Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Verstappen wins in Austria as Vettel grabs F1 lead

Verstappen wins in Austria as Vettel grabs F1 lead

Their problems handed the first win on their home track to Red Bull, for whom Verstappen drove beautifully to control the race once Mercedes hit their problems, well out of reach of the pursuing Ferraris.

Up ahead, however, Ricciardo was struggling with blistering tyres in the Austrian sun.

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Some aggressive driving on the opening lap to muscle his way past Kimi Raikkonen, and then a masterclass in tyre management to look after some badly blistered tyres, helped the Dutchman get himself back into championship contention.

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Hamilton, behind partner to 0,019 seconds, will start the race behind teammate, and the second row of the starting field was occupied by the pilots of Ferrari.

"Max did a very mature job in managing the tires, particularly through Turns 8 and 9, the last two, the fast-right handers". Red Bull is third in the constructors' championship, 58 points adrift of Ferrari.

"We could see the start of blisters and he was able to manage that".

Horner said the move to pass Raikkonen was "really brave", while Verstappen's father Jos told Autosport said: "This is Max, and we don't want to see him different". It's just not my thing, I don't have the need to share.

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France's Romain Grosjean scored his first points of the season with a bang, finishing a lapped fourth for the US -owned Haas team, who also had Denmark's Kevin Magnussen taking the chequered flag in fifth.

He was passed by Ricciardo for the place on lap nine, but a solid stint on the soft-compound tyre after his pit stop ensured he could capitalise on the misfortune around him and guarantee his fifth podium of the season. "The commitment, the resource, the facilities that Honda have available to them is really exciting for us so to be the focal point of attention with the two teams is fantastic for us".

"It was a good result for the team". Second place in the race went to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, while third place went to Sebastian Vettel. "That's why he obviously started to back off a bit". Verstappen believes his next best chance of a win will come in Hungary, rather than at Silverstone next time out.

In a critical error, Mercedes chose to keep race leader Lewis Hamilton out and their victory hopes quickly unravelled from there.

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The reigning champions had not been beaten in Austria since the race returned to the calendar in 2014 and seemed to be heading for a one-two when Valtteri Bottas retired with an hydraulics failure on lap 14.

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