Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Verstappen grabs home win for Red Bull after double Mercedes retirement

2018 Austrian Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen took a surprise win in the Austrian Grand Prix after disaster struck Mercedes.

The two silver cars held off an attack from Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen at the start and completed the first lap running one and two. But both were doomed not to finish the race: first Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton stopped with technical problems.

However Mercedes had thrown away their shot at victory before Hamilton joined his team mate in retirement in the closing stages. They failed to bring Hamilton in due to a Virtual Safety Car period which opened the door for both Red Bull and Raikkonen to jump ahead of him when he eventually pitted under green-flag conditions.

“We were just waiting to see what everyone else did,” explained Hamilton’s race engineer Pete Bonnington on the radio. “We’ve just thrown away a win,” said Hamilton later.

Red Bull appeared to be heading for a one-two at their home track until Daniel Ricciardo’s car began smoking and stopped. Raikkonen closed within range of Verstappen but was unable to make a move on the leader and followed him to the flag.

Despite making his pit stop later than his rivals, Hamilton was unable to get in a position to pass, and instead lost a position to Vettel. A second pit stop failed to help matters, and just as he the team decided to settle for fourth place a sudden loss of hydraulic pressure put him out. Vettel therefore moved back into the lead of the drivers’ championship by taking third place.

The Haas drivers profited from a day when three of the ‘big six’ cars retired to take fourth and fifth place, led by Romain Grosjean. They were followed by the two Force Indias, who took advantage of Nico Hulkenberg’s retirement and Carlos Sainz Jnr suffering a slow pit stop to bag useful points.

Fernando Alonso recovered from his pit lane start to take points for eighth place. The Sauber pair filled the final points–paying positions, Charles Leclerc leading team mate Marcus Ericsson.

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2018 Austrian Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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50 comments on “Verstappen grabs home win for Red Bull after double Mercedes retirement”

  1. That was a good one.

  2. What happended to “Quality updates” from Merc?
    Alonso need patience just like WEC races.. always wait for opportunities

    1. He sounded like he was ready to retire as he was running last after the first few laps… sheesh. But yeah, great drive to points again. I have to say, unfortunately, Stoffel is looking less and less special in comparison to Fernando

    2. Well, the Force Indias running identical engines survived and bagged points, and two Renault-powered cars (Ricciardo and Hulkenberg) also retired :)

  3. Another strategy disaster fo Merc. It is obvious that the problem is not in computer mistake or one stupid guy mistake. All their strategic system goes to the wrong direction. May be it is a time for a big changes.

  4. I’m not sure who the biggest whiner was today – Lewis or Fernando.

    At least karma was in full effect on the former.

    1. @sjzelli Karma? And what did ALO whine today?

      1. @davidnotcoulthard, it is karma in her unpleasantly xenophobic world where anybody who isn’t German is to be despised.

      2. @davidnotcoulthard Go listen to FA’s radio messages.

        And poor anon… you’ve got to find some new material.

  5. Great race. Unpredictable. I am wondering how these back to back races are taking the toll. The big motorhomes and infrastructures are not at this race due to Silverstone. Ext week. Did that have an affect om reliability? Now for Silverstone, could see a few grid penalties from this race, and more retirements from wear of three back to back. In addition, how many teams are gonna take Grid penalties in order to rebuild the cars during the august break?

    1. Most teams will have five garages or so in circulation at once. The garages in Silverstone will be the ones from China that have been back at base for 3-4 weeks.

      1. @ju88sy ”The garages in Silverstone will be the ones from China that have been back at base for 3-4 weeks.”
        – Is that really true? Not that I wouldn’t believe you, but could you provide the source for this claim.

        1. @jerejj Sure, you can find it on the Mercedes-AMG team website (I can never get links to work) it’s a piece written with input from Toto discussing the logistics of running the triple-header, it went up last week in between the races. It’s safe to assume that most of the larger teams (at least) will be operating similar logistics to Mercedes.

          It makes sense that teams will be using multiple garages considering there weight and bulk, for the flyaways they will be containered up for ocean freight, with insufficient time to ship and receive between races they need multiple setups in circulation.

          Article is well worth a read with the insight it provides to both motorhome and garage logistics for an F1 team. My wife and I are particularly interested as we are attending all three races in the triple header.

          1. That’s the garage, though, I think the original question was about the motorhomes.

            From what I understand, most teams packed up the motorhomes and other gear on Sunday after the race at Paul Ricard and had them on trucks to Austria last Monday. The only team that did it differently was RedBull/Toro Rosso as their Energy station was send to Silverstone, while they erected their MotoGP moterhome at the Redbull ring, as that was already in Spielberg.

            The equipment, I think, is not really a problem. What might be, though, is the fact that the team personnel is on the road non-stop for over 2.5 weeks now and about 1.5 weeks to go still before they have a few days off. That might take a toll

          2. @ju88sy Thanks. The reason I asked for a source is that I’ve never heard or read anything mentioned about garage infrastructures concerning whether they’re the same everywhere or not anywhere.

  6. Another small thing I liked from the race is Ferrari not giving Raikkonen inferior strategy(If they prioritized Vettel, he would not have loss time getting stacked behind Raikkonen but they didn’t). They also did not swap the position at the end of the race. I think having a fast and motivated Raikonnen will help in the long run.

    Btw, Vettel and Hamilton has held 17 point leads each and also has 1 and 14 point leads twice respectively. Interesting stat.

  7. A bad day for Mercedes. A great day for Haas, Sauber, and Alonso. Not bad for Force India either.

    1. It wasn’t that bad for Red Bull either.

  8. All 6 Ferrari powered cars scored points today, that has to be the first time for quite a number of races?

    A bit gutted by Ericsson giving up his 9th place to LeClerc. I realize Charles let him by to in order to catch Alonso and that he would give the place back if he didn’t succeed (Lex Hungaroring 2017). But I thought it was obvious that LeClerc would never have regained that position on Alonso and that Ericsson would have overtaken LeClerc towards the end anyway. Well well. They both scored and I guess the team result makes up for it.

  9. So VES has finally proven he can win a Grand Prix without KVY getting demoted (….either that or Ferrari have just fired KVY).

    I also like how the podium interview was a bit of a Red Bull reunion. Would’ve loved to see either WEB, VET, or VES note that.

    1. I checked and they haven’t, the spell is broken

      1. another one:
        Verstappen all won his GP’s when Mercedes had a double retirement

        1. Nice idea, but simply not true. Malaysia 2017 Verstappen position 1 and Hamilton 2.

    2. He has been VER for some time now.

  10. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    1st July 2018, 17:47

    It is about time Bottas had some luck in a race this season. After this dreadful start to the season, Verstappen doesn’t fully deserve the luck he got today with Bottas retiring ahead and Mercedes messing up the strategy for Hamilton. Seeing Verstappen ahead of Bottas in the championship is a bit frustrating. Kimi also has in no way been better and Ricciardo on the whole hasn’t either really. Without the retirement in Baku and wallop by vettel in france, he would be 37 points further up and just 9 behind Hamilton. Being 6th in the championship is very unfortunate.

    1. So in your opnion whenever there is a mechanical failure at either Ferrari or Mercedes one does not really deserve the win because potentially their cars are better than the Red Bulls. And still if you continue to argue in this way only Bottas would have been potentially in front, Hamilton was already out for the win after they messed up his pitstop.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        1st July 2018, 22:38

        I am purely basing it on Verstappen’s season alone. Just that when he starts to drive well, he happens to have been really fortunate on this occasion too gaining him loads of points and making his season look better than it has been if you look at his points. This wouldn’t be a fair way to always judge it no. I just think it is lucky Verstappen has had this and has managed to get ahead of Bottas in the standings despite having a dreadful season in half the races.

        1. So just because he had a crappy start of the season this win is undeserved? Maybe he just got his act together? In this way of reasoning fourth for Grosjean is also undeserved?

        2. I only see a driver who fully deserved this win. He had his bad days and now times are changing.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            2nd July 2018, 8:44

            He was indeed faultless today. But him of all drivers got some luck that gained him 2 places and a win. The position in the championship makes him look better than he has been. That is my point.

            I am possibly being a bit unreasonable as I admit Verstappen couldn’t have done better. It is justa shame that he is getting good fortune when he’s already messed up his own season badly. Bottas is the one who really is due some good luck.

          2. It’s payback time for the occasions he retired driving in the top 3.

    2. @thegianthogweed I think Bottas has the worst luck and it has been not going his way all season long on sunday’s, to no fault of his own. But at the same time I can’t agree with your point that Verstappen didn’t deserve the win today. That’s BS man and a bit pity from your side.

    3. Ben Rowe, I feel it’s a pity a F1 fan thinks this way… in racing there’s a very thin line between being a hero or a zero… you have a stron feeling about wanting to see Verstappen fail, probably blaming him for each incident… even if he wasn;t fully to blame for (Australia, Bahrain and Baku).

      Fact is only Bottas dropped away in front of Verstappen, the rest he beat on his own by drivind the car in a much better way than fe, Ricciardo or Hamilton. Raikkonen was strong…but Verstappen was just stronger. Vettel ruined his own starting position.
      Considering actually won in the fifth best car, this win couldn’te have been more deserved

  11. It was (still is) a crazy atmosphere here at the circuit, loads of (Dutch) Max supporters, a great sea of orange.

    Only issue is with Max winning, the circuit is out of beer!

  12. Best Haas result ever? First time Sauber score points with both cars in the same race in a looong while. How long? 6 Ferrari engine cars in the points, 4 in the top 5, is this a first time ever? Looking forward to the stats and facts article later this week.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      1st July 2018, 18:16

      first time both suabers scored since China 2015

    2. @dusty You mean ‘next’ week.

      1. Americans anachronistically still start the week on Sundays :)

  13. Manan (@mananbond007)
    1st July 2018, 18:13

    I think following a Ferrari car may be the reason for blistering for Ricciardo and Hamilton… Seems Ferrari makes the air dirtier than most cars… Is that possible technically?

    1. @mananbond007 VES blistered towards the end and he had no Ferraris ahead of him.

      1. It isn’t connected to following a Ferrari, it seems however connected to following a car, it seems the Mercs and the RedBulls are weaker at that. We had some occasions where we have seen that behaviour from the mercs, for the RBs it is new, however probably connected with the type of track, temperature and tyre.

        The Ferraris might not take as much performance out of them in these circumstances, but they surely are kinder on them

        Max had the benefit of clean air for most of the race, so the blistering appeared later

        1. Manan (@mananbond007)
          3rd July 2018, 3:23

          Hmmm.. could be… But it was strangely coincidental that RB and Mercedes both struggled after spending time behind Ferrari… Could very well be the higher temperature or the setup (not expecting the higher temperature)..

      2. According to several sources the yellow tire needs some rubbing in without overdrijving. Both ric and ham pushed to hard.

  14. Maurizio Arrivabene: The real story today is that there are six Ferrari power units in the top ten on the race result sheet. And, apart from that, we are leading both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships.

    1. Who decides what the real story is?

  15. Red Bull wins with Renault engine. All Ferrari engines in the points, kudos.
    Next year the Honda engine is going to be slow but reliable or fast and unreliable…? Hope Red Bull can win with a Honda engine. Alonso and Kimi both drove very well. Bravo Max!

    1. You do kniw that 3 Renaukts retired as well today? Not sure if all are engine related, but Reliabilty is not just a Honda problem…

  16. I think Mercedes even with the updates struggle with the tyres in warm track conditions. In contrast the warm weather helped RBR to get the tyres in the right operating window. They were much faster in the race then in the longrun on friday. Even when Hamilton and Bottas were in front Max could match their laptimes! I think Mercedes will have it easier on Silverstone because certain corners they can take flatout which basically makes it an extended long straight. At Silverstone I believe they will use the different structure tyre which are a little bit less thick and keeps the tyre cooler. That tyre suits Mercedes much better so a Lewis Hamilton win in his home GP is in the cards!

    1. Again the shaved tyres next week? Merc had a clear advantage on those over Ferrari at Spain and France.

      I also wonder how RB will go at Silverstone in general. It’s a power circuit on one hand with several long straights and some flat out corners, but on the other hand, almost all other corners are chassis/aero performance related, so should be good for them.

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