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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.

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