Max Verstappen completed the first hat trick of his F1 career by winning the Austrian GP. The Red Bull driver led every lap of the race decisively, hardly appearing on our TV screens as commentators focused on mid-field battles and the crowds of Dutch supporters in the stands. Mercedes suffered setbacks with Hamilton experiencing rear damage, leading Lando Norris to claim his third podium with a third-place finish. Red Bull and Max Verstappen now speed ahead in their respective championship contests.
Mercedes vs Red Bull
It’s another weekend that Mercedes will want to forget after starting in P4 and P5. The one comfort that they can take is Perez’s incident at the start of the race, pushing him out of contention for the podium after a scruffle with Lando Norris landed him in the gravel. Norris managed to see Hamilton off before slipping into fourth place behind the two Mercedes.
Hamilton experienced rear damage during the second portion of the race, with Verstappen having already established an impressive gap between the two title contenders. Bottas was allowed to overtake the lead Mercedes driver, with Norris quickly following suit.
The McLaren driver suffered a 5-second penalty for his incident with Perez before taking advantage of Hamilton’s car issues to come home in P3. Without his 5 second penalty, the British driver may have been able to jump the Mercedes driver to claim Bottas’ second-place finish.
Even after a pit stop onto fresh tyres at lap 53, Hamilton was unable to make an impact on the podium places and finished P4.
The Mid-Field Battles
With Verstappen miles ahead of his nearest rival, the focus of the race was on mid-field battles as Perez tried to fight his way back up to the podium positions. The race saw several penalties handed out to drivers, with Perez gaining two 5 second penalties for facing incidents with Leclerc. The second Red Bull driver dropped from 5th to 6th as a result of the 10-second penalties.
The Ferraris made an impressive comeback from a disappointing qualifying, climbing up the pack with Carlos Sainz gaining from Perez’s penalties to finish fifth.
Another driver who made an impressive comeback was Daniel Riccardo, fighting up from his 13th place in qualifying to finish 7th with Leclerc in 8th. His win ahead of the Ferrari driver extends McLaren’s lead over Ferrari in the constructors.
Red Bull’s junior team at AlphaTauri had a disappointing weekend, with their strategy failing to bring them home a high points haul. Gasly came in ninth, with Tsunoda managing to pick up two-time penalties.
It was also heartbreak for George Russell, who narrowly missed out on bringing home his first point for Williams after losing out to Alonso.
Penalties and a Last-Minute Crash
Right at the end of the race, form team-mates and friends Vettel and Raikkonen collided at turn five. Both drivers were called to the stewards post-race, with Raikkonen deemed to be at fault and receiving a 20s penalty. Six other drivers were summoned for post-race investigations – including many in the top ten. In the end, only Mazepin and Latifi were handed 30s penalties for speeding under double-waved yellow flags.We’ve now got a little break until F1 comes home to the track at Silverstone in less than two weeks. While we’re waiting for the next race, why not pick up some of the new Topps Turbo Attax trading cards? Grab a collector tin and start your collection today.