Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Error-free Verstappen hands Red Bull a home win

2018 Austrian Grand Prix review

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Mistakes had been the story of Max Verstappen fourth Formula 1 season for many of the opening races. Mistakes which cost him finishes, mistakes which cost him points, mistakes which cost him wins.

He took umbrage at repeated questions over his string of incidents and hit back hard at critics who suggested he should tone down his maximum-attack approach.

But lately he has begun to cut out the mistakes. And it paid off in a big way for him and Red Bull at the team’s home race.


Mercedes repel Raikkonen

Race day dawned unexpectedly hot at the Red Bull Ring. “We asked Dietrich [Mateschitz] if he would turn the heater up for Sunday, which he duly did,” joked Red Bull team principal Christian Horner afterwards. On the grid Horner hinted the hotter conditions would favour his team, and so it proved.

Red Bull shouldn’t have been in a position to win this race. For once neither of their drivers had been able to claim any silver or red scalps in qualifying. Mercedes locked out the front row, followed by Ferrari. It was only when Sebastian Vettel got a three-place penalty for holding up Carlos Sainz Jnr in Q2, because his engineer had failed to warn him about the approaching Renault, that Verstappen was elevated in front of him and onto the second row.

That was the first of several mistakes by other teams which tipped circumstances in Verstappen’s favour.

Before the race began pole sitter Valtteri Bottas remarked that a driver needs to make a particularly poor start to be passed on the short run to turn one at the Red Bull Ring. He then proceeded to demonstrate this on race day.

From second on the grid Lewis Hamilton made a good enough start to draw alongside his team mate. But third-placed Kimi Raikkonen, who started on softer tyres than the Mercedes, shot away from the line quickly enough to dive between the Mercedes drivers.

For a moment it look like we were about to get a replay of Singapore last year, but the trio gave each other room and Hamilton led Raikkonen up the hill while Verstappen demoted Bottas. Mercedes had been wary of Ferrari’s traction out of turn three, so the relief must have been great when Raikkonen slithered wide at the corner, letting Hamilton off the hook.

That gave Verstappen a run down the inside of the Ferrari going into turn four. Raikkonen squeezed the Red Bull onto the grass approaching the corner, and was so preoccupied that Bottas serenely swept around the pair of them to restore a Mercedes one-two.

Having almost gone from third to first, Raikkonen slipped back to fourth when he swung into turn seven just as Verstappen was diving inside him. The pair made contact, Raikkonen backed off and Verstappen was through into third.

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Tactical error thwarts Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2018
Mercedes self-destructed
Lap two began with the Mercedes seemingly on their way to another one-two, followed by Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo, who’d gained two places on the first lap. One came at the expense of Vettel, who was now stuck behind the Haas pair. After dispensing with these on consecutive laps, he was onto the tail of the leading quintet.

The high tyre temperatures were always going to make a one-stop strategy more difficult. Deciding what was the earliest point a driver could stand to pit and run to the end was critical for the strategists. An early Safety Car period could present a difficult decision: could they stand to take advantage of the early opportunity to pit?

As lap 10 came to an end Nico Hulkenberg felt his engine begin to go. His team urged him to pit just as he flashed past the entrance. As smoke began to billow from the yellow car, Hulkenberg appeared to consider stopping next to the pit wall, which would have been an instant Safety Car situation. Instead he pulled off in the turn one run-off, and race control left the race running.

But two laps later that changed, and for the most astonishing of reasons. One of the hitherto bulletproof Mercedes had stopped. A loss of hydraulic pressure put Bottas out. Ironically, the Virtual Safety Car period triggered by his recovery indirectly ruined the race of the other car.

Mercedes already threw away one win under Virtual Safety Car conditions this year in Australia when it incorrectly calculated how close Hamilton needed to be to Vettel in order to prevent the Ferrari driver pitting under a VSC and staying ahead of him. This time their error was more straightforward: they should have pitted but didn’t, because they spent too long trying to work out whether they needed to.

Red Bull and Ferrari were so certain the best approach was to pit that they brought both pairs of drivers in, even though they had to queue them. Red Bull seem to thrive on this challenge and produced two of the four quickest complete pit stops of the race for Verstappen and Ricciardo.

The VSC period was cancelled before Hamilton returned to the pit entry, and so his opportunity to pit was lost. This catastrophic mistake by Mercedes handed Verstappen the win.

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Red Bull’s rivals can’t take the heat

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2018
Raikkonen had to settle for second
However he still had to bring the car home on a day when tyre life was critical. “Max knew the race was all about tyre conservation,” said Horner, who pointed out the conditions were much warmer than when teams had done their race simulations during Friday practice.

“Temperatures were probably 10 or 12 degrees hotter today than on Friday. We’d seen in the support races [on Sunday] a couple of F2 guys getting into trouble with rear deg. It was something we talked about in the race [that] this might not be as easy a one-stop as we thought.”

The team had also done a lot of work on the RB14s since the first day of action. “The temperature obviously came up but we made quite a lot of set-up changes between Friday [and Saturday],” said Horner on Sunday evening. “It was clear that we were off the pace on Friday.”

“But Mercedes had no pace on us today. And also Ferrari we had covered as well. We looked six, seven tenths off on Friday. Good work from engineering to get the car back into a competitive window.”

Ricciardo gave a clear demonstration of the Red Bull’s pace when he passed Raikkonen for fourth. His team mate spotted the move on the trackside video screen and let his team know on the radio.

Red Bull also drew encouragement from Ferrari’s apparent lack of pace. When Hamilton finally made his pit stop under green conditions he emerged in front of Vettel, who hadn’t been quick enough to get into Hamilton’s pit window.

Vettel expressed frustration at this development on his radio. “I was aware that we were fighting him but I was of the opinion that we were ahead,” he explained afterwards. “I didn’t expect it to be that close and to be on the back foot.”

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“I have thrown the win away”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2018
Vettel pounced on struggling Hamilton
However the Ferrari driver’s displeasure paled into comparison with Hamilton’s. “What the hell was that?” he asked on the radio. “How did we miss that?” he continued, somehow managing not to add the word ‘again’.

Mercedes’ strategist James Vowles came on the radio twice to reassure Hamilton he wasn’t responsible for the mistake. “I have thrown the win away today but you have the potential opportunity to get back up,” he said at one point.

Vowles added “just let the tyres cool”, for by this stage Hamilton was pressuring Raikkonen hard but the increased strain on his tyres was giving him problems. As his rubber began to blister, Hamilton found himself under attack from the other Ferrari.

Vettel suddenly pounced on the approach to turn three. Hamilton made a late defence, edging the Ferrari towards the grass, but it was too late to stop Vettel getting through. Capping Hamilton’s misery, his blistering forced him in for a second pit stop.

That dropped him behind Ricciardo, who had also discovered that pushing the tyres hard enough to make a pass was asking too much of the rubber. However as Hamilton zeroed in Ricciardo’s Red Bull began to smoke, and soon stopped. His third retirement of the year made for an unhappy 29th birthday present.

He was joined in retirement nine laps later by Hamilton. Even more astonishingly, the other the hitherto bulletproof Mercedes also stopped, this time following a loss of fuel pressure.

Moments earlier, Mercedes had advised Hamilton to turn his engine down and consoled him with the knowledge he was only going to lose three points to Vettel. Instead he lost 15 points – and the lead of the world championship – to his rival.

Up at the front, Verstappen was didn’t have to worry about passing anyone and skilfully kept his tyres alive. “We could see the start of blisters just starting to happen,” said Horner. “But he was able to manage that.

“He was very much in control, he was getting the information from the pit wall, he was using the tyres he had available to him.”

Red Bull turned Verstappen’s engine down following Ricciardo’s failure. But the Ferraris were edging ever closer: with five laps to go both were within five seconds of him. So Red Bull allowed him to use more of the Renault’s performance.

“[It was] a really very mature drive from him to make sure he’d got just enough left in the last five to 10 laps,” Horner added. “I think Ferrari were better than us on tyre deg today and we knew they’d come back at us at the end of the race. But he’d got enough in the tank to see off the challenge to the end.”

First class Haas

Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2018
Haas celebrated their best ever result
The rest of the field was lapped, and led home by the Haas pair. The team which has arguably got closest to the front-running pace of any midfield outfit this year finally delivered on its potential in its 50th race, achieving a best-ever finish of fourth and fifth.

Force India released Sergio Perez, who was on fresher tyres, from behind team mate Esteban Ocon to mount an attack on the VF-18s. He got close, then fell back, and Force India instructed him to give Ocon the position back. He did, though he had to back off by 10 seconds on the final lap.

Fernando Alonso impressively arrived in eighth place despite having to start from the pit lane. This was because the team had to fit an old-specification front wing to his car when he broke on in qualifying. He made amends with a typically canny performance, babying his tyres for lap after lap after his pit stop, then picking off his midfield rivals for a solid points finish.

The Sauber pair filled the remaining points positions. Like the Force India pair they also swapped positions on the final lap after Marcus Ericsson had been waved past Charles Leclerc earlier on.

Leclerc, whose starting position was compromised by a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, spoiled a good start by going off while battling Pierre Gasly. “I just pushed like crazy, and even more after my error, to catch up and do a better job after it and it just worked out,” he said. This was the fifth points score in six races for the driver who is increasingly being linked with a Ferrari race seat in 2019.

Home win

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2018
Both Red Bull drivers have won races this year
The fifth running of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring since it returned to the calendar finally produced a win for someone other than Mercedes. Not only that, an overdue home team win.

And for Verstappen, a vindication of the approach to driving he swore he’d never change. “Sometimes you have difficult moments and then you try to work hard and you keep working hard even when it’s difficult and you overcome the situation,” he said.

As last year, a huge contingent of Verstappen fans amassed at the Red Bull Ring to see him in action. Last year he made it no further than turn one before being taken out.

Unreliability, tactical errors, driving errors: Mistakes by one name or another. Verstappen’s rivals could each count at least one of these reasons why he won and they didn’t.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Author information

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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66 comments on “Error-free Verstappen hands Red Bull a home win”

  1. Before the race began pole sitter Valtteri Bottas remarked that a driver needs to make a particularly poor start to be passed on the short run to turn one at the Red Bull Ring. He then proceeded to demonstrate this on race day.

    That was pretty savage ;-)

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      3rd July 2018, 20:28

      Even I will admit Bottas didn’t make a good start. You could see his tyres spinning badly. Think he left more of a mark on the track than most other drivers. But given he lost 3 places and gained 2 up so fast again, I think that was a very good recovery. Also, just before he retired, the last 6 laps he slowly had been catching Hamilton and was 1.8 behind just before his problem.

  2. Question, I don’t get the numbering for the corners here… What’s been described as “turn 3” has always been “turn 2” for me… which is turn two then?

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      3rd July 2018, 1:08

      The slight kink before it, about 3/4 down the straight.

      1. @vettelfan17 that’s turn 2? madness… it’s not even a corner!

        1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
          3rd July 2018, 8:28

          @fer-no65 I think it’s because MotoGP consider it a corner.

    2. @fer-no65 I don’t get FIA’s logic in numbering the corners either, so you aren’t the only one, LOL. By this logic, Monaco’s S/F straight, for example, should be counted as a corner as well as it slightly curves into the right almost the entire length of it, and only starts to straighten towards the end of it. I personally still regard the right-hander at the end of the longest straight of Red Bull Ring as T2 as it’s a bit ridiculous to count every single tiny bend as a corner especially since it isn’t applied consistently.

  3. But I still wonder why is Verstappen given “error-free” epithet, when he (as correctly reported in the article) hit fair and square Raikkonen just before passing him. That is hardly an error-free conduct, if you ask me, more if it refers to previous races where he used to hit other people, which, well, is the same thing.

    1. Exactly… in my view this is a hit and run and he should give the position back. Stewards at the “Red Bull Ring” didn’t agree I guess.

      1. Apparently hit and run is ok. Verstappen was his usual clumsy self the difference this time was being lucky.

        1. You guys seem to confuse racing incidents with errors where Keith doesn’t

          Mystery solved

          1. Some mystery is still uncover. Where in Russia did Kvyat get dumped by his girlfriend?

        2. It wasn’t hit and run, at least not by Max. Max was there already when Kimi turned in and hit him. Btw, that was just very shortly after Kimi had pushed Max deliberately into the grass. Oh, that was Max fault too you say?

          1. Dude, that corner is very rare an overtaking corner, even the biased guys from Sky said that. RAI turned into him?! Are you for real?! Where was he supposed to go?! There was some other route around and VER pushed things guessing that RAI might turn right instead of left?! This is insane, you’re trying to defend something that’s not defendable. Plus, it’s common sense, even in the racing world, the guy in front has the “upper hand” to establish the “route” and the driver behind must ensure that his overtaking maneouver will be clean, simply because the guy behind has a better view of the entire situation. Throwing the car to the inside of the car in front in every corner and hoping it’ll stick it’s not racing.

          2. Around here and also on other sites, that fact of Kimi pushing Max on the grass is totally ignored otherwise their argument does not really stick that Max won because he hit Kimi. Funny thing is when they asked Kimi he did not have any problem with the whole situation, racing incident.

          3. @MG1982
            Your ignoring an even more important rule.

            “when a driver is at least halfway along side (front wheel in alongside the defenders rear wheel) the defender has to yield”

            At Austria there was hardly any harm done, this was just clean, but hard racing. Kimi had been off track, pushed Verstappen on the grass after that Verstappen got back at him.
            A bit like Vettel and Verstappen at Silverstone last year… one cutting the other and the other cutting back.
            FIA handled that rather perfectly

          4. @mg1982 Kimi went wide and Verstappen went into the gap Kimi left, from that point on it’s not Kimi’s line anymore. It would have been all different if Kimi hadn’t gone wide and Verstappen had pushed himself in a none existing gap. But it wasn’t that way at all. Even the stewards -including Connelly!- didn’t see any reaon to question that move, in contratry to the prior move of Kimi pushin Max on the grass.

            Btw, since when is a very rare overtaking corner, according to the pretty fly Sky guys, any reason for Max to not overtake there? It’s Max, remember? :)

          5. You’re wrong, guys! A hit is a hit, and when somebody gained a place “thanks” to that at least an investigation is a must. Then, the fact that RAI wasn’t bothered by that it’s not an excuse (for the stewards). It’s funny, had it been there a wall, then Crashstappen would have pushed him into the wall. If that’s something to go by…. Last, but not least, since you brought up that important rule, how come HAM escaped without penalty although he pushed RAI off-track 2 times when RAI was significantly more alongside him than VER was to RAI?!?! RAI had to go completely off-track, not only 2 wheels! Better try get some consistency in your own opinions, then start blaming the stewards.

          6. mg1982 Blabla, the way you apparently need to call Max names says it all, the non-discussion stops here.

          7. Seems most people don’t know what racing is so stop commenting as your way is the right one.

            Kimi went wide Max goes to the inside (on the raceline) and Kimi came back touching Max tyre. So if you check the rules (and racing rules) it’s Kimi who made the mistake in bumping into Max but the stewards saw it as a racing incident case closed. So Kimi didn’t got penaulized everyone is happy ! (except those non racing experts..)

          8. You’re wrong, guys! A hit is a hit, and when somebody gained a place “thanks” to that at least an investigation is a must

            @mg1982 You must be huge fun at touring car races.

            Better try get some consistency in your own opinions, then start blaming the stewards.

            pot. kettle. black.

            he pushed RAI off-track 2 times

            RAI going off-track in the surroundings of another car and RAI having to do so are 2 dfferent things

            It’s funny, had it been there a wall, then Crashstappen would have pushed him into the wall.

            Which is exactly why you have no complaints about there being no penalty for cars hitting the wing-braking yellow curbs. I mean what if there were a wall there?

            Dude, that corner is very rare an overtaking corner

            Which means?

            This is insane, you’re trying to defend something that’s not defendable. You’re wrong, guys!

            but at the end of the day, fair enough, you’re right since you’ve made correct use of those adjectives.

          9. @mg1982 You’re wrong about Max vs Kimi, for the reasons others have already given, and are simply showing you don’t like Max. But I think you must also not like DR, right? The guy in front gets to establish the route, and the guy behind has the better view of the whole situation, therefore one can’t really put the blame on Max, as most have, for their double dnf in Baku. After all, it was up to DR to make a clean move since he could see the whole situation unfolding better than Max could. Also, ‘throwing the car to the inside of the car in front in every corner and hoping it’ stick it’s not racing,’ pretty much describes DR’s reputation as a late braking, dive bombing type of driver. So I’ll assume you have as much issue with DR as you obviously do with Max?

  4. I can’t recall exactly how many times Lewis and Sebastian have battled wheel to wheel on track, but it did perk up my attention as Seb got by. Two leaders of their era battling on track doesn’t happen all that often when both are in their prime.

    1. Yes. That was a highlight of the year.

    2. Exaclty. The Ricciardo-Raikkonen and Raikkonen-Ricciardo overtakes, and Vettel-Hamilton made this race very interesting and exciting. It is rare to see race leaders and/or championship leaders actually battle on the track! Bravo to them!

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        3rd July 2018, 12:50

        Villeneuve and Schumacher didn’t race each other in ’97 either you may recall. The only time they were in close proximity was Jerez!

        1. Villeneuve did overtake Schumacher in Brazil that year, but that was at the end of the first lap. Also in Hungary I believe Villeneuve overtook Schumacher when his tyres faded, but they were never on the podium together until Hungary 1998.

  5. Verstappen drove a good race, not error free but still he finished and finished first, that’s deserves a pat on the back.

    1. not error free

      what exactly was his error?
      If you are talking about the contact between him and Kimi, that is definately not an error, that is a racing incident and this happens many many times during races (we just don’t see them all in live coverage). He was on the racing line, on the inside, Kimi was on the marbles, tried to get back in even though VER was alongside and they touched. Hundreds of these contacts happen during a season, not a big deal and certainly not an error. An error is what he did to Seb in China, or crashing in FP3 Monaco.

      1. It is an error! That’s not a corner where you can overtake another car by going another way than the ideal line. RAI may have went a little wide, but obviously not enough to be sure that pass will be clean. It was obvious, after going a little wide, he’ll have to adjust his position by steering left. It was predictable. And another thing that one can notice it was an “all or nothing” move from VER is that he started his move by going off-track, on the grass, with his left wheels! So, to make it stick somehow, get the inside of RAI, he had to go off-track. This move is similar a lot to what he did in USA 2017… and we all remember what were the consequences although he did not hit RAI back then.

        1. Not a corner where you can overtake? do you hear yourself ?You can overtake ANY corners but some corners aren’t use often that way.
          The overtake Max did on Nico Rosberg in Silverstone (2016) was also on a corner which was used that way often. Only the great ones can do that not the standard drivers.

          USA 2017 Max made the mistake to try to evade Kimi if he just hold on his corner everything was fine. But he evaded so missed the corner on a few cm.

        2. I’m sorry but you will always find fault with VER no matter what so it is hard to take your comments seriously anymore.

          1. @Moi: “it is hard to take your comments seriously”.

            Indeed. That’s why I’m hardly paying attention to “comments” like these anymore. Just let it go. It’s simply not worth the trouble of trying to answer.

        3. Pfff.. you are mixing up a lot of things and situations..

  6. I think Kimi not leaving a space for Verstappen, as he came back on to the after running wie at T3, and subsequently pushen Max on the grass was investigated. Not the touch in T7.

    The push on to the grass by Kimi on Max wasn’t too bad and the touch from Max on Kimi wasn’t either, so both moves cancelled each other out. That, plus it being the first lap probably let to the stewards leaving it as it was. Which, I think was good as I want the stewards to not inteferre in the racing as much as possible.

    1. Yep, that indeed was what was investigated, I think Davidson confirmed that on Sky. Kimi went wide to save a spot, then also nearly pushed Verstappen off the track to keep it, demoting Verstappen two places, but here people are moaning about a slight touch in another corner

  7. Red Bull’s rivals can’t take the heat

    Well, at least one of the Reb Bulls couldn’t take the heat too: Ricciardo blistered before everyone else and suffered a mechanical failure. And Ver had blisters too (not so severe, but they had to manage a lot according to the team). The only team not to suffer from blisters was Ferrari. Not the most correct title there..

    1. To be fair, both Hamilton and Ricciardo had to push their new tires from the moment they got on them, as they had lost positions. Vettel and Raikkonen, however, ran in relatively clean air and were able to conserve the tires. This was especially true for Verstappen as well, of course, and after RIC retired RedBull turned down Verstappen’s engine as well so that helped even more.

      Other teams that had blistering issues like Renault and Force India also ran in traffic btw.

      1. @jeffreyj I’m not sure that is true, perhaps towards the end of the race, however Kimi was following Ricciardo for a lot of the race until his tyres gave up and Vettel had to overtake Grosjean and was then following Hamilton until the same happened and Vettel got past.

        1. @asanator I think you are right about Kimi and we know he’s good with tire wear so I guess I should credit him more for driving around the wear issues compared to some others.

          As for Vettel I don’t agree to the same extend. The Haas let him through immediately after the restart and although he did have to pass Hamilton, he was in practically clean air from there on out as he was far enough behind Raikkonen (apart from the last few laps as they were given the green light to hunt Verstappen down)

  8. One important thing. Verstappen would not have won if he had listened to every single critic and held back. He would not have gone for the gap, and Kimi wins this race (or hands it to Vettel).

    1. Yeah, but it’s a tainted win, not a completely merituous one. There’re many comments how RAI pushed him on the grass, but nobody mentioned that VER went on the grass (aka off-track) on purpose in order to be able to get the inside of RAI. He tried that stuff already last year in USA and he got a penalty. Now he escaped it… to get the win. Pretty sure VER and Horner would have made a big fuss about it had things been the other way around.

      1. Ok Some people are seeing things we didn’t

      2. @mg1982 You do realise the USA penalty was because all four wheels were off the track and how it was barely half of one? Grow up.

      3. @mg1982 You stand amongst quite a minority of people with your viewpoint on Max vs Kimi, especially since there wasn’t even a hint of any wrongdoing there by the commentators and by F1 and FIA, and even coming from Kimi. Why not Kimi at least? Because he knows he gave as much as he got.

        You’re just showing you anti-Max bias when you try comparing Max putting a couple of inches of tire on the grass because that’s the room Kimi left him, to Max going completely off the track on the inside of Kimi last year which was undoubtedly penalty-worthy.

        Perhaps you could think about why so many don’t share your opinion, and try to understand why that is, if you can take off your anti-Max glasses for a second.

        1. hear! hear!

  9. I have an opinion
    3rd July 2018, 10:46

    I think Verstappen’s win in Austria was assisted by his teammate. More obviously, Ricciardo harried Kimi, overtook him and managed to hold up both Ferraris for several laps until his tyres tired. Perhaps less obviously, the “rear tyre love tap to Kimi” move that Verstappen pulled off was one perfected by Ricciardo at Monaco in 2015.

    1. All in all Verstappen was the beneficiary of many a circumstance indeed. The Vettel penalty and the Bottas retirement gave him two positions and then the strategy failure by Mercedes and alertness of his own team gave him track position. From there on out he benefitted from Ricciardo holding up the Kimi and, as Kimi said, Ferrari were conserving the tires and gave the ‘push-now’ message a bit too late. Had Ferrari done that earlier, they would have pushed Verstappen into using his tires more, earlier and he might not have been able to manage his blisters as well as he did.

      All that said, though, you have to be there to profit from others misfortune/failure and unlike China and Monaco he finally managed to be right there this time. He deserves props for that, just as he deserved critique when he didn’t earlier in the season.

      Yes, Max touched RAI during the overtake, but with RAI pushing him off the track after T3 (after Kimi running wide twice and failing to lose position, mind you) I think the overall outcome is fair enough.

      1. @jeffreyj Yeah that’s fair comment.

        @I have an opinion If Max’s win in Austria was assisted by DR, then even moreso Max assisted DR for both of his wins this season. Max lead DR in China for two thirds of the race until his first mistake put DR ahead of him, and Max taking himself out of contention in Monaco also removed the only real challenger DR would have that day…that weekend.

        As to your suggestion, if I understand it correctly, that DR helped Max by teaching Max how to love rap someone by a move he did in Monaco 2015, I’d say the odds that Max had that in mind vs Kimi on Sunday are nil, so I’ll assume you’re being tongue in cheek;)

      2. Yes, Max touched RAI during the overtake, but with RAI pushing him off the track after T3 (after Kimi running wide twice and failing to lose position, mind you) I think the overall outcome is fair enough.

        Maaaan, this RAI guy is such a bad racer and person! He cannot keep the car on-track and runs wide all the time, then pushes off-track drivers to keep his position! Wonder how he tricked everybody to keep him around in F1 for so long…! In the 1st corner all day long it was HAM who pushed him off-track completely, it wasn’t RAI fault at all… if we follow the same rule that regulates the part where the cars are alongside. They were completely alongside and HAM didn’t leave him any track space at all to make the corner. HAM has a habbit of doing that once in a while, just remember pushing ROS off-track in 2015 USA GP. It was the same stuff, ROS did not run off-track, it was HAM who pushed him. Yet again, weird nobody didn’t notice again HAM is not that perfect or angelic racer.

        1. @mg1982 That’s fair, Hamilton didn’t leave enough space for Raikkonen. But equally, Raikkonen had oversteer coming out of T1 and that caused him to run wide imho, not Hamilton leaving too little space. In T2 he ran wide because he went to deep into the corner and then had a moment again.

          I have to say though, as a non-Britt I’m not particularly pro/against Hamilton or Raikkonen (or any driver for that matter) and I also didn’t say I wanted Raikkonen to be penalized for failing to lose a position by extending the track (although I can see how my wording might have suggested that, apologies). In general, I think that on the first lap, unless it’s an extremely blatant mistake/corner cut/track extention, the stewards should just let them go racing. I would even like them to intervene a bit less during the races, for the benefit of the racing as well.

  10. Red Bull a home win

    How come none of the RB Mechanics know the Austrian National anthem? There’s nothing more passionate in F1 than Ferrari winning their home race and watching the Ferrari mechanics and staff singing and dancing to their anthem.

    1. Because they are mostly British. Red Bull runs under an Austrian licence but it’s based in Milton Keynes since it started as Stewart Grand Prix and was the Jaguar team before Red Bull took over.

    2. The energy drink company is Austrian and owns the Milton Keynes based F1 team (like they also own numerous motoGP, rally and other autosportteams and football clubs like RedBull Salzburg, RedBull Leipzig and the NY RedBulls and on and on).

      Who knows, maybe Force India will be bought by Fly Emirates next week and have it’s ‘home race’ in Abu Dhabi at the end of this season. I mean, it’s not really a thing (other than for Ferrari), but for the marketing narrative it works, I guess.

      And I have to say, the energy drinks company also owns the track of course and the big RedBull boss (Matesitz) was there to see the team he owns win at the track he owns. It is kinda cool, no?

  11. Crashed into Kimi and was lucky not to damage his front wing doing so. Could have ended up in tears same as before.

    Wierd that the stewards are investigating every minute contact between cars nowadays, but last weekend when a driver hits another from behind to pass him for the win the stewards apparently did not even see it (according to Sky).

    1. “Crashed into…” is hugely overstating it, no?

      1. english not my first language so sorry for that. bumped, hit, pushed.

        both were lucky not to have damage is what i meant. the headlines would have been quite different.

    2. You mean Kimi was luckly he didn’t damaged Max frontwing as Kimi drove into Max…

  12. LH strategist Gave that race to Max. Simple as that. Error free 😆😆

    1. No, not that simple. It would seem had LH pitted when the others did, he would have had 11 lap older tires, same as the others, and still would have had to pit again, as he couldn’t make his last even on 11 lap newer tires, whereas Max was able to do so. So sure LH would have kept his lead initially after the vsc but would have had to give it up again eventually while Max simply stayed out.

      1. @robbie Hamilton may not have had the same issues with the tyres at least out in front. However there is something to the idea that Red Bull or Ferrari could have made the quick decision to tell one driver to stay out if Hamilton had pitted, and then try to hold him up (and blister his tyres). The fact Red Bull declared themselves ‘puzzled’ Hamilton didn’t pit is probably a bit of provocation and/or deliberately misleading.

  13. I think many fans can’t handle the fact that Max is teaching everybody how to race:
    How to manage tyres; race in the rain; late braking; defending; getting in the head of oponents; planning an overtake; overtaking where no one else did it before; win without pole; win your first race in a new car; beating a veteran “Qualifying beast”. And all of that at an age younger then 21.

    Remember Brasil: passing how many world champions? 2 seconds faster then anybody?
    That’s teaching a lesson.

    1. Agreed, but to be fair let’s acknowledge his rough times too, and I take that all together as us witnessing a young superstar at the beginning of the learning curve. Max is special, and we’re in for one heck of a ride and he for one heck of a career. We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Imagine him in a WCC car, let alone a dominant WCC car, and with the added experience after each race weekend. It’s going to be at least a few years yet before he is in a Championship level car, which means he’ll have gained at least a few more seasons yet of having to find solutions and to wrestle suboptimal cars toward the top.

    2. @ia So true!

      Marko did an interview for dutch tv last weekend and he adressed the problems that Max faced earlier this season to the ongoing battle between the old king and the new king. And its true, everybody is very keen not to give Max room, even Bottas but especially HAM, VET and RAI.

  14. His team mate spotted the move on the trackside video screen and let his team know on the radio.


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