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Verstappen wins Austrian GP as Hamilton fails to finish

Verstappen wins Austrian GP as Hamilton fails to finish

Hamilton was on the back foot before he stopped on lap 64, his auto suffering lost fuel pressure while he was fourth, after a glaring strategy error by Mercedes had cost him the lead.

It was also Verstappen's fourth career victory as he came home 1.504 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who regained the lead in the drivers championship ahead of Hamilton by a single point. Eventually he made a stop 10 laps later to limit the damage.

He had the Ferrari of Raikkonen chasing him down in the closing stages but had enough in reserve to score a win at the home of Red Bull.

"It was fantastic", exclaimed Verstappen. He had a very good feeling for how to manage the tires, the slip, the control, so it was a really impressive job. "It's awesome to win in a Red Bull at the Red Bull Ring", said Verstappen, who was supported by an "Orange army" of more than 20,000 fans.

It was an important victory for Verstappen, who had been heavily criticised in the opening six races of the year for a string of messy crashes that cost him points and a potential victory in China. "Today was definitely a very good day for me".

Raikkonen took second place after a week of febrile speculation that he is destined to be replaced by Charles Leclerc, perhaps as early as August.

At the start, Raikkonen made a rapid departure from third to dive between the two Mercedes as Bottas struggled uphill and Hamilton took the initiative.

Russia's Sergei Ignashevich announces retirement after World Cup exit
That was the only year the Croatians advanced past the group stage before this tournament. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said the team had played with all the heart and soul.

He said: "For the race I was very happy in general with how the vehicle was behaving but I always just try to do my best race possible; if that is going to be first, second, third, it's not in your hand". "It's a shame, we had a great auto today".

Sebastian Vettel finished third to reverse Hamilton's 14-point drivers championship lead and seize a razor-thin one-point advantage. After bumping into Bottas after the start of the French GP last week - and restarting his race from the back of the pack - the mishap this time happened in qualifying, with Vettel picking up a 3-place grid penalty for impeding Renault's Carlos Sainz.

"Obviously it would've been nice to start further up", he said. All credit to Max, he drove a very, very mature race, managing a very tricky situation with the tyres and he completed a very controlled drive to win our first Austrian Grand Prix.

"A positive day, but it could have been better - but a very well-deserved win for Max".

Romain Grosjean was fourth ahead of his Ferrari-powered Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon and his Force India teammate Sergio Perez.

Formula One's unprecedented triple-header concludes next weekend (July 6-8) with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.


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