The hills came alive on Sunday afternoon as Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman took advantage of a Virtual Safety Car period, coupled with a tactical error and later a retirement from Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton’s non-finish, his first since Malaysia 2016, means Sebastian Vettel now leads the driver’s standings. The German came home in third place to take a one-point advantage in the title fight.
The Brit had looked on course for victory in the early stages. Hamilton took the lead from team-mate and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas at the start.
But when Bottas’ Mercedes stopped on-track after a hydraulic failure, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed.
Both Red Bulls and Kimi Raikkonen took the opportunity to pit, while Mercedes elected to keep Hamilton out.
This later proved to be a mistake, as Hamilton then emerged fourth after making his own pitstop.
The four-time champion was on the back foot from that point on. A second pitstop did little to help before he too was forced to stop in the closing stages.
Verstappen took his first win since Mexico last season. This was the Dutchman’s fourth grand prix victory.
Raikkonen finished second, just ahead of team-mate Vettel who battled through the pack after being given a three-place grid penalty.
Sunday’s race was the second of a back-to-back triple header, and next up is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The Northamptonshire venue could give Hamilton the perfect opportunity to bounce back. Hamilton is a five-time winner of the race, including each of the last four seasons.
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