Valtteri Bottas fended off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel to claim victory in the Austrian Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo similarly soaking up late pressure from a recovering Lewis Hamilton to complete the podium for the fifth consecutive race.
The result means Vettel extends his Formula 1 World Championship lead over Hamilton to 20 points as the series heads next to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.
The race winner made a perfect start – good enough to be investigated by the FIA stewards for a ‘jump-start’ – but the Mercedes driver was absolved of any wrong-doing, with video analysis demonstrating the Finn’s wheels began to spun at the exact same frame as the red lights extinguishing.
Though Vettel closed in during the final stages of the race in a near-parallel of their clash in Russia, it was a comfortable victory for Mercedes.
Having started eighth after a grid penalty for changing components in his gearbox, Hamilton scythed his way back through the field to fourth, but ultimately was unable to topple Ricciardo’s Red Bull at the team’s home event.
Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth after earlier running in the top three, with Haas’ Romain Grosjean an impressive sixth after turbulent form in recent weeks.
Sergio Perez beat Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon to seventh, with Felipe Massa similarly triumphing over stable-mate Lance Stroll as the quartet rounded out the points scorers.
Britain’s Jolyon Palmer will be disappointed to have narrowly missed out on a first point of the season for Renault in 11th.
Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso were both forced to retire after being caught up in accidents at the start, whilst Carlos Sainz Jr. and Kevin Magnussen also failed to finish.
As the championship reaches the halfway stage at Silverstone next weekend, victory in the Austrian mountains throws Valtteri Bottas into the title fight.
Lewis Hamilton has won the last three British Grands Prix – a fourth in a row would certainly be a welcome result for his World Championship efforts.
FORMULA 1 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX – RESULT (71 LAPS):
|1||Valtteri BOTTAS||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|2||Sebastian VETTEL||Scuderia Ferrari||+0.658s|
|3||Daniel RICCIARDO||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||+6.012s|
|4||Lewis HAMILTON||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||+7.430s|
|5||Kimi RAIKKONEN||Scuderia Ferrari||+20.370s|
|6||Romain GROSJEAN||Haas F1 Team||+1:13.160s|
|7||Sergio PEREZ||Sahara Force India||+1 lap|
|8||Esteban OCON||Sahara Force India||+1 lap|
|9||Felipe MASSA||Williams Martini Racing||+1 lap|
|10||Lance STROLL||Williams Martini Racing||+1 lap|
|11||Jolyon PALMER||Renault Sport Formula 1 Team||+1 lap|
|12||Stoffel VANDOORNE||McLaren-Honda||+1 lap|
|13||Nico HULKENBERG||Renault Sport Formula 1 Team||+1 lap|
|14||Pascal WEHRLEIN||Sauber F1 Team||+1 lap|
|15||Marcus ERICSSON||Sauber F1 Team||+2 laps|
|16||Daniil KVYAT||Scuderia Toro Rosso||+3 laps|
|DNF||Carlos SAINZ JR||Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|DNF||Kevin MAGNUSSEN||Haas F1 Team|
|DNF||Max VERSTAPPEN||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer|