Madrid Desk, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Styrian Grand Prix at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on Sunday, his first of the 2020 season.
Last week’s Austrian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas came in second, handing Mercedes a one-two finish while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched the third place on the podium.
Speaking after the race, six-time world champion Hamilton said: “The team did a fantastic job with their strategy. I’m so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming. This is a great, great step forward.”
The British driver started in pole position.
Red Bull’s Alex Albon came in fourth and McLaren’s Lando Norris overtook Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez in the final lap to finish fifth.
Perez was awarded Driver of the Day by F1. He started in 17th place and finished in 6th.
Bottas, who still leads the championship after two races, said: “Lewis had a good start and he could control the race. For me, starting from fourth was damage limitation so to get second isn’t a bad result.
“It could have been better but I’m looking forward to heading to Hungary next week.”
Verstappen said: “I tried to make it difficult for Valtteri. A podium was good, but still a lot of work to do.”
Renault’s Dani Ricciardo, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Alpha Tauri’s Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10.
Ferrari’s two racers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were both forced to retire their cars early in the Grand Prix in Steiermark following a collision.
The Monegasque driver tried to squeeze round a right-hand turn on Lap 1 and made contact with Vettel’s car, damaging the rear wing.
Leclerc retired in Lap 5.
He tweeted after the incident: “I am disappointed in myself. I’m sorry but being sorry is not enough. Seb hasn’t got any faults today. I’ve let the team down after them working a whole week to bring the updates early. Too eager to gain those places in the first lap. I will learn from it.”
Renault’s Esteban Ocon was also forced to retire.
The next fixture on the F1 calendar is the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring just outside Budapest next weekend.
The schedule has been revised due to the coronavirus pandemic. Austria hosted the first two Grand Prix to limit travel between countries. This year will also see two British Grand Prix at Silverstone and two Grand Prix in Italy, one at Monza and the other at Mugello, in Tuscany. EFE-EPA