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Formula 1

Verstappen enjoys comforts of home at Austrian Grand Prix

The Red Bull driver won his team's home Grand Prix but it is the retirement of Lewis Hamilton that will dominate the headlines.

Verstappen enjoys comforts of home at Austrian Grand Prix
Charles CoatesGetty Images

Mercedes endured a nightmare afternoon as both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas retired from the Austrian Grand Prix, allowing Sebastian Vettel to take the lead in the drivers' standings.

Max Verstappen delivered a home victory for Red Bull but it is the race's significance in the context of the championship battle that will dominate the headlines.

It was a frustrating outing throughout for Hamilton. After Bottas retired with a hydraulic problem 15 laps in, Mercedes were forced to apologise for opting against pitting the Briton under the Virtual Safety Car - a decision that ultimately cost him the lead.

When Hamilton did eventually stop, he emerged ahead of fifth-placed Vettel but was soon overtaken by his championship rival, before falling victim to the blistering issues that affected several drivers during Sunday's race.

After stopping for another set of fresh tyres, Hamilton suffered a loss of power, pulling over to retire from a race for the first time since Malaysia in 2016.

Verstappen, whose team-mate Daniel Ricciardo dropped out with a "loss of gear sync", held off the Ferraris in the closing laps to claim his first win of the season in front of banks filled with thousands of Dutch fans.

Despite running with Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel in second and third respectively, Ferrari opted against switching their drivers, leaving Vettel with a slender one-point lead over Hamilton in the championship.

Romain Grosjean finished fourth for his first points of the season, ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen, with Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson completing the top 10.


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