Max Verstappen wins the 2018 Austrian GP

Jul 06, 2018, 23:16
Max Verstappen wins the 2018 Austrian GP

Asked about the penalty ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, Vettel said the FIA's desire to deliver consistent punishments has led to too much scrutiny of every on-track incident. "It's fantastic to win in a Red Bull at the Red Bull Ring", said Verstappen, who was supported by an "Orange army" of more than 20,000 fans.

By avoiding a clash with AFL, organisers hope more fans will be encouraged to attend.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has won the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix.

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.

This also meant that Sebastian Vettel managed to move back into the lead of the championship, albeit with a slim one-point advantage over Lewis Hamilton.

Sauber duo Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson finished ninth and 10th. Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo was also forced to retire on his 29th birthday. Verstappen edged Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari for the win.

"It has been an up-and-down season, I can't really explain it", Hamilton said. "It was damage limitation for me and a positive day".

"Ferrari were probably better than us on tyres and we knew they would come back at us".

After a brief red flag period to recover Verstappen's auto, it was Vettel who posted the fastest lap with a 1m27.552s to lead Lewis Hamilton by 0.187s. Nico Hulkenberg ("Reno") - 34 10. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 92 7. "My gearbox is gone", he told the team.

Verstappen hit the front after Mercedes kept Hamilton out on track during a virtual safety auto period that followed Bottas's retirement, with the other contenders pitting for fresh tyres. Ferrari and Red Bull have lost points.

But Hamilton said he was relishing the challenge from Ferrari - and the evolving Silverstone circuit. "It's my mistake. Do what you can", replied Mercedes strategist James Vowles. He eventually pitted on lap 25, which dropped him down to fourth place. "What I can say is, from the experiences like we had last weekend, the team are very, very reactive".

"Especially following someone, you're not going to be able to leave it open".

The decision made Hamilton unhappy, telling his crew that they have thrown away the win. Verstappen had slight blistering, but Hamilton's left rear was a mass of blistered rubber.

He leads fellow four times world champion Lewis Hamilton, victor for the past four years at Silverstone, by a point ahead of the 10th round of the season.