Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Red Bull wins Austria GP, Ricciardo aborts

Red Bull wins Austria GP, Ricciardo aborts

Max Verstappen took victory in a sensational Austrian Grand Prix, leading home both Ferraris having starting fifth on the grid.

"The tyres are very sensitive and it can happen in the first five laps, if you're too aggressive, the tyre starts to open up and the damage is done".

The victory was the 20-year-old driver's first of the season, and fourth of his career. Raikkonen grabbed second, but then ran off at Turn Two giving fellow-Finn Bottas a chance to recover second on the straight in a frantic opening lap.

Vettel finished third, behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, enough to put him a point ahead the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in the championship fight.

"We changed a few things between sessions but I think we can find a happy medium between the two set-ups".

"To win around the Red Bull Ring with all the Dutch fans here is incredible".

Verstappen went on to control the race once Mercedes' failure to pit Lewis Hamilton under the early virtual safety vehicle, caused by Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas's retirement from second place, cost the Briton track position later on. Verstappen said he had just tried to do his own race as first Bottas and then Hamilton disappeared from the reckoning.

Due to the significantly hotter track temperatures, blistering became a problem for the majority of the drivers, even forcing Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo to make a second stop.

"The auto feels better in certain areas and it was already great last week - I'd like more of it please!"

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"I had plenty of people coming to see me before the start and saying, 'This was going to be a walk in the park, 1-2, you have the quickest vehicle'".

When Hamilton did pit, he came back out in fourth place.

France's Romain Grosjean scored his first points of the season with a bang, finishing a lapped fourth for the USA -owned Haas team, who also had Denmark's Kevin Magnussen taking the chequered flag in fifth.

"It was an old floor so we will put on a new one tomorrow but today we had to be a bit limited on that which definitely compromised the downforce of my vehicle".

"Obviously it would've been nice to start further up", he said. The short lap also makes the times very close.

The result was particularly important for Grosjean, who had hitherto failed to score a point through a series of critical driver errors.

The triple-header of consecutive French, Austrian and British races concludes next week at Silverstone with the championship now fascinatingly poised.

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was eighth for McLaren ahead of Monegasque rising star Charles Leclerc and his Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson.

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