The Austrian GP looked like it would play out as it did over the past four years, with Mercedes looking for another win. And with the two front positions taken up by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas it was definitely their race to lose. But you wouldn’t have guessed that they would suffer their first twin DNFs to give the win to Max Verstappen, followed by the two Ferraris of Raikkonen and Vettel.
The stand out move was that of Raikkonen charging up in between the two Mercedes cars at the start, with the manouevre pushing Bottas back into third from his pole position, while Hamilton grabbed the lead. Bottas however managed a quick recovery when Raikkonen locked up. Vettel with his penalty induced third row start was not as lucky with his start, falling back into eighth before recovering to a sixth position. But it was Verstappen who really impressed, leading Ricciardo past Raikkonen. Raikkonen didn’t back off the second Red Bull’s tail.
The virtual safety car was called out for a rather spectacular blow out on Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, during which Vettel managed a quick tyre change along with Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen, while Hamilton stayed out – much to his chagrin. He managed a stop later, still coming out just ahead of Verstappen, but the pressure was building.
Vettel managed to move up to third, when Ricciardo came in once again on rapidly blistering tyres and Hamilton came in again too to switch to supersofts.
That’s when Hamilton lost his car to a fuel pressure problem, following teammate Bottas who had to retire due to gearbox issues.
The final order saw Verstappen lead Raikkonen and Vettel to the podium, with Ferrari oddly not invoking team orders for Vettel, while Grosjean brought his Haas in fourth ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen, followed by the two Force India’s of Ocon and Perez. And this was one race where Alonso managed to show his mettle, coming in eighth from his pit lane start.
Verstappen added at the race end, “If you want to win a race this is the perfect place, in a Red Bull car at the Red Bull Ring. It was tougher than perhaps it looked but I just needed to be on top of my tyres. I’m very thankful to the engineers for making that strategy call. The fans in the grandstand were great, so many orange t-shirts there. The last few laps I could look a little bit to my left and they were really cheering me on, it was amazing.”
2018 Formula 1 Drivers
|Car No||Name||Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||216||168|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||146||200|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||57||100|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||49||87|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||29||0|
|28||Brendan Hartley||Toro Rosso||4||0|
2018 Formula 1 Teams
|Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|Red Bull Racing||362||368|
|Force India Mercedes||47||187|
|Toro Rosso Honda||33||53|
2018 Formula 1 Races
|Mexico||28/10/2018||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|United States||21/10/2018||Kimi Raikkonen||Max Verstappen||Lewis Hamilton|
|Japan||07/10/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Russia||20/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Sebastian Vettel|
|Singapore||16/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel|
|Italy||02/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Valtteri Bottas|
|Belgium||26/08/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen|
|Hungary||29/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Germany||22/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Britain||08/07/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Austria||01/07/2018||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|France||24/06/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Canada||10/06/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Monaco||27/05/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Spain||13/05/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan||29/04/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Sergio Perez|
|China||15/04/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Bahrain||04/04/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Lewis Hamilton|
|Australia||25/03/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|