Motor racing: Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix, Vettel third to regain c'ship lead from Hamilton who retires

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen steering his car to victory in the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix in Spielberg on July 1, 2018. It was his fourth race win.
Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen steering his car to victory in the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix in Spielberg on July 1, 2018. It was his fourth race win.PHOTO: AFP

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA (AFP) - Max Verstappen made the most of a rare Mercedes double retirement on Sunday (July 1) by claiming his first race win this year, and Red Bull's first at "home", in an incident-packed Austrian Grand Prix.

The Dutch youngster grabbed victory after both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas pulled up with power and gearbox failures respectively as their team's run of four straight Austrian wins came to an abrupt end at the Red Bull Ring.

It was the first time Mercedes had suffered a double retirement, since Verstappen won on his Red Bull debut at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix after Hamilton collided with team-mate Nico Rosberg on the opening lap.

It was the 20-year-old's fourth career victory as he came home ahead of the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who regained the lead in the drivers championship ahead of Hamilton by a single point.

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

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso came home eighth for McLaren ahead of Monegasque rising star Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari-powered Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo was also forced to retire on his 29th birthday.

 

"It's amazing 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.