Start, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Rate the race: 2020 Austrian Grand Prix

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Austrian Grand Prix.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 (13%)
  • 9 (35%)
  • 8 (31%)
  • 7 (16%)
  • 6 (3%)
  • 5 (1%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 3 (1%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 1 (1%)

Total Voters: 339

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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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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80 comments on “Rate the race: 2020 Austrian Grand Prix”

  1. 10 what a drama.

    1. For drama maybe yes. Racing wise I cant rate higher than 5. Without the eagerly deployed pace car it would have been a borefest that would have turner thousands away from this season. I expect a lot of safetycars tuis season. Next to the artificial drs it os what keeps the sport alive given there are two Mercedesses…

  2. DRS gimmick made for great racing.

  3. Mercedes should have had 1 & 2 , regardless of order, but by calling manners on Hamilton, aka gear box,
    Hamilton now finds himself in 4th after clashing with the midfield. Not how you make history.

    1. Albon would have made it past both Mercedes if Hamilton hadn’t intentionally hit the back wheel. What an insult to Albon.

      1. I don’t think he was hit in the wheel. Hamilton just held his line, if you look at his steering he maintained his turning angle all through the corner as he started out just ahead before the turn. Pity for Albon though as I think he might have had another go.

        1. Slavisa (@sylversurferr)
          5th July 2020, 16:02

          You can’t held your racing line if you have car ahead on it.

        2. Albon was in front, then Hamilton had to steer to avoid the collision…. he didn’t

          1. He couldn’t turn any tighter. Backing out wasn’t an option either as it would have resulted in the same impact as the wheels were interlocked.

      2. I feel really sorry for Albon – getting punted off by Hamilton again.

      3. Huh? It was Albon accelerating into HAM’s front wheel.

      4. It was a racing incident. Albon was unlucky to come off worse.

    2. Brundle is such a huge hypocrite, if hamilton was ahead and the team told bottas to save the car he would have been crying to let them race

    3. Default 2.1 I’m mean it was not just the paddock that was off rythm also the commentators. clear team orders just not transparent like nurburgring 2010

      1. @peartree
        It was Hockenheimring in 2010

        1. sorry, you are right @tifoso1989 “is faster than me” I copy.

      2. Team orders to protect the car to both drivers, you mean?

  4. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
    5th July 2020, 15:49

    Drama to the end. Awesome entertainment.

  5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    5th July 2020, 15:50

    9. Great race! Slow burner at the start but it came to life with the SCs

  6. Mechanical failures everywhere.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      5th July 2020, 20:50

      Felt quite old-school. Lots of mechanical failures, punctures, trips through gravel traps and McLaren back up front.

      1. Exactly the vibe I was getting. Put a smile on my face :)

  7. Facepalm of a race!
    6 from me

    Awful reliability, stupid errors, RBR moaning and pulling their everything to penalize Mercedes.

    RBR, you got your Karma!

  8. What a race. I didn’t expect this many DNFs for this race despite being the first in seven months.

  9. 8. Solid drama.

  10. Well, eventfull and some good racing. But not sure about the stewarding; IMO, that Hamliton got moved only after a late protest from Red Bull, seems really dodgy, the stewards have all the data right, just have to look. And then the racing indicent Albon seemed to cause that gave Hamilton a penalty? Might have missed some angles, but after the way last years race here was won, and Leclercs applying of that info in Monza. Well, that wasn’t so impressive.

    But Norris podium, and Leclerc and Ferrari that saved their day while Bottas kept it in hand and drove to a cool win, while behind them a lot of guys fought hard for it – great race. Will be good to see how teams and drivers approach next weekend, with a week to evaluate :)

    1. Yes it seems the stewards were to hasty, because it seemed like Hamilton just maintained his line with no additional steering input and Albon tried going round the outside without reading the trajectory of the Mercedes.

      1. Slavisa (@sylversurferr)
        5th July 2020, 16:07

        You can’t held your racing line if you have car ahead on it. Hamilton fault 100%. Destroying Albon chance to win race 10 sec penalty would be more appropriate.

        1. GAVIN CHAPMAN
          5th July 2020, 16:14

          The Hamilton / Albon incident was a role reversed carbon copy of what happened on lap 1 turn 4 . Difference was Hamilton pulled out on 1st lap as Albon had the racing line. So roles reversed and it’s a 5 second penalty. The usual inconsistency from the stewards

        2. You can’t held your racing line if you have car ahead on it.

          I tried it once with a streetlight, @sylversurferr.
          The streetlight won ;)

        3. @sylversurferr I personally see the Ham/Alb incident as a racing incident. They were side by side at the apex of the corner. Albon did get better traction due to his fresher, softer tyres so did get half a car length ahead at the exit of the corner, but there was more than a car’s width on the outside. Theoretically Albon could have opened his steering a little, knowing that Hamilton was alongside and it wasn’t going to be possible for Hamilton to move further to the right. The penalty was harsh on Hamilton, I think maybe influenced by the harsh outcome for Albon

      2. How can Albon read the trajectory of the Mercedes of Hamilton if he is ahead of him? Obviously Hamilton should have yielded, shouldn’t he. Poor Alex for finding Hamilton blocking his way to a podium again.

    2. Yeah, the qualifying thing was pretty bad form for stewarding @bosyber. The penalty was wholly deserved there, but how can it happen that the stewards did not have (or disregarded?) this footage.

      But after that I think they actually did quite a decent job. The call on Vettel vs. Sains was correct, the call to Perez to give back the 3rd to Albon too. Time penalty for Perez too.

      Maybe the one on Hamilton was on the harsh side. But since Hamilton got a penalty for something quite similar only a few races ago (Brazil) I think it is fair to hand out a penalty for tangling with Albon. I do think that Red Bull will internally sit down with Albon, tell him to be a tad less “triggerhappy” because while he was ahead, he could have avoided that one and made a move a bit later. Off course it could have been judged a racing incident, that is the only one that was not a clear one to me.

  11. petebaldwin (@)
    5th July 2020, 15:52

    Really good race. Well done Valteri on a controlled victory, mega lap by Lando to get on the podium and obviously commiserations for Albon to have a podium taken away yet again. Incredible that Leclerc managed to get into 2nd – drive of a future champion right there!

  12. 9. That race had a bit of everything and it’s great to see F1 return on a high.

  13. Latifi 10th if Vettel is penalized for what looked like (I’m in no way sure) contact with Kvyat that maybe caused the puncture.

  14. And quite a few driver errors today, it seems rust is indeed a thing.

  15. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    5th July 2020, 16:02

    Albon had at least 3rd, and looking at the pace he had he may have even won. Don’t get the ‘patience’ calls, he was ahead, Hamilton had no need to do that! Pleased for Norris though!

    Kinda uncertain of giving this race a high score, as without the failures/penalties the Mercedes would have just danced off into the distance. Not a great sign for the rest of the year. But Bottas has probably the best chance he’s ever going to get to take a title now.

  16. I think Albon could have held a little more restraint, he would have won the race for sure. Honestly I thought Hamilton’s penalty was a little harsh, it was more of a racing incident with neither at total fault.

    Amazing race, so excited to have F1 back.

    1. One would think his technical failure would’ve happened regardless, no?

      For the record, I think Albon would’ve caught up with Bottas had he been allowed to do so.

      1. Horner said just now that they retired Albon as a precaution (makes sense since he was at the back of the field after the incident).

    2. I think Albon could have held a little more restraint

      Maybe not the smartest move (quite risky), but it was a beautiful one.

  17. Normally would be an 8. Solid 10 in the circumstances.

  18. Awesome race, but feel for Albon. He was going to win, most definetly. And he was pulling one hell of an overtake before being punted out.

    Red Bull going home with zero points it’s double painful.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      5th July 2020, 17:57


      One hell of an overtake? A sharp turn with 2 vehicles and trying to avoid taking any kerb?

      How is that not the worst overtake of all time?

  19. What happened to the so called “Virtual Safety Car”? Is it gone?

    1. Please, I hope so.

    2. @miguelbento I am not sure but what I can say is that in light of most of the SC periods today, they were warranted. The only one that could have safely been handled by a VSC would have been the first Haas incident. The rest of the SC periods were situations where personnel would need to be on the track and a VSC would be unsafe as it would still leave drivers on the track with people also on the track

      1. @neiana – I’d add Russell’s retirement. A VSC would be sufficient.

  20. Bit of a slow burn for the first half, and thanks to Verstappen’s retirement early on, looked like a boring race. However, solid midfield scrap and the SC periods brought this one into life. In the end, a very solid season opener.

  21. 8.

    Ooops, HAM cracked under pressure…..! Blaming ALB is really ridiculous, it was 110% HAM’s fault. No doubt about that if it was VET.

    1. Ok, VET messed up big time today and I disagree about the penalty, as I perceive it as a racing incident, but gotta give props to your provocation. Had it been VET, the hate train would be puffing high.

  22. Forza Ferrari. Hamilton……Hahahaha.

  23. Really, really crazy race

  24. Gave it an 8. Was not that exciting early on, but as usual, multiple safety cars created some drama in the second half.

  25. Classic 9-race. Multiple SC created drama, the large number of retirements promoted unexpected names to the front, and the Mercedes issues brought those unexpected names into race winning contention. However, we were also slightly robbed by just how many ended up retiring. I’d have loved to see a full-fledged battle for the win at the end. That was missing to make it 10/10.

  26. I give it an 8.
    I was gutted when Max went out and thought that we were in for a classic F1 bore fest but boy oh boy did I call that wrong!
    I think everyone in F1 worked hard today and deserve a thanks from all of us.

    Grats to the top three who all earned their positions today I think, with some totally unexpected and brilliant work from LeClerc and Norris.

    I am interested in the possibility of reliability issues for the Mercedes units whilst the Ferrari plant seems solid though slow.
    “In order to finish First … First you have to finish!”

    Early days yet, but I think things bode well for a short sharp season.

    1. Then again, the Mercedes is fast enough to do the same pace even when turning the powerplant quite a bit down.

  27. Solid 8 for me, should have been 9 if it was held in normal race conditions with the crowd

  28. 7 , Hamilton was lucky to not get stop go.

  29. 10/10 for the last 25 laps, 5/10 for the lead-up. Almost went back to bed. Net 8/10 :)
    Norris’ last lap was one for the books.
    Shame for Max.
    Interesting with the Mercs handicapped.
    First time I’ve screamed at the TV since Brazil last year when another stupid incident happened… Argh. (wait, that was the last F1 race, LOL). Poor Albon. Bold move and should have been rewarded. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. Let’s see what happens the third time (enemy action).

    1. @nanotech I have done this in the past, with 15-20 laps remaining in a very boring race, when woke up to some very strange news. These days, I never give in…or if I do, I finish the race later on, before checking any social media.

  30. This race was a big red flag regarding the championship. All the cool things that happened were due to the many unnecessary SC deployments. Without them, we’d get a tranquil Mercedes 1-2 even with their issues. The pace they had at one of their weakest venues was just… wow. I guess the WDC is fair game.

    So, a point for BOT’s sum, another for LEC’s wit, one for NOR’s last lap effort, the only legitly thrilling moment of the race… Yeah, 3/10 is enough.

    Another spin by VET… man, that’s just embarrasing. I get the car doesn’t suits him but, where is the intelligence? If it’s dire, take the time, pick the right moment, watch how LEC does it. It is degrading for a Champion of his calibre to get shown on basic racing management by an upcomer, no matter how good he is. I don’t like this unwitted side of Sebastian Vettel, it is tiresome. He keeps doing that, Ferrari might as well drop him for good before the season is over. Then we’ll be in for a vexatious moment.

    I feel for ALB, apparently Lewis has something against him, lol. I don’t agree on the penalty, though. I guess I’ll have to re-check the replays because it seemed clear to me it was a racing incident. HAM held his line, didn’t understeered (which also wouldn’t be his fault) or anything, ALB came naturally closing his line… Two bodies can’t occupy the same space. Both could’ve backed off, but that’s not what a racing driver should do. That is why sometimes those tangles happen and that is fair enough.

    As for the team, Red Bull had a somewhat decent pace on closing stages, but it is simply not enough for the long game. This zeroed race will cost them dearly, mainly to VER if there is to be any contention, which by the form Mercedes shown today, I guess it won’t. We’re back to 2016, if not 2014. So far, discouraging.

  31. Without all the drama it would have been a Mercedes 1-2….however we ended up with a race that the sport badly needed and was fascinating to watch….Albon was a star and deserved better….George will be a star but not in a Williams….and Lando drove the best I have ever seen him….The sport is not dead yet…plenty of talent coming through

  32. To Christian Horner and the RB team… Karma is one hell of a bitch 😀

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      5th July 2020, 18:13

      Indeed :-)

      Well, it’s quite clear that Red Bull will do their best to stop Lewis this year because that’s the only way for Max to become a champion. They can’t stop Mercedes but they can try to stop Lewis.

      The risk there is that F1 will turn into VAR where we’re seeing the worst calls in history being made by refs.

  33. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    5th July 2020, 18:08

    I think it was a bad showing for F1. Some teams and drivers and they should be as they got results they didn’t deserve.

    2 late penalties displaced 2 podium drivers.

    The Mercs were asked to protect the car as if it was being transported to a museum from lap 30.

    Max, Ricciardo, Russell, Haas were all taken out of the race through no fault of their own.

    Wheels were flying all over…

    The safety car practically won the race even though it suffered major damage driving over the kerbs.

    Disaster for Red Bull and the anti-Lewis campaing by the team (smart more) to hopefully promote Max to the WDC this year couldn’t have fired back any worse. The final blow was a dive from Albon hoping Lewis would stay within half the track on a turn only to realize that he wasn’t going to get more than a car’s width…

  34. It was pretty good race and there was a battle for the win too. That being said there were also tons of safety cars which also added a lot of unpredictability to a race. And a lot of reliability issues. Both of which in the end improved the race by bunching up the cars and created fights and the late race position changes. The less fun aspect is that mercedes has this season completely in the bag. Other teams can only win if both mercs have a dnf or weird race. Merc once again has massive advantage over everybody.

    Of course we never got to see the full pace of the red bull as verstappen’s car had a stutter but at least albon showed some promise, even if that was all about being on the right tire. Soft vs hard will make anybody look good. While not being close to match verstappen albon was close enough to finally justify his position at red bull mothership. And his tire switch and move on hamilton was pure gold until hamilton hit him. Would have liked to see what albon could do. Classic red bull seizing the opportunity. Ferrari, take notes!

    It was good to see some competition in the mid field for podiums. F1 NEEDS a lot more this. I think this was a rare chance to fight for the podium for mclaren/force india though. It was also a result of somewhat chaotic race where people dropped out and qualified out of position. Had vettel not once again spinned himself out he would have climbed up there just like leclerc did. Verstappen would have finished at least 3rd. Albon had 4th in the bag. That is already 4 cars out if you add hamilton. While I like mclaren and norris doing well in reality their pace is not where their finishing position was.

    All in all it was a good race. Chaotic start of the season, miracle podium, unpredictability with safety cars and reliability and even a crash to argue about. I’ll give it a 47/52.

  35. 8. Good race after all this corona virus history.

  36. 10.

    Maybe it’s because we’ve been waiting for so long, but the race had everything.

    Drama at the front, safety cars taking away Mercedes from a dominant 1-2 and McLaren on the podium with a great drive by Lando.

    More of this please.

  37. Was going to rate it a 9. It’s a 1 thanks to the stewards.

  38. 9/10. Worth the wait.

  39. Best race I’ve seen this year!! Oh, wait….

  40. Was one of the few to give them 6, don’t know why the rest liked it so much in comparison, but I didn’t really like the level mercedes is at, ofc towards the end it was better, just like last years in austria we had different levels of performance from the cars, that’s good, but the issue with verstappen early on immediately taking away a competitor for mercedes and albon out as well, that could’ve been interesting too. There were lots of battles in the midfield, thinking about it a 7 would’ve been fine.

  41. 8/10 for me. It’s difficult to fairly rate the first race as there is nothing to compare it to.

    Looked like it was going to a bit boring early on with the Mercs driving away from the field. However as is often the case the multiple SC periods brought it to life. Then there were all the unexpected reliability issues.

    Good drives by several in the midfield and great to see Lando get a podium. Deserved after his qualifying performance.

    I felt Lewis was a little harshly treated to get the 5 secs penalty. People forget that these things happen so fast. I did feel sorry for Albon though. The incident probably robbed us of a very exciting finish.

  42. I rate the race 4. It was not good. Would you pay to go watch car after car retire sue to damage or failure? I want tto see all cars race eachother. Plus the over use of safety cars. Could any of the incidents been where a virtual safety car was used? No penalty for or a dive by vettel. A penalty for a race incident between lewis and albon. Uf a rule is broken its broken. You shouldnt be given no pe alty because you came of tthe worse. Veettel should have atill gotten a penalty. Or hamilton should not have been given a penalty.

  43. Too many safety cars made it a 7 from me.

  44. I only gave it a 7.

    If I had only read the race report I probably would I thought it was a great race as it had a lot of the right ingredients to make it entertaining and the fact it has been so long since a Grand Prix I thought would have made me enjoy it even more, however when I watched the highlights of both qualifying and the race I just never really felt that excited by either.

    Maybe it was because I was certain that Mercedes was going to dominate the weekend after the performances seen in practice, despite this circuit being one of Hamilton’s weaker tracks, after the consistent gap he had over Bottas in practice I thought Hamilton would get pole. But when it mattered in qualifying it was Bottas who was quickest, as soon as that happened I thought Bottas was certain to go on and win the race as we have seen in the past that although you can overtake here it is hard for cars with similar performance levels to do so.

    Even when Mercedes started sending out warnings about their gearbox problems during the race it didn’t make me think they were in danger of not winning.

    What is the criteria for deciding between a full safety and a virtual safety car as I thought that they could have used a VSC instead of the actual safety car on at least one occasion, the cynic in me thought they didn’t use the VSC because they wanted to close the field up and try to make the race more exciting, which in turn made some of the subsequent action feel artificial which may be another reason why I rated the race lower than most.

    Regarding one of the big talking points of the race, the Albon and Hamilton coming together, I thought the decision to penalise Hamilton was harsh, the stewards were already having a bad weekend after failing to initially give Hamilton a penalty for failing to slow in qualifying until the next day after Red Bull pointed out the video evidence.

    I thought the clash was a racing incident and if anyone was to blame it was actually Albon, Albon had a significant tyre advantage at the time but he showed a lack of patience and probably his inexperience in trying to force the move too early.

    If you try to overtake anyone around the outside of the corner you have to accept it is a riskier approach, they didn’t broadcast any frottage from Albon’s onboard but the footage from Hamilton’s car it showed that he maintained the same steering lock throughout the corner and maintained the same racing line, Albon had got his car in front but was not completely ahead when he used his tyre advantage to try and turn in earlier than Hamilton could at the exit from the corner.

    Albon knew Hamilton’s tyres where not in as good condition as his, that was the whole reason he was able to attempt the overtake in the first place, he should have factored that information into what Hamilton was able to do at the point on the circuit, basically where did he expect Hamilton to go, Hamilton could not magically get out of the way when Albon started to turn in before his car was fully ahead of Hamilton’s car so a collision was inevitable.

    Hamilton has shown that he is a lot fairer in wheel to wheel combat that a lot of his rivals, sometimes to his detriment, he also knows when to concede and take the points thinking about the bigger picture of the world championship so while you expect Hamilton to strongly defend you also know he will be fair in doing so.

    Albon is only still starting his second season in F1, perhaps the rustiness due to the enforced extended break may have also have been a factor, but his inexperience showed and with what at the time was a realistic chance of a first Grand Prix win being on the cards it seemed his haste at trying to get past Hamilton meant he collided with Hamilton when he could have avoided it and still got past not long afterwards.

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