Calm Verstappen wins Austrian GP on bleak day for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

Red Bull's Max Verstappen put recent criticism behind him to power through to his first victory this year.

Birthday boy Daniel Ricciardo has had to pull out of the Austria Grand Prix due to engine issues, but his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen took advantage of a disastrous double no-finish for Mercedes to win the event.

Hamilton's retirement is his first in 33 Grand Prix stretching back to Malaysia in 2016.

It was Verstappen's fourth career victory as he came home ahead of the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who regained the lead in the drivers championship ahead of Hamilton by a single point.

Esteban Ocon ended up 11th after his final Q2 lap fell nearly two tenths of a second short of beating Hulkenberg, who improved by enough on his second run to jump ahead of the Force India.

It compounded a software miscalculation that cost Hamilton a win in Australia and the very similar decision not to pit him under the safety vehicle in China that led to a Red Bull victory for Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen's win in Red Bull's home race confirmed his status as F1's form man following his second place last week in France and a third position at the Canadian GP before then. The team's decision not to pit him under the safety auto cost him the lead and then he was unable to challenge with heavy rear tyre wear that ultimately forced him to go into the pits twice. "It was damage limitation for me and a positive day". 'We understand. It's my mistake, ' before later adding: 'I have thrown away the win.

"This is James, I have thrown away the win today", replied Vowles.

"I don't get it guys, I just don't".

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Ronaldo nearly had a chance at goal on 20 minutes but a timely clearance by Gimenez six yards was enough to keep Ronaldo at bay. With or without Cavani, though, Uruguay will make it tough for France and should not be written off.

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In each of the last three finals - and in four of the last five - the holders failed to make it out of the group stages. In Spain, meanwhile, national sport newspaper Marca called Germany's exit "the curse of the champions".

Speaking after the race, Wolff said: "We made a mistake and what I think happened is that we were running one and two and controlling the race and suddenly you see Valtteri stopping with a hydraulic leak".

On a bleak afternoon for the champions, who had not been beaten at the Red Bull Ring since Austria returned to the calendar in 2014, Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas retired with a mechanical failure.

"I'm not going to be able to pass these guys".

On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.

They were split by the Haas of Romain Grosjean. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) one lap, 6. McLaren's Fernando Alonso was eighth.

Vandoorne was one of a number of drivers whose final attempt was compromised by yellow flags in the middle sector, with Leclerc's Sauber causing one by a visit through the Turn 4 gravel trap, although his first sector time was down on his personal best having also complained about traffic.

Montreal's Lance Stroll finished 13th.

Shortly after being promoted above Hamilton, Ricciardo retired on lap 54 as he joined the ranks of attrition that also included Bottas and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams-Mercedes) two laps, 14.

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