F1: Verstappen wins in Austria as Mercedes suffers double DNF

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Max Verstappen gave Red Bull Racing its first triumph at their home track by surviving a chaotic Austrian Grand Prix to claim the victory. It is the fourth career victory for Verstappen, and his first of the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished second and third, while Mercedes suffered a disastrous day that saw both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas retire – Bottas on lap 15 with a hydraulic failure, and Hamilton with a possible power unit problem on Lap 63.

The day looked promising for Mercedes in the early laps. Hamilton led after getting the jump off the start, while Bottas, who fell back as far as fourth after stumbling off the line from the pole, got back to second after making a three-wide pass on the outside of Raikkonen and Verstappen entering Turn 3.

The two Mercedes WO9s ran 1-2 in the opening stint, but things began falling apart when Bottas pulled off in Turn 3 on Lap 15 with the aforementioned hydraulic issues, causing a Virtual Safety Car to have his machine removed.

Under the VSC, Red Bull Ferrari called their drivers into the pits, while Mercedes elected to leave Hamilton out. It ultimately proved costly when the VSC ended, as Hamilton did not have a big enough lead over Verstappen, Ricciardo, and Raikkonen to stay ahead of them when it came time for him to pit.

Indeed, Hamilton dropped to fourth when Mercedes pitted him on Lap 26, and he was unable to charge forward, with Vettel eventually diving inside of Hamilton entering Turn 3 on Lap 39 to take that position.

It left Red Bull running 1-2 with Verstappen leading Ricciardo, but Ricciardo’s day came unraveled on Lap 39 when he pitted after suffering a blistered left-rear tire. Ricciardo’s day then came to a premature end on Lap 54, when his RB18 suffered a gear sync problem.

His problems moved Raikkonen into second and Vettel into third. Hamilton then ran fourth, but only momentarily before he lost power on Lap 63 and pulled off the track.

Up front, neither Ferrari could catch Verstappen in the closing laps, leaving Verstappen to give Red Bull Racing a home win at the Red Bull Ring. Verstappen also enjoyed a “home win” of sorts, with a strong contingent of Dutch fans converging on the Austrian track.

Haas F1 had their best race of the year, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finishing fourth and fifth, and Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez gave Force India strong results in finishing sixth and seventh.

Fernando Alonso put McLaren in the points by finishing eighth, while Sauber put both of their cars in the points as well, with Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson finishing ninth and tenth.

Race results can be found here and updated standings are below. Vettel now leads the driver’s championship again, by one point over Hamilton. Verstappen now sits fifth, three points behind Ricciardo, while Raikkonen moved up to third.


Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.