Lewis Hamilton retires as Max Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen celebrates his victory
Max Verstappen celebrates his victory

Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix as Max Verstappen claimed victory.

The Podium

1st Max Verstappen

2nd Kimi Raikkonen

3rd Sebastian Vettel

In brief

Lewis Hamilton dramatically retired from the Austrian Grand Prix and lost his championship lead to Sebastian Vettel as Formula One's title race was thrown wide open.

A furious Hamilton had already accused his Mercedes team of costing him the victory after they failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period and stop their star driver for tyres.

Hamilton was running in fourth, behind his rival Vettel, before he then ran out of power with only eight laps remaining and stopped at the side of the track.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen took the chequered flag at the team's home race ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel.

The Ferrari driver now leads Hamilton, who failed to finish for the first time since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, by one point ahead of next week's British Grand Prix.

Full classifications

Final Positions after Race (71 Laps): 1 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1hr 21mins 56.024secs, 2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:21:57.528, 3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:21:59.205, 4 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 at 1 Lap, 5 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 at 1 Lap, 6 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India at 1 Lap, 7 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India at 1 Lap, 8 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren at 1 Lap, 9 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Sauber-Ferrari at 1 Lap, 10 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari at 1 Lap, 11 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso at 1 Lap, 12 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault at 1 Lap, 13 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams at 2 Laps, 14 Sergey Sirotkin (Rus) Williams at 2 Laps, 15 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren at 6 Laps

Not Classified: 16 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 62 Laps completed, 17 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Scuderia Toro Rosso 54 Laps completed, 18 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 53 Laps completed, 19 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 13 Laps completed, 20 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 11 Laps completed

Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen 1min 06.957secs on Lap 71

Race report

Lewis Hamilton dramatically retired from the Austrian Grand Prix as Formula One's title race was thrown wide open.

A furious Hamilton had already accused Mercedes of costing him victory after they failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period and stop their star driver for a tyre change.

Hamilton was running in fourth, behind his rival Sebastian Vettel, before he then ran out of power with only eight laps remaining and stopped at the side of the track.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen took the chequered flag at the team's home race ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel. Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas also retired on a woeful day for Mercedes.

Vettel now leads Hamilton, who failed to finish for the first time since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, by one point ahead of next week's British Grand Prix.

Hamilton started in second, but roared off his marks on the 300-metre charge to the right-handed opening corner to assume the lead from his team-mate Bottas.

The Finn temporarily slipped behind Verstappen and Raikkonen for fourth, but made his way back past both drivers with a daring move around the outside of Turn 4 on the first lap.

It was a dream start for Mercedes, with their championship leader ahead of team-mate Bottas, and Vettel back down the order after his grid penalty. But the race flipped on its head in the space of only a few minutes to turn their dream into a nightmare.

First, Bottas retired with a loss of hydraulic pressure. The VSC was deployed by the officials to slow down the pack, but Hamilton, unlike all of his rivals, did not come in for fresh rubber.

It did not take long for Hamilton to lead the inquiry after he was told by the Mercedes pit wall that he needed to find eight seconds to ensure he would stay ahead.

"Eight seconds?" Hamilton asked. "How did we miss that? I've got no time left on these tyres."

James Vowles, the team's chief strategist, moved to take the blame.

"Lewis, this is James," he said over the radio. "We understand. It's my mistake."

In came Hamilton for tyres on lap 25. He left the pits in fourth.

A seething Hamilton said: "I want to say something, but just leave me to it."

Moments later, Hamilton was back on the radio again.

"I don't get it," he yelled. "I am not going to be able to pass these guys. We have thrown away the win."

Vowles responded: "Lewis, this is James. I have thrown away the win. We trust in you, and believe in you. I'm sorry."

The crisis continued to worsen for Hamilton when Vettel, who had started sixth, passed his rival on the inside at Turn 3. To make matters worse, Hamilton

then had to stop for a second time for another set of tyres.

He dropped to fifth, behind Daniel Ricciardo, but moved up one place when the Australian retired with a mechanical failure.

But on lap 63, Hamilton, who had already told his team he was down on power, pulled over to the side of the track and parked his Mercedes following a loss of fuel pressure.

Romain Grosjean finished fourth for Haas ahead of his team-mate Kevin Magnussen. McLaren's Fernando Alonso was eighth.

Reaction

Verstappen said: "It's amazing to win with Red Bull at the Red Bull Ring and with so many Dutch fans around here is incredible. I needed to catch up with the points in the championship and today was a really good day for me. I just hope we can continue like this."

Vettel added: "It was pretty much damage limitation. It could have been better, but it is a well-deserved win for Max."

World Championship Standings after Austrian Grand Prix

Drivers: 1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 146pts, 2 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 145, 3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 101, 4 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 96, 5 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 93, 6 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 92, 7 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 37, 8 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 36, 9 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 34, 10 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 28, 11 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 25, 12 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 18, 13 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 17, 14 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Sauber-Ferrari 13, 15 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 12, 16 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 8, 17 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 4, 18 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 3, 19 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1, 20 Sergey Sirotkin (Rus) Williams 0

Manufacturers: 1 Ferrari 247pts, 2 Mercedes GP 237, 3 Red Bull 189, 4 Renault 62, 5 Haas F1 49, 6 McLaren 44, 7 Force India 42, 8 Scuderia Toro Rosso 19, 9 Sauber-Ferrari 16, 10 Williams 4

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