Bottas dominates thrilling race in Austria

Valtteri Bottas claimed his eighth victory in Formula One, his first of the 2020 season and second at the Austrian Grand Prix.After a late grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton started the race from P5.

2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Saturday – LAT Images

He fought his way to P2 on track, but dropped down to P4 after the chequered flag owing to a five-second time penalty. Bottas was able to take advantage of the first safety car period to switch from soft to hard tyres, maintaining the lead from start to finish with just one pit stop, which was the fastest predicted theoretical strategy. He was the only podium finisher to stop just once.

Charles Le Clerc was in sixth place for the majority of the race, until he made the best use of the Safety Car restart phases to make his way up the order. After the second restart, he overtook Lando Norris in turn 6-7 and then passed Sergio Perez, to be third past the chequered flag. But because of Hamilton’s penalty, Charles was classified second.

Gasly drove well to give AlphaTauri some points in their first race. For Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, Verstappen was going well from second on the grid, until he had to retire due to an electrical issue. Albon was very unlucky to lose second place in the last few laps, but he was still fighting for points until he also had to retire, due to a suspected PU electrical issue.

Safety Cars towards the climax of the race allowed the Frenchman Ocon to push into the top 10 as he took eighth place at the flag, just 0.774 seconds down on seventh.

Black sunday for Red Bull’s car , Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi P9 and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – who spun early on in the race after contact with Sainz – in P10

McLaren’s Lando Norris is the third youngest podium finisher of all-time (behind Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll), and set his first career fastest lap on the last lap

Valtteri (25 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by seven points from Charles Leclerc (18 points), with Lewis in P4 (12 points)

Valtteri Bottas
Winning an F1 race is never easy, but today was particularly challenging. There were so many things going on in the race and it would have been quite easy to make a small mistake and lose it all. When the Safety Car came out the last time, I was thinking ‘Come on! Again!?’ I guess it was my chance to really master the restarts here. When you’re in the lead, you want things to be constant and trouble-free, but today felt more like dodging bullets, though things were never out of control. I could build a good margin in the first stint and look after the car and the tyres to make sure that we could stick to our planned strategy. In the second stint, there was more pressure, particularly after all the Safety Cars. We faced some reliability concerns during the race, which put quite a bit of pressure on us, but luckily we made it to the end with both cars. I think we’ve shown that we have a good package. We need to get on top of the reliability issues, but I have no doubts that our team can solve those. I’m looking forward to another race here next weekend.