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Austrian GP 2019

JUNE 30, 2019

Race Notes - Verstappen takes Austrian GP

Max Verstappen, Austrian GP 2019
© RV Press

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen, after dropping back to ninth place on the first lap, drove a storming race to take the Austrian grand prix in his Red Bull-Honda, 2.7 seconds ahead of polesitter Charles Leclerc's Ferrari in second place. Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes finished in third place, 16.2 second behind the winner.

The win for Honda is it's first since Jenson Button won in the Hungarian GP in 2006.

The win is Verstappen's sixth career victory.

Sebastian Vettel (19.6s) in the Ferrari was fourth, followed by Lewis Hamilton (22.8s) in the Mercedes in fifth, Lando Norris (1 lap) in the McLaren-Renault was sixth, Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull was seventh, Carlos Sainz in the second McLaren was eighth, Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari was ninth and his team mate Antonio Giovinazzi took his first point finish in tenth place.

Before the start the weather was sunny and hot. Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari took his second pole position, with Verstappen starting alongside on the front row in his Red Bull. Bottas in the Mercedes was third, Lewis Hamilton, after taking second in qualifying, incurred a penalty, sending him to fourth on the grid. Norris in the McLaren was fifth, with Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo in sixth. Giovinazzi and Gasly made up row four, and Vettel and Magnussen filled out the top ten.

Leclerc starting on soft tyres, Verstappen, Bottas and Hamilton on medium, the rest of the top ten on soft tyres.

At the appointed time the cars went on the formation lap, the lights went off and the race started with Leclerc leading from pole, Verstappen gets a slow start with the anti-stall coming on, Bottas takes second. Norris gets third. On lap one Hamilton then Raikkonen pass Norris.

On lap 2 Vettel is on Norris' tail in sixth. Leclerc has a two-second lead over Bottas.

On lap 4 Vettel passes Norris, but the British driver tries to come back, but Vettel takes fifth olace.

At lap 5 Leclerc leads Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Norris, Verstappen, Gasly, Giovinazzi and Perez in tenth place.

On lap 7 Verstappen passes Norris for sixth place, and now is pressuring Raikkonn for fifth.

On lap 9 Verstappen passes Raikkonen for fifth place. Grosjean, down to 17th complains of lack of grip.

At lap 10 Leclerc leads Bottas by 3.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (6.1s), Vettel (10.5s), Verstappen (15.1s), Raikkonen (18.8s), Norris (19.3s), Gasly (21.3s), Giovinazzi (24.2s) and Perez (25.7s) in tenth place.

A spirited battles for 16th the Grosjean, Russell and Kvyat.

On lap 13 Magnussen is the first driver to pit, and takes on hard tyres and rejoins last.

On lap 14 Norris passes Raikkonen for sixth place.

On lap 17 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m09.252s.

On lap 18 Gasly battles with Raikkonen for sevetnth place.

On lap 18 Vettel sets fast lap.

At lap 20 Leclerc leads Bottas by 4.5 seconds, follwed by Hamilton (6.1s), Vettel (8.6s), Verstappen (13.7s), Verstappen (13.8s), Norris (26.7s), Raikkonen (30.0s), Gasly (31.2s), Giovinazzi (33.0s) and Perez (35.1s) in tenth.

On lap 21 Bottas and Vettel pit for hard tyres, Vettel getting a slow stop. The next lap Leclerc pits from the lead for hard tyres.

Hamilton takes over the lead followed by Verstappen, Leclerc, Bottas, Norris and Vettel.

On lap 24 Raikkonen pits for hard tyres, and rejoins in 15th.

On lap 25 Norris and Gasly both pit, Norris for medium tyres, Gasly for hard tyres. The next lap Hulkenberg pits for hard tyres.

On lap 29 Perez pits for hard tyres. Vettel sets fast lap at 1m08.750s.

On lap 30 Hamilton pits from the lead for hard tyres and changes his front wing for a 11-second stop, and he rejoins in fifth place.

On lap 31 Verstappen pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins in fourth place.

At lpa 32 Leclerc retakes the lead over Bottas by 4.1 seconds, followed by Vettel (9.1s), Verstappen (12.8s), Hamilton (19.0s), Sainz (32.5s), Ricciardo (36.2s), Norris (39.2s), Raikkomem (41.4s) and Galy (42.3s) in tenth.

On lap 33 Gasly passes Raikkoenn for ninth place.

On lap 34 Red Bull tells Verstappen, "you have got a decent tyre adcantage on these guys."

Sainz, Ricciardo and Albon have yet to pit.

Mercedes tell Hamilton that the "field will bunch up at the end of the race."

On lap 38 Norris is closin on Ricciardo in seventh place.

At lap 40 Leclerc leads Bottas by 4.6 seconds, followed by Vettel (8.3s), Verstappen (10.8s), Hamilton (20.1s), Sainz (43.8s), Norris (47.7s), Ricciardo (48.4s), Gasl (49.0s), and Raikkoenen (53.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 41 Sainz finally pits for hard tyres and rejoins in 14th.

Hamilton is told to lift and coast into the corners, with the Mercedes perhaps having overheating issues.

On lap 44 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m08.165s.

On lap 47 Ricciardo finally pits for soft tyres and rejoins in 14th.

On lap 48 Verstappen battles with Vettel in third.

ON lap 49 Verstappen passes Vettel for third place.

On lap 50 Vettel pits for soft tyres and loses fourth place to Hamilton.

Verstappen is closing on Bottas in second.

At lap 51 Leclerc leads Bottas by 4.6 seconds, followed Verstappen (5.6s), Hamilton (20.3s), Vettel (26.6s), Norris (54.9s), Gasly (57.4s), Sainz (1m03.2s), Raikkonen (1m04.7s) and Giovinazzi (1m06.5s) in tenth place.

On lap 54 Vettel sets fast lap.

On lap 55 Verstappen closes on Bottas, and radios the pits saying that he is losing power.

On lap 56 Verstappen passes Bottas for second place.

On lap 58 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m07.766s, and again on lap 60 with 1m07.475s.

At lap 60 Leclerc leads Verstappen by 4.0 seconds, followed by Bottas (11.7s), Hamilton (21.2s), Vettel (23.9s), Norris (1m01.2s), Gasly (1m04.0s), Sainz (1m07.4s), Raikkonen (1 lap) and Giovinazzi in tenth place.

On lap 62 Verstappen closes to 2,8 seconds behind Leclerc, Red Bull tells Verstappen, "this is a blistering pace."

On lap 64 the gap is down to 1.8 seconds, and then 1.0 seconds the next lap.

On lap 66 Verstappen runs 0.4 seconds behind with Versappen runnng quicker.

On lap 68 Verstappen dives down the inside, Leclerc defends and keeps the lead.

On lap 69 Verstappen makes another attempt and passes Leclerc for the lead, the two banging wheels, and Leclerc running wide. Leclerc says, "what the hell was that!".

On lap 70 Hamilton is passed by Vettel for fourth.

At the line Verstappen wins ahead of Leclerc and Bottas.

As the podium celebration goes on the stewards will look at the Verstappen pass after the race.