Brazilian GP red flagged after Raikkonen crash on restart in heavy rain

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The Brazilian Grand Prix has been red flagged following a crash for Kimi Raikkonen on Lap 20 of the race at Interlagos amid heavy rain.

Conditions were poor enough to warrant a 10 minute delay for the race start, which was conducted behind the safety car before the track was dry enough for green flag running on Lap 8.

A number of drivers made the switch to intermediate tires, believing the track to have dried out enough, but grip was still low and caused Marcus Ericsson to crash in the final sector.

Ericsson’s shunt resulted in a six-lap safety car period before the race returned to green, with a number of drivers calling for a red flag due to the intensifying rain.

The green flag lasted mere moments as Raikkonen slammed into the wall on the main straight before coming back across the track, remarkably missing the oncoming drivers.

With debris strewn across the track and the drivers worried about the weather, the stewards took the call to stop the race and throw a red flag.

The race clocked has been frozen with 1:23:13 remaining for the race to be completed, while the four-hour window expires at 3pm ET.

The drivers must get to Lap 54 for full points to be awarded, with half points otherwise being handed out as things stand.

UPDATE 12:38pm ET – Race red flagged again

The race has been red flagged for a second time due to rain. After completing eight laps behind the safety car when the race resumed at 12:21pm ET, the decision was taken to bring the cars into the pits again, sparking booing in the crowds.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).