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Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix 2024

Verstappen Norris collision hands Russell shock win

Wow! What a thriller! And what will the fall about be after a dramatic end to the Austrian Grand Prix?

Russell Austria race
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell netted a shock Austrian Grand Prix victory following a dramatic late collision involving Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

Verstappen was cruising to the chequered flag until a second pit stop at the end of lap 51. Holding a seven-second cushion at that stage, the three-time F1 champion saw that advantage almost wiped out by a slow pit stop due to a struggle in the removal of the left-rear tyre.

Norris, following into the pits behind in his McLaren, came out of the pit lane around 50 metres adrift. What then unfolded over the following laps was a ding-dong battle between the two men at the head of the championship standings.

Their races unravelled on lap 64, however, when Norris again attempted an overtake into the uphill Turn 3 right-hander. Verstappen attemped to cover the move but cut across the Briton.

It resulted in Verstappen sustaining a rear-left puncture, with Norris taking on a right-front puncture, forcing both to trundle back to the pits.

Whilst Verstappen managed to continue after a change of tyres, Norris was forced to retire due to additional damage sustained to the car. Verstappen, though, was handed a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.

The incident allowed Russell to sweep by into the lead and take his second victory in F1 since his and Mercedes' last in the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

McLaren's Oscar Piastri netted second ahead of Carlos Sainz in his Ferrari, with Hamilton fourth ahead of Verstappen, who also added a point for fastest lap.

Haas duo Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished sixth and eighth on either side of Red Bull's Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo was ninth in his RB, with Pierre Gasly taking the final point for 10th.

Result Race - Austrian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Verstappen gets a flier as early penalties strike

Once the five red lights disappeared, it was again a clean start from Verstappen who had already opened up a slight gap to Norris on the run to Turn 1.

Behind Verstappen was where the battles took place, with Hamilton forced wide out of Turn 1 by Sainz. There was an investigation on Hamilton for leaving the track and gaining an advantage but that was swiftly dismissed by the stewards.

Directly behind, Charles Leclerc found himself pinched by Piastri to his left and Perez to his right, leading to the Australian clipping off the left front-wing endplate of the Ferrari, necessitating an immediate pit stop at the end of lap one, relegating the Monégasque to last.

It was an unfortunate incident for Leclerc that cost him dearly as he finished just outside the points in 11th.

As with Hamilton and Sainz, the stewards also looked at Piastri and Perez out of Turn 4 on lap one, with the Mexican investigated for forcing another driver off track. Whilst there appeared to be a case for Piastri, the stewards again took no further action.

On lap three, Hamilton, who had been hounding Russell early on, briefly managed to claim third position, only to immediately lose it again into Turn 4 as his fellow Briton managed to get a tow and then DRS.

Unusually, with Mercedes still waiting for a stewards' call on Hamilton and Sainz, the seven-time F1 champion was told to give the place back, which he duly did on lap five, falling to fifth. It was an unnecessary move, though, given the stewards' decision, although there was a concern from Mercedes he would be hit with a 10-second penalty.

Although Pirelli's pre-race forecast was for a two-stop race, it became apparent around lap 10 that there was a case for a three-stop as both Haas drivers, Magnussen and Hulkenberg, the Williams duo of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, and Ricciardo, all switched from the medium to hards.

Out front, Verstappen was in a race of his own. By the end of lap 15, he had opened up a 5.5s gap to Norris, with third-placed Russell a further nine seconds adrift.

A few laps later, Stake driver Zhou Guanyu found himself punted into the gravel at Turn 3 by Alonso, sparking an investigation by the stewards that resulted in a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.

Shortly after, Hamilton was handed a five-second time penalty for crossing the white line on entry to the pit lane as a result of an oversteer moment, and the left-hand tyres edging over as he wrestled back control of his W15.

After lap 25, leaders Verstappen and Norris both pitted onto their hard tyres. With almost a six-second cushion, as Verstappen exited after taking on hard tyres, Norris was just about to turn in, but had to dab the brakes to prevent a collision. Despite an investigation for an unsafe release, the stewards again determined no penalty was necessary.

As deliberations continued, by the end of lap 30, Verstappen had stretched his advantage over Norris to seven seconds, with Russell a further 3.5s back, followed by Sainz, Hamilton, Piastri and Perez, with Hulkenberg and Magnussen eighth and ninth.

Perez was the next driver to be penalised, hit with five seconds for speeding in the pit lane.

In a battle for 11th involving Alonso and Alpine duo Esteban Ocon and Gasly, the Spaniard initially lost out to the first of the Frenchman along the start-finish straight.

On the run up the hill to Turn 3 and with the aid of DRS, Alonso attempted to reclaim the position, only for Ocon to vigorously defend but allowing Gasly to sweep up the outside.

As Gasly tried to hold his position, Ocon ran his compatriot wide, much to the anger of the former.

On lap 41, the duo again went wheel-to-wheel before Gasly finally prevailed out if Turn 4 and through the sweeps of 5 and 6. Despite no love lost between the pair, they managed to keep their duel clean.

Through the laps in the 40s, the majority of the field cleared their second round of pit stops. It was not until the end of lap 52, however, that Verstappen and Norris took on medium tyres.

From a position of superiority of around seven seconds, Verstappen's advantage was almost totally negated due to the problem with the left-rear.

On lap 55, and with the aid of DRS, Norris attempted to pass Verstappen into Turn 3. There was a suggestion Verstappen had moved in the braking zone to cover off the move, sparking a complaint from the Briton.

Norris had to back off and for a short period dropped out of DRS range. Verstappen, though, complained there to be "something wrong with the car, no grip", allowing Norris to draw close again.

On lap 59, Norris had another go into Turn 3, and for a moment he was ahead, but locked up the front right and was unable to take the corner. In gaining a position, he allowed Verstappen to retake the lead into T4.

That, however, sparked a track limits investigation on Norris from the stewards given he had earlier been given a black-and-white flag for the infringement.

It was soon irrelevant as the duo continued their dramatic battle until their coming together that changed the course of the result. 

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