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F1 | Austrian GP | Verstappen strolls to victory for a second straight weekend, Hamilton only 4th

For the second consecutive weekend at the Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen cruised to a dominant win from Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris.

( palabras)
F1 | Austrian GP |  Verstappen strolls to victory for a second straight weekend, Hamilton only 4th
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLat

When the five red lights went out, Verstappen retained the lead as the top 7 stayed in position; Russell in the Williams was the big loser as he lost four positions and dropped to P12, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc both gained two spots. 

Esteban Ocon’s race was over at the exit of turn 3 as he was squeezed between Schumacher and Giovinazzi, ending up with a broken right front suspension.  

It all kicked off on the restart as Perez and Norris went side-by-side into T4; the Mexican ended up in the gravel as the McLaren refused to yield. The Red Bull driver fell to P10.  

The Mercedes drivers also went wheel-to-wheel; Bottas initially overtook Hamilton on the exit of turn 3, but Hamilton got back through around the outside at turn 6. 

The top 10 on lap 10 was Verstappen, Norris, Hamilton, Bottas, Gasly, Tsunoda, Stroll, Vettel, Ricciardo and Perez.  

After early stops for the AlphaTauris, Perez’s day got worse as Leclerc got past him on lap 14 with a beautiful move on the exit of turn 4. 

Just like the AlphaTauris, both Aston Martins pitted early due to high degradation on the softs.  

Lap 20 was a nightmare for Lando Norris as he received a 5-second penalty for the incident with Perez and finally got overtaken by Lewis Hamilton for P2. 

Yuki Tsunoda was also hit with a 5-second penalty for crossing the white line on pit entry as he made his first stop. Amazingly, the Japanese driver did it again later in the race and got a second penalty. 

The order after those stops from the four drivers mentioned above was Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris, Bottas, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Perez, Sainz, Russell and Raikkonen. 

Norris’ stop on lap 30 handed Bottas 3rd place as he served his penalty.  

More controversy occurred as Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc clashed twice at turns 4 and 6; the Mexican was slapped with two 5-second penalties for forcing the Ferrari off track. 

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who started on the hards, finally pitted on lap 49 to switch to the mediums. 

A difficult weekend for Lewis Hamilton continued as damage massively hampered his race. He lost out to Bottas and Norris on laps 52 and 53 as he fell to P4. The World Champion boxed immediately to put on fresh tyres. 

Verstappen, Bottas, Norris, Hamilton, Perez (+10 seconds), Ricciardo, Leclerc, Sainz, Gasly and Russell was the top 10 with 10 laps to go. 

After trying to pass for a number of laps, Alonso finally overtook Russell for P10 with five laps to go. Fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz also had a fantastic ending as he overtook Ricciardo on the penultimate lap and finished P5 thanks to Perez’s penalties. 

On the final lap, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel clashed on the exit of turn 4 as they battled for P12 as both men were just behind George Russell. They both ended off the track and the stewards will investigate the incident after the race. 

Such was Verstappen’s dominance, he could afford to pit for a second time and claim the fastest lap point. The Dutchman collected his fourth win at the Austrian venue and his fourth in five races to extend his championship lead to 32 points over his British rival. It's also his 50th podium finish.

Valtteri Bottas finished a solid P2, with the superb Lando Norris completing the podium places as he scored his third podium in 2021.  

Hamilton, Sainz, Perez, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Gasly and Alonso rounded out the points scorers.  

George Russell finished P11 as he missed out on his first point for Williams by a single place.  

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