F1 Austrian Grand Prix LIVE! Race reaction and updates as Charles Leclerc wins at Red Bull Ring

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·22-min read
F1 Austrian Grand Prix LIVE! Race reaction and updates as Charles Leclerc wins at Red Bull Ring
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F1 Austrian Grand Prix LIVE!

Charles Leclerc overcame a late throttle scare to win the Austrian Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday and become Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen's closest rival. Red Bull's Verstappen finished second with Mercedes' seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton third for the third race in a row.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz retired with an engine failure, his car rolling to a halt and flames erupting from the rear, with 14 laps to go while close on Verstappen's tail and chasing a Ferrari one-two.

Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez, who had been second overall, also retired with a damaged car after a first lap collision with Mercedes' George Russell. Russell came home fourth behind Hamilton in a good weekend for Mercedes.

F1 Austrian Grand Prix updates

  • LIGHTS OUT! Perez spins as Verstappen leads

  • LECLERC LEADS! Smart move on Max

  • PIT STOPS: Leclerc comes out second

  • LECLERC LEADS! Light work for the Ferrari

  • PIT STOPS: Red Bull force Ferrari into second stop

  • LECLERC LEADS! Ferrari overtakes Max for THIRD time

  • FIRE! Sainz out with blow-out

  • LECLERC WINS!

Thanks for joining us!

16:35 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen has ruled the Red Bull Ring for years, backed by his Orange Army faithful who on Sunday adorned the track in flare smoke as their hero began the Austrian Grand Prix in pole position.

However, you could hear a pin drop at the Spielberg circuit were it not for the sound of Charles Leclerc’s raucuous Ferrari engine pulling away from the Dutchman as he secured a vital victory.

Recap the race with our report and we will see you in a fortnight for the French Grand Prix!

Read the full story.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

16:28 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a crash in qualifying to bag a third F1 podium in a row at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Having started well behind the frontrunners and struggled in a fight with the Haas cars during Saturday’s Sprint, the seven-time world champoin fought hard to earn third place on Sunday.

In the end, the result was a comfortable one for Hamilton in an almost-completely fresh car following his high-speed shunt.

“Definitely [a good result],” he told Sky F1. “Especially after a difficult Friday with the crash and I said sorry to the team of course but I’m so proud of everyone for rebuilding the car.

“I don’t know what they’ll do with the bits they destroyed but hopefully there’ll be some new, better bits to come in after that. So this is a great recovery for us as a team.”

Read the full story.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Leclerc made light work of Verstappen in today’s duels

16:18 , Marc Mayo

A bit of a slip from the F1 graphics crew..!

16:10 , Marc Mayo

Watch Sainz’s engine blow-out

15:59 , Marc Mayo

Final classification

15:50 , Marc Mayo

The champagne!

15:43 , Marc Mayo

With that, we are halfway through the championship as Leclerc and Verstappen get stuck in on the podium.

Who will be celebrating come Abu Dhabi?

That winning moment

15:40 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton picks up third

15:36 , Marc Mayo

“What an incredible crowd, definitely wasn’t expecting [third] - it’s been a rough weekend. I want to say a big thank you to the men and women in the garage, I had a brand new car on Saturday morning. We made some improvements this weekend so we have to keep chipping away.”

Charles Leclerc up next

15:35 , Marc Mayo

“A really good race, the pace was there, we had some good fights, the end was incredibly difficult. The throttle would get stuck at 20-30 per cent in slow speeds. But we made it stick. I had [Sainz’s blow-out] in my mind. I definitely needed that one, the last five races have been incredibly difficult.”

Max Verstappen gives his take

15:33 , Marc Mayo

“Too much degradation to attack Charles really but second place is a good result on a difficult day.”

15:30 , Marc Mayo

“Yes! Come on! Aww, oh my God... I was scared. I was really scared,” says Leclerc on team radio.

LECLERC WINS!

15:28 , Marc Mayo

Mechanical issues: safely navigated!

It should have been a Ferrari 1-2 but Leclerc is once again in this title fight!

Final lap!

15:27 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc just needs to safely navigate this last run around Red Bull Ring to beat its favourite son!

Lap 69/71

15:26 , Marc Mayo

More of a burst from Verstappen now with the gap down to 2.8 seconds.

Lapped cars Schumacher and Norris aren’t causing an issue, in fact giving Leclerc DRS down the main straight.

“The downshifts are refused,” says Leclerc as the throttle issue is hampering his pace!

Lap 66/71

15:23 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen’s gap to Leclerc is stubbornly holding at around 3.5 seconds as the final five laps begin.

Throttle issues are persisting, meanwhile!

Lap 64/71

15:20 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton is on for a third podium in a row, you know... Russell takes fourth place off Ocon to make this potentially another very nice day for Mercedes.

Schumacher, Norris, Magnussen, Ricciardo and Albon currently completing the points places.

Lap 62/71

15:18 , Marc Mayo

Ferrari confirm the data shows Leclerc’s pedal remains a-okay, which the driver agrees with.

Behind, Verstappen nudges up the fastest lap time and is going a little quicker than Leclerc - will he have enough time to make a move?

Lap 61/71

15:17 , Marc Mayo

Green flag and, with ten laps to go, Leclerc feels a bit of an issue on his pedal. Eep.

Verstappen is four seconds back...

Lap 59/71

15:13 , Marc Mayo

Virtual safety car and both Verstappen and Leclerc come into the pits for Mediums.

As does Alonso, that has worked perfectly for him.

Lap 57/71

15:11 , Marc Mayo

Issue for Sainz!

As he pulled towards Verstappen for an overtake into Turn 4... his engine gave way and is on fire!

“No, no no...” Sainz says as he pulls over.

A 1-2... ruined!

Lap 55/71

15:08 , Marc Mayo

Russell is not delighted with his pace but he takes fifth place nonetheless with a move on Alonso - who started last but still has to pit again.

Lap 53/71

15:06 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc is already on the tail of Verstappen.

A fresh burst of DRS gives him a chance into Turn 3 but Verstappen holds the inside line - before the Ferrari cruises by into Turn 4!

In fourth, Hamilton pits for fresh Mediums.

Lap 51/71

15:04 , Marc Mayo

Here comes Sainz for a new pair of Hards and we have 20 laps for the Ferraris to catch Verstappen!

Lap 50/71

15:03 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc pits! Hard tyres on with a 2.4-second stop allowing Verstappen into the de facto lead but Ferrari have been quicker so far today...

Sainz leads ahead of his second stop for the Spaniard, with Leclerc 3.6-seconds off Verstappen.

Lap 48/71

15:01 , Marc Mayo

Not one but two Haas cars jump Stroll into Turn 3 and they are running eighth and ninth on a fine weekend for the team.

Up ahead are two Alpines, two Ferraris, two Mercedes and a Red Bull.

Lap 47/71

14:59 , Marc Mayo

Russell is looking good after a second stop and Stroll is dealt with after a good fight from the Canadian.

Another man on hot form today is Schumacher and he is next to challenge Stroll.

“That’s BS - I didn’t go wide - are other people getting this?” Hamilton challenges Mercedes after a black-and-white flag for track limits issues.

The answer, Lewis, is: yes. A lot of other drivers are having this very problem!

Lap 43/71

14:54 , Marc Mayo

A bit of a question for Ferrari with Verstappen within a pit stop of the leader Leclerc.

The Dutchman is catching and plenty of time is left... Will a second stop be necessary to ease those concerns?

Lap 40/71

14:51 , Marc Mayo

Vettel in the gravel! Just a spin out of Turn 4 and he continues on his race, relegated to 18th. A move around the outside on Gasly led to contact - just as Perez and Russell found earlier.

Antoher penalty incoming for Gasly?

Speaking of which, track limits continue to fester, Zhou the next to land a five-second penalty. Sainz is only one more infringement of his own penalty...

Lap 39/71

14:49 , Marc Mayo

Red Bull tell Verstappen: “Recommend you just match Hamilton’s lap times.”

He replies: “Why?”

They then say: “Because there are 35 laps to go... Free to push!”

So, he’s pushing now, right? Just the 18.6 seconds to catch up to Sainz.

Lap 37/71

14:47 , Marc Mayo

No need for Sainz to make the overtake as Verstappen pits on new Hards!

It’s still third place for the Dutchman, with Hamilton fourth by a few seconds but on older tyres.

The Mercedes man’s teammate, Russell, is ninth after his earlier penalty and targeting Norris, also having been penalised.

Lap 36/71

14:46 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen’s afternoon could be about to get worse...

Sainz pulls within a second of the Red Bull, already 4.9-seconds behind Leclerc.

Are we on for a Ferrari 1-2?

Lap 33/71

14:44 , Marc Mayo

You wouldn’t know this is a sell-out crowd as Leclerc cruises into the front to a backdrop of dead silence at Red Bull Ring.

”One lap I have front grip, the last lap I don’t - the car is so unpredictable it’s crazy,” says Verstappen on team radio.

Meanwhile, track limits are becoming a serious issue for some drivers with warnings aplenty. Norris, eighth, and Gasly, in 12th, handed a five-second penalty.

Lap 32/71

14:41 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc has chomped into Verstappen’s lead, now down to just 1.8 seconds as he takes 1.16 seconds off Verstappen in that last lap alone.

A move for the lead is incoming...

Red Bull have had to retire Perez, meanwhile, after the earlier contact with Russell.

Lap 31/71

14:39 , Marc Mayo

A slow stop for Hamilton drops him out sixth, behind Ocon and Stroll (who hasn’t stopped and pulls over pretty quickly).

Lap 27/71

14:36 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc pits! A 2.6-second stop is all good from the Ferrari crew and Verstappen retakes the lead with a fair bit of distance down to the Monegasque.

But, those tyres are 12 laps younger and Ferrari have great pace today. This strategy is right on the money as they will have planned it.

Sainz follows through next.

Lap 26/71

14:34 , Marc Mayo

A proper battle for seventh place going on with Magnussen swooping past Alonso and Zhou in one fell swoop with the Spaniard initially looking ready to snatch the place.

Into Turn 3, it is five abreast with Tsunoda and Norris getting interested. It is the AlphaTauri winning that battle!

Zhou pulls into the pits having plummeted down the order before Schumacher joins the fun, nabbing 10th off Alonso.

14:31 , Marc Mayo

“Pushing all the way until the end,” Red Bull tell Verstappen with Ferrari now destined to drop behind him once they have pitted.

But, the Scuderia may feel fresher tyres later in the race, plus the ease of overtaking at this track, will play out in their favour.

Lap 23/71

14:30 , Marc Mayo

Ferrari tell Sainz they want to switch to Plan E. Can’t say they aren’t prepared for different outcomes...

The Spaniard is four seconds off Leclerc with Verstappen 13.8 back. Will they leave him out even longer to fight the Dutchman and pit for a late rally?

Lap 21/71

14:27 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen puts in the fastest lap of the race, a 1:09.885, to go just 19.4 seconds behind Leclerc.

The time lost for a pit stop? About 20 seconds. Tense.

Lap 17/71

14:25 , Marc Mayo

A nightmare day for Perez, spinning and damaged and now having to move aside for the frontrunners to be lapped.

“Tyres are good mate,” Hamilton tells team radio as Verstappen pulls up to his rear wing.

Into Turn 3, the Brit keeps third place nicely before Verstappen flies through with good traction into Turn 4. Lots of clear air now for the Red Bull to put the pressure on Ferrari ahead of their stops.

Lap 16/71

14:23 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen is the next to fight with the Haas pair, but fortunately has Magnussen move aside with a dive into the pits.

Schumacher holds on down the start-finish straight before the Dutchman makes it stick with DRS assitance into Turn 3.

Lap 15/71

14:22 , Marc Mayo

What a move by Hamilton! At Turn 8, he makes Mercedes’ strength on the twistier section work and swoops past Schumacher into fifth place.

Magnussen next in his sights, he has DRS to pull into fourth - fine stuff from the seven-time world champion!

Lap 14/71

14:20 , Marc Mayo

An early pit-stop for Verstappen after the Medium tyres just failed to switch on for him, a 3.2-second stop is not brilliant and he comes out eighth, behind Norris and Hamilton.

That Russell stop dropped him to 19th.

Lap 12/71

14:18 , Marc Mayo

In fact, Russell will serve that penalty now as he swaps onto Hard tyres and into a new front wing!

Out in front, Leclerc catches Verstappen out to take the lead down the inside of Turn 4!

Lap 10/71

14:16 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc makes his first dive down the inside!

Verstappen just holds on at Turn 3 before the Ferrari man locks up a touch after the back straight.

“I cannot hold this long!” says the Dutchman.

Meanwhile, five-second penalty for Russell in fourth. That will be served at his pit stop.

Lap 8/71

14:13 , Marc Mayo

“Their straight line speed is crazy,” Hamilton on Haas there - not a line we expected to here at the start of the season.

Meanwhile, Leclerc is right on Verstappen’s tail...

Lap 6/71

14:11 , Marc Mayo

So then, Verstappen leads by 0.7 seconds with Sainz following by about two seconds.

Russell sits fourth and Ocon is into fifth, ahead of Magnussen and Schumacher - who has taken Hamilton off the start.

Norris and Ricciardo complete the top ten, a good start for McLaren.

14:10 , Marc Mayo

“He just turned into me,” Russell told team radio after that.

“You see it clear, he gave me no room,” was Perez’s take.

It will be interesting to see what the stewards made of that with the Mexican just ahead as the contact came.

14:07 , Marc Mayo

The orange smoke due to the flares makes it like watching this race through a sandstorm...

Perez pits for Hards with damage and now plum last. Stewards note the incident, no investigation for Russell yet.

DRS is available but Verstappen is clear of Leclerc by over a second already!

PEREZ SPINS!

14:05 , Marc Mayo

The Red Bull went around the outside of Russell and is sent off into the gravel!

LIGHTS OUT!

14:04 , Marc Mayo

And away they go as Verstappen leads and Russell challenges Sainz for third!

14:02 , Marc Mayo

Flares set off around the circuit as Verstappen leads off the pack.

The Medium is the tyre of choice for all apart from Zhou, Tsunoda, Vettel and Alonso near the back of the pack.

Time for the formation lap!

14:00 , Marc Mayo

The 71-lap race is coming up...

Max Verstappen is on pole for today’s race

13:55 , Marc Mayo

Ten-minute warning!

13:51 , Marc Mayo

We’ve had the Austrian national anthem, courtesy of a piano solo on the grid, very Austrian indeed...

The start is almost upon us as the work concludes on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and he straps on his helmet.

Toto Wolff confirms to Sky issues were confirmed by Hamilton on the trip to the grid, leading to the mechanics bleeding the brakes.

13:48 , Marc Mayo

A bit of late work going on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes with the brakes the area of focus...

Tyre strategy

13:44 , Marc Mayo

Starting on the Mediums with a switch to the Hards is deemed most raceworthy today.

But will a two-stopper be thrown in to mix things up?

Fernando Alonso off to do a rain dance as he starts in 19th

13:39 , Marc Mayo

”There’s going to be a lot of traffic, it depends if we have a DRS train, that wouldd be very frustrating. It’s going to be a difficult race. The only thing that can change something is the weather, we will see if a lucky cloud comes.”

Will Ferrari get in another scrap today?

13:36 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz’s fight for second on track in the Sprint left the Monegasque unimpressed.

He said: “I think today there was very little to gain or to lose by the fight.

“We’re talking about one point more; one point less, because in the Sprint there’s not many points going and also Max looked very in control for the whole race up front, so it’s not like we lost out massively.”

Lewis Hamilton thankful for eighth on the grid

13:31 , Marc Mayo

Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes “lacked pace” in the Sprint yesterday but it could have been much worse for Lewis Hamilton, who got squeezed off the start.

“I'm grateful I managed to survive out there today,” he said afterwards.

“I obviously had two come around me into Turn 1 and Pierre [Gasly] moved across on me, and there was nowhere I could really go. Unfortunate but I don't think I could have done anything.

“Then I had the same thing at Turn 3, so I'm just grateful to get around the first lap. After that, I was just trying to catch up but I was quite slow on the straights, so we kind of stayed in the same place.”

Max Verstappen headed out earlier to pay his fans a visit

13:25 , Marc Mayo

Pit lane open!

13:21 , Marc Mayo

Time for the drivers to hop in their cars and tour the circuit for the first time today, ahead of forming up on the grid.

Some classic F1 cars on display at Red Bull Ring

13:17 , Marc Mayo

Niki Lauda’s son, Mathias, among the drivers taking some special F1 cars of years past out onto the circuit earlier on.

F1 react to claims of inappropriate behaviour

13:10 , Marc Mayo

Formula One have vowed that fan misconduct at the Austrian Grand Prix will “not be tolerated”.

Allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female fans at Red Bull Ring have emerged on social media, prompting a statement from F1 ahead of Sunday’s race.

It read: “We have been made aware of reports that some fans have been subject to completely unacceptable comments by others at the Austrian Grand Prix.

“We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the promoter and event security, and will be speaking to those who reported the incidents. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Read the full story.

Lewis Hamilton speaks out against allegations of fan misconduct in Austria

13:05 , Marc Mayo

Schumacher not resting on his laurels

12:59 , Marc Mayo

Mick Schumacher, ninth on the grid, is in a good place to clock up his second points finish today - although he was not too happy about having to defend to Lewis Hamilton in the Sprint.

“It's something to be discussed," he told Sky Sports F1 after yesterday’s session.

“Obviously, I think that the battle with Lewis was fun, but in the first place it shouldn't have happened. I think in some ways I was quite a bit quicker [than Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen].”

Race director row continues

12:52 , Marc Mayo

A row has been brewing this weekend over the race director position as track limits and on-track battles continue to be judged in, shall we say, variable lights.

George Russell said: “I agree we need to stick to one race director.

“We need to have a bit more consistency with the stewarding. We come to the following event and often the steward at the previous event isn't there. So there's no accountability, no explanations of decisions.

“We ask questions and it's difficult to get a straightforward answer because almost a bit blame is being put onto someone else who isn't there. So it's tricky. Everyone has their own interpretations. I think when you have one race director, things can generally be more consistent.”

The next generation!

12:46 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen previews the race

12:41 , Marc Mayo

“It’s difficult to say why [the Red Bull Ring is a favourite circuit] but to have this support all the time I come here, it’s just incredible. I’ve been lucky to have a good car and hopefully we can show that today and in a few hours’ time celebrate.”

Qualifying recap

12:38 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race with a dominant performance keeping Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at bay.

Such was the world champion’s impressive lead in front of thousands of Dutch supporters, the Ferrari drives were involved in far more battles between themselves as Verstappen once again claimed pole position ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix.

George Russell started fourth and finished in the same position while Lewis Hamilton, involved in a collision with Pierre Gasly at the start, dropped from ninth to 11th before finishing eighth.

Read the full story.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Spielberg is certainly one of the most dramatic races on the calendar - scenery-wise!

12:34 , Marc Mayo

Weather forecast

12:27 , Marc Mayo

There is some chance of rain today - but not much...

Starting grid

12:22 , Marc Mayo

Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas are starting from the back due to taking new power unit elements above their allocation for the season.

And the Alfa Romeo will also begin from the pit lane due to changing his rear wing.

Max Verstappen is on pole position.

How to watch

12:17 , Marc Mayo

TV channel: The race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event, with coverage beginning at 12.30pm.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also tune in online via the Sky Go app.

Free highlights: Channel 4 will be airing full free-to-air race highlights at 6.30pm on Sunday evening.

Good afternoon!

12:01 , Marc Mayo

Welcome to our coverage of the F1 Austrian Grand Prix!

Max Verstappen starts on pole ahead of the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at Red Bull Ring, after yesterday’s Sprint race.

Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to make a bid for a third podium in a row after bagging eighth on the grid having crashed in qualifying.

With the race set to begin at 2pm BST, follow Standard Sport’s live blog for all the build-up, race action and reaction...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
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