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Max Verstappen gives Red Bull Austrian double

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Max Verstappen claimed his third win in a row from pole in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday to consolidate his world driver’s championship lead over Lewis Hamilton who finished fourth.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas took second with McLaren’s Lando Norris in third.

Orange army out in force for Max Verstappen

Verstappen’s assured win triggered a carnival atmosphere in Formula One’s first capacity crowd since the coronavirus pandemic struck with most of the 100,000 in attendance decked out in his Dutch orange colours.

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In contrast to last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, Verstappen faced no real threat from behind, even having enough time to take an extra pit stop with 10 laps to go to ensure he snatched an extra point for the fastest lap.

“To see so much orange in the stands is incredible, it’s an extra motivation, thank you” he told his cheering congregation at the Red Bull-owned Spielberg circuit.

“The car was unreal,” added the 21-year-old threat to Hamilton’s bid for an unprecedented eighth world crown who was following up his win at the track last week.

“On every tyre set we put on, it was really enjoyable to drive. A great effort by the whole team. These two weeks here have been incredible.”

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Verstappen moved on to 182 points in the standings, 32 clear of Hamilton ahead of the seven-time world champion’s home British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 18.

Hamilton, without a win since Barcelona in early May, had forecast after qualifying Saturday that beating Verstappen looked unlikely.

More frustration

Hamilton worked his way up to second place from P4 on the grid before aerodynamic damage, picked up by running over exit kerbs, slowed his progress, allowing both Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris to get past him.

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“We’re miles away from them (Red Bull). They’ve brought a lot of upgrades and we haven’t so we’ve got to bring some,” he said.

Despite heavy pressure from Norris, who was awarded Driver Of The Day honours, Bottas held on for P2, with the McLaren driver taking a third podium finish of the season in P3.

Austrian Grand Prix results

1 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 71 1:23:54.543 26
2 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 71 +17.973s 18
3 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 71 +20.019s 15
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 71 +46.452s 12
5 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 71 +57.144s 10
6 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 71 +57.915s 8
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 71 +60.395s 6
8 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 71 +61.195s 4
9 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI HONDA 71 +61.844s 2
10 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 70 +1 lap 1
11 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 70 +1 lap
12 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 70 +1 lap
13 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 70 +1 lap
14 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 70 +1 lap
15 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 70 +1 lap
16 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 70 +1 lap
17 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 69 DNF
18 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 69 +2 laps
19 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 69 +2 laps

* Provisional results. Note – Verstappen scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Perez received a 10-second time penalty for forcing another driver off track. Stroll received a 5-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane. Tsunoda received a 5-second time penalty for crossing the white line at the pit entry.

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