Lewis Hamilton stormed to a 85th Formula One victory in a thrilling 2020 Styrian Grand Prix from Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes recorded their first one-two finish of season.
Hamilton dominated from lights to flag whilst Bottas fought from fourth to finish second with a late move on Max Verstappen on lap 67, as the Dutchman rounded out the podium.
Speaking post-race on his dominant performance, Hamilton admitted that the Red Bull Ring was one of his “weaker tracks” but praised the teamwork, saying; “The team did a fantastic job with the strategy and then it was about keeping it together, staying off the kerbs and bringing it home.”
Alex Albon survived a late collision with Sergio Perez to finish fourth, ahead of Lando Norris who produced a late charge to snatch fifth from the Mexican into the final corner on the last lap.
Ferrari’s difficult weekend came to a premature end following a collision between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap, as the Monegasque got launched over a kerb at turn three and landed on the rear of Vettel.Embed from Getty Images
Having started from pole, Hamilton got a clean getaway into the lead as McLaren’s Carlos Sainz briefly challenged Verstappen for second into the first corner, before settling in third as the safety car soon appeared following the Ferrari incident at turn three.
Once racing resumed, Bottas and Albon soon passed Sainz as the race order settled into a stable pattern with Hamilton slowly stretching his lead ahead of Verstappen nearly six seconds by the time Verstappen pitted on lap 24 to cover the undercut from Bottas.
Hamilton soon followed before Bottas eventually pitted on lap 35 to give Hamilton a clean run towards victory throughout the remainder of the race, whilst hunting down Verstappen.
Esteban Ocon became the final retirement on lap 26 with cooling issues after battling teammate, Daniel Ricciardo for much of the opening stint.
Ricciardo then found himself battling the Racing Points of Perez and Lance Stroll of whom switched positions when it became evident that Perez had the pace to pass Ricciardo and eventually catch Albon.Embed from Getty Images
Perez and Stroll however found themselves in tough battles in the closing stages, with the Mexican coming off worse when attempting a move down inside of Albon through turn four and damaged his front wing.
Stroll meanwhile eventually got past Riccardo for sixth but they were unaware that Carlos Sainz had conceded eighth to his fast charging teammate of Norris who also followed Stroll through as they both overtook Ricciardo on the penultimate lap.
Norris quickly made a move on Stroll before hunting down and successfully passing Perez out of the penultimate corner on the last lap to clinch fifth, whilst Perez held off Stroll and Ricciardo in a photo finish with 0.204s separating the trio.
Sainz and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten with the former clinching a bonus point for fastest lap, posting a 1m 05.619 on lap 69.
Bottas however leaves Austria still leading the drivers’ championship with 43 points to Hamilton’s 37, whilst Norris remains in third on 35 points.
Mercedes however are in firm control of the constructors’ standings with a 41 point over second-placed McLaren as Red Bull and Racing Point demoted Ferrari to fifth.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||71||1h 22m 50.683|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||71||+ 13.719s|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||71||+ 33.698s|
|4||Alex Albon||Red Bull||71||+ 44.400s|
|5||Lando Norris||McLaren||71||+ 61.470s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||71||+ 62.387s|
|7||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||71||+ 62.453s|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||71||+ 62.591s|
|9||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||70||+ 1 Lap|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||70||+ 1 Lap|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||70||+ 1 Lap|
|12||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||70||+ 1 Lap|
|13||Romain Grosjean||Haas||70||+ 1 Lap|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||70||+ 1 Lap|
|15||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||70||+ 1 Lap|
|16||George Russell||Williams||69||+ 2 Laps|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||69||+ 2 Laps|