AMSTERDAM – RED BULL SPORTS – Max Verstappen held his nerve with a thrilling Formula 1 drive to win the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday in front of his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing home fans and huge Dutch travelling support.
The Dutchman took advantage of retirements to both Mercedes cars to take the lead and held off Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to record his first win of the 2018 season. Here is all you need to know:
– Verstappen started fourth on the grid for Sunday’s race with Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo back in seventh and passed Raikkonen straight away to go third.
– He moved into second on lap 14 when Valtteri Bottas retired with a gearbox issue and took the lead outright on lap 26 when Lewis Hamilton pitted for Mercedes.
– Sadly for Ricciardo, he had to retire with an exhaust problem and then Hamilton’s car lost power soon after to leave Verstappen in prime position to claim victory.
– He duly held his nerve to the delight of the swathes of Dutch supporters dressed in orange and local Austrian Red Bull fans for his first F1 win since Mexico in 2017.
– Verstappen revealed: “If you want to win a race this is the perfect place, in a Red Bull car at the Red Bull Ring. It was tougher than perhaps it looked but I just needed to be on top of my tyres. I’m very thankful to the engineers for making that strategy call. The fans in the grandstand were great, so many orange t-shirts there. The last few laps I could look a little bit to my left and they were really cheering me on, it was amazing.”
– Team Principal Christian Horner added: “Unbelievable feeling. All credit to Max, he drove a very, very mature race, managing a very tricky situation with the tyres and he completed a very controlled drive to win our first Austrian Grand Prix. A special word to our pit-crew, again executing a faultless stacked pit stop on our route to victory. I have to also applaud our entire staff at the factory and their commitment to produce a competitive race car. The day belongs to them, to Max, to the team, to Red Bull and particularly to Mr Mateschitz who has given so much to modern Formula One.”
– The 20-year-old now has four Grand Prix victories to his name and moves 53 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel in the 2018 world championship driver standings.
Austrian Grand Prix result:
1. Max Verstappen NED Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
2. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Ferrari
3. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari
4. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas
5. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas