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Verstappen takes advantage of Mercedes mishaps at Austria Grand Prix

The Red Bull Ring witnessed a home victory.

Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas side by side during today's race.
Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas side by side during today's race.
Image: Ronald Zak

MAX VERSTAPPEN MADE the most of a rare Mercedes double retirement on Sunday by claiming his first win this year, and Red Bull’s first at “home”, in an incident-packed Austrian Grand Prix.

The Dutch tyro 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 Verstappen’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.

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