VERSTAPPEN TAKES ANOTHER VICTORY IN AUSTRIA
Max Verstappen has taken another victory in Austria after leading all 71 laps and taking the extra point for fastest lap. The Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas finishes in second and the McLaren of Lando Norris comes home in third after starting on the front row for the first time in his F1 career. Hamilton could only manage fourth.
The top three of Verstappen, Norris and Perez got away well off the line and the Red Bull had a good lead by turn 3 where the drama started as Esteban Ocon was sandwiched between Schumacher (Haas) and the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi and after making contact with the Alfa Romeo the front right of Ocon's Alpine was no longer facing the right way which forced him to pull over and end his race just three corners in - this caused the Safety Car which lasted until lap four.
With the racing back underway Perez attempts a move around the outside of Lando Norris for second place but is sent wide and into the gravel putting him down into tenth place with a lot of work to do to catch up back to where Red Bull need him to be.
On lap seven the sea of penalties began with Giovinazzi getting a five second time penalty for overtaking before the Safety Car line. The penalties continued to be handed out as on lap 20 Norris was given a five second penalty for his attempt to stop Perez passing him on lap one. By lap 22 Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) is also given a five second penalty for crossing the pit lane entry too late.
By lap 31 the majority of the drivers who started in the top ten are beginning to pit - starting with Norris and Bottas - with Bottas coming out ahead of Norris as McLaren decided to take the penalty in the stops instead of adding the time to Norris' final time at the end of the race. The next lap Hamilton is in the pits from second and remains second once he has left the pits. Lap 33 and and car number 33 is in from the lead again coming out comfortably in first.
The fight for fifth begins to heat up as Perez and Leclerc (Ferrari) battle it out into turn four has Leclerc going into the gravel just as Perez did on lap one - in keeping with the penalties Perez is given a five second penalty for his defence against Leclerc. Just six laps later (Lap 47) Perez and Leclerc are wheel to wheel from turns four to six before Leclerc is again pushed wide onto the gravel with Perez getting yet another five second penalty - the ten seconds would be added onto his time at the end.
Hamilton begins to struggle with grip and has slightly damaged his car after running over the sausage kerb on the exit of turn one and Mercedes decide to switch the cars round giving Bottas second. And just two laps later on lap 54 / 71 Norris passes Hamilton for the final podium position.
Lap 57 - Tsunoda is given another five second penalty for the same reason as he did earlier on in the race. The Williams of George Russell was racing for tenth for so long and holding off the much experienced Fernando Alonso in the Alpine until lap 69 / 71 when Alonso made a clever move to take the final point off the Williams.
The next race is the British Grand Prix.