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Valtteri Bottas cruises to victory 2020 Austrian Grand Prix



Mercedes denied a one-two podium as Lewis Hamilton handed a penalty and Valtteri Bottas cruised to victory in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.

Three months since the original start date of the Australian Grand Prix, we finally reached race day in Austria and what a race it was.

71 laps, 9 retirements, and penalties galore saw Valtteri Bottas hold onto his pole position and recorded the first win of 2020 F1 season.

Lewis Hamilton finished second behind his teammate but was handed a five-second penalty in the final few laps, rising McLaren’s Lando Norris to 3rd for his first-ever podium finish.

Despite the disappointment in qualifying, Charles Leclerc rose four places to finish second, with Hamilton in 4th.

Sergio Perez was also handed a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, dropping him to 6th and Carlos Sainz gaining 10 points in 5th and Pierre Gasly in 7th.

Esteban Ocon on his return to F1 finished in the points in 8th, ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Sebastian Vettel.

Nicholas Latifi, the rookie driver of 2020, was close to recording points and matching Williams total of 2019, but fell short in 11th.


A day of retirements

Red Bull’s decision to protest Hamilton penalty, pushing Verstappen up to 2nd seemed to give the Dutchman the perfect opportunity to win his third consecutive Austrian Grand Prix.

However, Verstappen was the first retirement of the afternoon as the 22-year-old began to lose power on lap 12, as Bottas extended the gap at the front. Verstappen attempted to restart his car but failed to get his engine started and retired inside the pits.

Daniel Ricciardo was the next victim of power loss, as the Renault car  was pressuring Sebastian Vettel it began to fall off on lap 18, before entering the pits to retire the car. The Ferrari was attempting to overtake Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, who was also struggling for power, as the Pink Panther also had to retire his car three laps later, allowing Vettel to move up to 9th.

Just five laps later, Esteban Ocon overtook the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, but the latter seemed to lose his front brakes and went off the track before becoming the fourth retirement of the day.


Sebastian Vettel struggles

Qualifying was  marked by Ferrari’s struggles, as Sebastian Vettel failed to advance to the third session of qualifying based on speed for the first time in his Ferrari career, previous incidents were technical issues.

However, the German driver did manage to recover to 9th position after overtaking Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo.

On lap 31, next year teammates, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were fighting for 7th before Vettel’s late-braking collided with McLaren’s Sainz, spinning his car off the track.

Vettel returned to the track in 15th, before finishing the race in 10th after plenty of retirements.

Problems for Mercedes

Mercedes were having the perfect weekend, with Hamilton climbing back to 2nd and both Silver Arrows having a 10-second gap over Red Bull’s Alex Albon on lap 50.

However, both drivers were informed to keep off the curbs due to the gearbox in critical condition. Even though Mercedes seemed in control, a retirement from George Russell saw the safety car deployed and allowed the racing pack to join up.

On lap 55, the safety car re-entered the pits and racing rebegun, only for 20 seconds as Alfa Romeo’s front right tire came off and Raikkonen crashed into the straight walls, forcing the safety car to return for another six laps.


Alex Albon denied podium opportunity

With 10 laps left, the Austria Grand Prix restarted and Albon piled pressure on the struggling Hamilton. Just like Brazil in 2019, Albon got ahead of the Mercedes before the two collided, spinning Albon off the track and falling down to 12th.

The incident became under investigation and awarded Hamilton a five-second penalty, dropping him from 2nd to 4th.


Lando Norris first-ever podium finish

Many thought the drama was over, but Sergio Perez was also handed a five-second penalty, allowing Lando Norris to receive his first-ever pole position after finishing 4.8s behind Lewis Hamilton, who also had a five-second penalty.

The British driver overtook Perez on lap 69, to take him into 4th position and recorded the fastest lap on the final lap to close the gap between himself and Hamilton.


Results of the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix

  1. Valtteri Bottas
  2. Charles Leclerc
  3. Lando Norris
  4. Lewis Hamilton
  5. Carlos Sainz
  6. Sergio Perez
  7. Pierre Gasly
  8. Esteban Ocon
  9. Antonio Giovinazzi
  10. Sebastian Vettel
  11. Nicholas Latifi



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