Home / Sports / Lewis Hamilton rules, Ferrari falter

Lewis Hamilton rules, Ferrari falter

Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas finishes a distant runner-up with his championship lead cut to six points
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Reuters   |   Spielberg   |   Published 13.07.20, 02:31 AM

Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton dominated the Styrian Grand Prix in a Mercedes one-two on Sunday to celebrate his 85th F1 win and move a step closer to Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 victories.

Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas, winner of last weekend’s season-opener behind closed doors at the same Austrian circuit, finished a distant runner-up with his championship lead cut to six points.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completed the podium on a sunny afternoon at his team’s home — Red Bull Ring — after starting on the front row and being passed by Bottas in the closing stages.

Struggling Ferrari provided a major talking point with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel colliding on the opening lap and both retiring from the race.

“What a weird year it is, but it’s great to be back up here, to be driving with this kind of performance,” said Hamilton, who started from pole position after a sensational lap in a rain-hit qualifying and remained in complete control.

“I’m so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming since the last race last year. To come back in after a difficult weekend last week is a great, great step forwards.”

The Briton, who wore a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt on the starting grid, again took a knee with other drivers before the start as part of an anti-racism campaign and raised his right fist after winning the race.

Sunday’s race was the first time a circuit has hosted two back-to-back rounds in the same championship year, with the original calendar ripped up and rewritten due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bottas, who started fourth and now has 43 points to Hamilton’s 37, said his afternoon had been about damage limitation.

“I still got good points, still leading (overall) so it’s not too bad. Yesterday wasn’t ideal,” he said.

Red Bull's Alex Albon finished fourth with Lando Norris fifth, a result that moved the 20-year-old McLaren driver up to third in the standings, after overtaking both Racing Point drivers on the final lap.

Mexican Sergio Perez was sixth for Racing Point, ahead of Canadian teammate Lance Stroll, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo eighth for Renault.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz completed McLaren’s double points finish in ninth and Russian Daniil Kvyat picked up the final point for AlphaTauri.

After a poor qualifying left their drivers 10th and 14th, the two Ferraris were squeezed together on the opening lap. Leclerc's vehicle was flicked in the air on the kerbs and struck Vettel, whose car took major damage to its rear wing.

The debris caused the safety car to be deployed. Vettel retired immediately, with Leclerc following suit several laps later.             

Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.