Rediff.com  » Sports » Austrian F1 GP: Verstappen wins after thrilling duel with Leclerc

Austrian F1 GP: Verstappen wins after thrilling duel with Leclerc

Last updated on: June 30, 2019 21:20 IST

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on Sunday

IMAGE: Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on Sunday. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix for the second year in a row on Sunday, subject to a stewards' investigation, while champions Mercedes lost for the first time this season.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, starting on pole, finished second after defending hard against Verstappen with the two 21-year-olds banging wheels as the Dutchman forced his way past. Verstappen took the flag under investigation. 

Both 21, the pair were the youngest top two finishers in Formula One history.

 

Verstappen took the chequered flag, at a scenic circuit owned by Red Bull and with thousands of orange-shirted Dutch fans cheering him on, but still faces an anxious wait for confirmation.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the race as second placed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc walks off

IMAGE: Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the race as second placed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc walks off. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Valtteri Bottas finished third for Mercedes with championship-leading team mate Lewis Hamilton, winner of the previous four races, fifth and behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Five-times world champion Hamilton remains well in front in the standings, 31 clear of Finland's Bottas after nine of 21 races.

The victory was the first for a Honda-powered car since Britain's Jenson Button won in Hungary in 2006 for the Japanese manufacturer's own team, and a welcome antidote to last weekend's dull French Grand Prix.

It also ended Mercedes's run of 10 wins in a row, and eight this season.

Sebastian Vettel driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 leads Max Verstappen driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring

IMAGE: Sebastian Vettel driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 leads Max Verstappen driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring. Photograph: Charles Coates/Getty Images

"For Honda to win again here is incredible," said Verstappen.

"It's hard racing, otherwise we have to stay at home. If those things are not allowed in racing, then what's the point of being in Formula One," he added when asked about the summons to the stewards for the overtake on Leclerc.

The Monegasque, forced wide, said he would let the stewards decide.

"For me it was clear I was on the outside, he left a car width, we touched and I went wide and it's a shame," he said after losing out on his first win for the second time this season.

Source:
© Copyright 2019 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT