat unexpectedly, pitted after 25 laps and emerged fourth, ahead of his direct title rival Vettel, but the defending champion was unhappy. He was passed by Raikkonen on lap 38, triggering the Australian's second tyre stop. Ricciardo also ended the race prematurely, with a gearbox issue forcing him into retirement.

Horner added that Verstappen drove with experience beyond his years in keeping the two Ferraris of Finn Kimi Raikkonen and German Sebastian Vettel, who took over as championship leader, at bay.

Verstappen, who started fourth on the grid, managed to move up to third on the opening lap, and then moved into second when Bottas retired on the 14th lap of the race.

"It was fantastic", exclaimed Verstappen. And a really very mature drive from him to make sure he had just enough left in the last five, ten laps, because Ferrari were probably better than us on tire deg.

Red Bull may not have had the quickest vehicle at the Red Bull Ring, but they finally clinched victory on home soil.

According to Horner, Verstappen did a good job in ensuring that the tyres were being looked after. It's just not my thing, I don't have the need to share.

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"The auto came very good but we just ran out of the laps - we took it easy too long", Raikkonen said. Hamilton was unhappy before his late retirement complaining to his team that "we've just thrown away a win", by bungling the timing of a tyre change. On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.

"[Verstappen drove] unbelievably", said Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

"I think the vehicle has been quite good today", he said.

"It was a good result for the team".

He had the Ferrari of Raikkonen chasing him down in the closing stages but had enough in reserve to score a win at the home of Red Bull.

Red Bull had looked to be a distant third in terms of raw pace all weekend and on Saturday afternoon had been out-qualified by Haas driver Romain Grosjean. "That's why he obviously started to back off a bit". "So positive day, but could have been better".

The Dutchman was criticised at the start of this season as he suffered six incidents in six races.

Sauber had a double points finish through Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc while the McLaren of Fernando Alonso finished eighth after starting from pit lane.

Formula One's unprecedented triple-header concludes next weekend (July 6-8) with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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