Max Verstappen completed a clean sweep of pole positions and race wins at the Austrian Grand Prix with another dominant display in Sunday’s main event, leading home Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez.
Despite an action-packed encounter at the Red Bull Ring that saw several drivers penalised over track limits and strategies differ – Verstappen one of few drivers to stay out during an early Virtual Safety Car period – the Dutchman could not be stopped en route to his fifth win on the bounce, and seventh of the season.
Leclerc briefly led the way after taking advantage of the VSC, but he fell back behind Verstappen as the pair worked through their opposing tyre plans and the Red Bull showed its raw pace – underlined by a late and successful bid for the fastest lap bonus point.
Perez delivered a fine recovery from 15th on the grid to end a difficult run and take his first podium since the Miami Grand Prix four races ago, overhauling Carlos Sainz in the closing stages and making the most of the Ferrari driver’s time penalty for track limits.
Lando Norris capped off his and McLaren’s encouraging weekend with their batch of upgrades en route to fifth, beating the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and the Mercedes machines of Lewis Hamilton – another to be penalised – and George Russell to the line.
Pierre Gasly navigated his own five-second penalty to give Alpine a couple of points in ninth, with the other Aston Martin of Lance Stroll passing Williams rival Alex Albon – also penalised – late on for the final point on offer.
A time penalty for an unsafe release left Esteban Ocon 12th in the second of the Alpine cars, with Williams rookie Logan Sargeant – yet another to fall foul of track limits – coming home in 13th as his wait for a maiden F1 point continues.
Alfa Romeo had a quiet race, as Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas finished 14th and 16th respectively, sandwiching the AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries, who was docked five seconds for forcing Haas driver Kevin Magnussen off track.
Oscar Piastri’s race was hindered by contact and the need for a replacement front wing, meaning the McLaren man came home back in 17th, followed by Yuki Tsunoda, who picked up damage on the first lap and ran off the track in his AlphaTauri, before being hit with a penalty for track limits.
Haas’ strong start to the event ended with the disappointment of P19 for Magnussen – making his 150th Grand Prix start – and a retirement for Nico Hulkenberg, whose loss of power forced him to park at the side of the track, triggering the aforementioned VSC.
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Photo's: Oracle Red Bull Racing | Formula 1