Vettel hits the front, Verstappen hits the wall

Heather Diaz
July 6, 2018

I don't see the necessity to decide every time. "It was incredible to win here with so many Dutch fans".

German news outlet Auto Motor und Sport has stated that Max Verstappen wouldn't have won the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend if it weren't for his early move on Kimi Raikkonen.

There was a strategy error on the part of the Mercedes team, who opted not to pit Hamilton during the Virtual Safety Car period that was necessitated by the fact that Bottas' car was beached at a slightly less and ideal spot.

Verstappen thwarted the challenge of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari en route to his first win of the season to the delight of Dutch fans, who trooped to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

The Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished in fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of the Force India cars of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez.

There was another surprise in seventh place, where Fernando Alonso was unexpectedly competitive in the McLaren after a number of unsuccessful races. Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo was also forced to retire on his 29th birthday.

That compromised his race day and while he recovered to a podium position, taking back the lead in the standings in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's exit, Vettel expressed frustration over the situation. Look at how many wins I have had at this team.

"I just have the feeling that this is a hugely significant session", said Sky F1 commentator David Croft. "After that, the vehicle came good, but we just ran out of laps".

This is how Hitchin's Victoria pub celebrated England-Colombia penalty shootout win
Fabian Delph has flown back out to rejoin the rest of the England squad at the World Cup following the birth of his third child. Getting over that line was huge for us.

Raikkonen was next to slide off going around a turn, though the Finn was fortunate to avoid major damage and was able to return with grass-covered tires.

Verstappen went on to control the race once Mercedes' failure to pit Lewis Hamilton under the early virtual safety auto, caused by Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas's retirement from second place, cost the Briton track position later on.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was the first retirement, with his engine spewing a cloud of smoke and flames. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 92 7.

"It was wonderful to win at the Red Bull Ring with so many Dutch fans here".

But last weekend's trouble was not the first of the season for Mercedes. Chief strategist James Vowles acknowledged the blunder, telling Hamilton that it was his mistake.

Hamilton then, somewhat unexpectedly, pitted after 25 laps and emerged fourth, ahead of his direct title rival Vettel, but the defending champion was unhappy. I can't predict what will happen but that's not getting in my way'.

The Austrian penalty was imposed despite both Vettel and Sainz progressing to the final phase of qualifying without any difficulty.

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