Lewis Hamilton has won the first-ever 2020 Styrian Grand Prix for Mercedes-AMG F1 at the second race being held this season at the Red Bull Ring. Valtteri Bottas has extended his FIA Formula One World Championship lead over his Mercedes teammate finishing second while Max Verstappen failed to disappoint Mercedes and took the last spot on the podium with a third-place finish for Red Bull Racing. Hamilton started from pole alongside the Red Bull of Max Verstappen on the front row. As the light went out to start the 71 lap race, Hamilton got away well with Verstappen behind him and Carlos Sainz in the McLaren in third. But, Bottas found his way past the McLaren as Sainz began to drop back.
Further back down the order, Sebastian Vettel who started from 10th on the grid suffered a slow start and began falling back. But at turn 3, his Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc made an over-eager move, clipping the inside kerb and bouncing up, onto the rear of Vettel’s car breaking the four-time world champion’s rear wing. As the safety car was summoned, Vettel came into his garage to retire from the race, and the following lap, Leclerc followed him leaving both Ferrari’s out of the race after just three corners.
When the safety car pulled in, the restart of the race saw little to no drama. Hamilton got off well again with Verstappen and Bottas behind him. But the gradual and slow battle in the midfield was interesting to watch.
Most of the race was uneventful, but in the last 10 laps, it all came to light all of a sudden. While Hamilton had secured his win with a healthy gap over the pack, Verstappen was uncomfortable with his car. By lap 65, Bottas started to close in on Verstappen and made his move to claim second place. Verstappen had to settle for third place as they eventually finished in that order.
But further back, the race started to gain traction. After his pit stop, Sergio Perez had climbed up to fifth in the Racing Point and tried to close in on the gap to Alex Albon in the second Red Bull. However, Perez started to struggle in the last few laps.
Lando Norris in the other McLaren in the last few laps was closing the gap to Daniel Ricciardo for eighth place. On the second last lap of the race, Norris was able to get ahead of Ricciardo and then also made his move on Lance Stroll for sixth place. With one Racing Point behind him, on the final lap of the race, Norris began to close in on struggling Perez leaving everyone one on the edge of their seats. On the final corner, Norris made his move on the ailing Racing Point to take fifth placing making it the main highlight of the race. Perez crossed the line sixth, Stroll, seventh, Ricciardo eighth, Sainz ninth and Daniil Kvyat claiming the final championship point in 10th.
As Bottas leads the world championship with a win and a second-place finish under his belt, Mercedes now leads the constructor’s title after two round. Ferrari currently is fifth in the standings after both cars crashed out on the first lap of the race. The next round of the F1 2020 season will be the Hungarian Grand Prix scheduled for next weekend (July 17-19) for a triple header.
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