Austrian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen wins after surviving stewards investigation over Charles Leclerc contact

Mercedes dominance in 2019 ends as Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finish only third and fifth

Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix. Reuters
Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix. Reuters

Max Verstappen came from ninth place on the lap to complete a stunning fightback drive to win the Austrian Grand Prix for the second successive year - but faced an anxious wait of over three hours before he could celebrate after being investigated by stewards post-race.

The Red Bull Racing driver passed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on Lap 69 at Turn 3 to move to the front, with the Dutchman's move forcing his rival to run off the track on the exit of the corner as he was crowded out.

The stewards heard from both Verstappen and Leclerc post-race before deciding no further action was necessary and that the result would remain the way the race had finished.

Leclerc had from pole for the majority of the race, but was hunted down in the final laps by Verstappen, who was on fresher tyres.

Verstappen got by to clinch the sixth victory of his career. He had started second but had dropped to ninth at the start after a poor start.

He charged up to fifth before the pit stops and then overtook Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas on his way to chasing down Leclerc.

Bottas was third as Mercedes-GP's 100 per cent run of wins in 2019 came to an end.

The Finn had the consolation of trimming his teammate Lewis Hamilton's championship lead to 31 points.

Hamilton, who lost time having to change his front wing at his pit stop after damaging it on the kerbs, was passed on the penultimate lap by the second Ferrari of Vettel as he finished fifth.

Lando Norris was sixth for McLaren, ahead of the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly and his teammate Carlos Sainz.

Updated: June 30, 2019 09:57 PM


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