Max Verstappen dominates Austrian Grand Prix with a fifth consecutive win

Max Verstappen dominates Austrian Grand Prix with a fifth consecutive win

Red Bull won the Austrian Grand Prix thanks to yet another powerful performance from Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen dominated the Austrian Grand Prix to win his fifth straight race for Oracle Red Bull Racing and extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship over Sergio Pérez, who finished third after qualifying fifteenth.

In second position, just over five seconds behind Verstappen, Charles Leclerc made his first appearance on the podium for Scuderia Ferrari this season. However, the gap might have been greater had the Dutchman not stopped late to claim the fastest lap.

Sainz finished fourth after serving a five-second penalty for going beyond the track limits.

Similar to the Sprint Race on Saturday, lap one was exciting as Verstappen got challenged for the lead by the Ferraris. Leclerc passed Verstappen on the run into Turn Three despite the fact that the Dutchman had the better starting position. However, as always, Verstappen was able to maintain his lead.

But the Safety Car was deployed before Verstappen could overtake the leading Ferrari. The stewards were called in to help tidy up the mess after Yuki Tsunoda hit Esteban Ocon’s front wing and skidded into the gravel at Turn Four.

The Virtual Safety Car was then deployed after Nico Hülkenberg had to stop due to a serious mechanical problem on lap 14. Verstappen, who was leading the race opted to stay on the track while other drivers including both Ferrari drivers, decided to pit.

As a result of this tactical decision, Sainz lost ground to Pérez who also stayed outside without pitting as well as Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris. Carlos Sainz voiced his displeasure over the team radio after being prevented from challenging colleague Charles Leclerc for the lead despite having demonstrated great speed behind him before the pit stop.

By lap 20, Sainz had returned to third place after quickly maneuvering through the gridlock. During the race, time penalties became a significant problem. It all started with Hamilton receiving a five-second penalty for exceeding the track limits.

The seven time world champion was not happy with the performance of his car or the penalty, and at one point team boss Toto Wolff had to calm him down over the radio. Other drivers were also hit with penalties along with Hamilton.

Verstappen was forced to fall behind both Ferrari cars as Red Bull ordered him into the pit lane for a tire change on lap 25. Verstappen later overtook the Ferrari duo and retook the lead with his faster car and fresher tires.

Sainz himself was given a five-second time penalty for violating the track limits while pursuing the leading drivers. Esteban Ocon was also penalised for an unsafe release during his pit stop. Meanwhile, Pérez continued to recover further down the field after a difficult qualifying session, passing George Russell to take eighth place.

Nyck de Vries and Kevin Magnussen who were contending outside the points, were engaged in a close battle. Unlike Hamilton, De Vries had little to fight against when it came to his five-second penalty for pushing Magnussen wide at turn six.

Pérez kept up his strong performance, moving into the top five by lap 42 as Norris took his second pit stop. Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, were the victims of track limits infractions. Sainz fell behind Norris after making his final pit stop on lap 46, but he swiftly caught up by passing his old teammate.

Among the top drivers, Verstappen and Pérez were the last to get into the pits. Verstappen maintained his edge in the race while Perez claimed fifth place.

Pérez had impressive speed and easily overcame Norris to take fourth place and then turned his attention to Sainz for the last podium spot. Sainz accused Pérez of spooking him when trying to pass him, but after several laps of chasing down the Ferrari driver, Pérez was able to seize the lead.

Logan Sargeant and Magnussen both received late penalties as Tsunoda was given a 10-second time penalty for another track limits infraction.

Sainz finished the race in fourth as Norris took fifth, the highest finish of the year for the McLaren F1 Team. Fernando Alonso, driving the fastest Aston Martin Armaco Cognizant F1 Team car finished sixth.

Mercedes duo Hamilton and Russell placed seventh and eighth respectively as Pierre Gasly of Alpine picked up points by placing ninth. The top 10 was rounded out by Lance Stroll, who made a last-second pass on Albon to earn the final point.

Ocon was dissatisfied with his 12th-place finish, while Williams rookie Logan Sargeant had a solid day and despite receiving a late track limits penalty, he came in in 13th. Magnussen was the ninth and last driver of the day to get a penalty for coloring outside the lines, moving the Haas down to 19th after Hulkenberg’s earlier retirement.

2023 F1 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX – RACE RESULTS

POS DRIVER NAT.TEAM TIME
1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing71 Laps
2Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+ 5.155s
3Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing+ 17.188s
4Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+ 26.327s
5Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 30.317s
6Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari+ 31.377s
7George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 48.403s
8Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+ 49.196s
9Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+ 59.043s
10Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 67.667s
11Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing+ 69.767s
12Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 1 Lap
13Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+ 1 Lap
14Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+ 1 Lap
15Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+ 1 Lap
16Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team+ 1 Lap
17Nyck de Vries NEDScuderia AlphaTauri+ 1 Lap
18Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+ 1 Lap 
19Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri + 1 Lap
 Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 TeamDNF

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