Thrilling F1 season opener at Red Bull Ring

Valtteri Bottas wins ahead of Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris, early exit for Max Verstappen

The elite racing series has its first winner of 2020: Valtteri Bottas beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the chequered flag at the Red Bull Ring. Millions of motorsport fans around the world followed a turbulent Formula 1 Rolex Großer Preis von Österreich via the TV and online, with Bottas holding onto his advantage after starting in pole. Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris joined the Finn on the podium.

Numerous retirements and safety car phases

Max Verstappen had to abandon his RB16 in the pit lane early on: “Can‘t drive, the wheels are blocked!” he said straight after his retirement. Many others followed him out of the race, including Ricciardo, Stroll, Räikkönen, Kvyat – and Alexander Albon then became the second Red Bull Racing driver to have to drop out after a tussle with Lewis Hamilton. Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly finished the race in seventh.

Views after the Austrian GP:

Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes): “I knew that if I made a small mistake, Lewis would pass me. Having so many safety cars was hard as Lewis ended up right behind me every time. Then came the warnings from the team about a sensor. I am even happier now that both cars finished!”

Charles Leclerc (MON / Scuderia Ferrari): “It‘s a big surprise for us, but a good one! We didn‘t make any mistakes, and we had some luck with the accidents and penalties for Lewis. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we saw that anything is possible.”

Lando Norris (GBR / McLaren):  “I am speechless. I gave everything I had over the last few laps. If you consider where the team was a few years ago, we have made really decent progress. I am proud of the team.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes): “I gave everything during the race. In qualifying it was probably my own fault. The penalty disrupted my preparations, as I had to go to the stewards. Colliding with Alex was unintentional. It is really hard when you are quicker than the car in front of you but you can‘t drive at your potential due to technical reasons.”

Max Verstappen (NED / Red Bull Racing): “I have no idea what happened. It‘s not good that we didn‘t win any points today, but we can‘t change that now. I have no idea what happened, everything just jammed.“

Success for Austrian team in side series

Austrian teams and drivers had a great day in the side series on Sunday. Austria‘s BWT Lechner Racing team took a superb pair of wins in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with their drivers Jaxon Evans (NZL) and Dylan Pereira (LUX). Styrian Moritz Sager finished in 17th just ahead of his father, Philipp Sager. In Formula 3, Vienna’s Lukas Dunner took an impressive 14th place.

Steiermark Grand Prix to follow Austrian Grand Prix

The second installment of the historic double header at the Red Bull Ring takes place this coming Sunday (12 July) with the Formula 1 Pirelli Großer Preis der Steiermark. There will also be another edition of the Virtual Styrian Green Carpet loved by fans and F1 drivers alike! 

Max Verstappen - Virtual Styrian Green Carpet I © Getty Images Red Bull Content Pool

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