Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas has won a thrilling Austrian Grand Prix, winning his second F1 Grand Prix in the same style as his first in Russia - under maximum pressure from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who was just 0.658 seconds adrift at the chequered flag.
Bottas, who started from pole position, led from lights to flag. The Finn got away well at the start - and built a comfortable 8.2 second gap to Vettel by Lap 31, a lead that would only be whittled away in the race’s closing stages from the charging 4-time World Champion.
“I had a bit of a deja vu in the end, what happened in Russia,” Bottas said.
“He [Vettel] was catching up but the problem with the last stint I had a massive blister in the left-rear, so that made it quite tricky. In the beginning I could control the pace, but in the end the back markers made it quite tricky. “I’m really happy, it’s only my second win in my career.”
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a fifth-straight podium visit, the Australian able to hold off Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who moved up to eighth on the grid to finish fourth - applying gigantic pressure to Ricciardo across the final laps, in a thrilling finish as the top-four cars closed up.
Vettel’s second place means he extends his lead over Hamilton in the standings to 20 points, with the British Grand Prix just one week away.
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Here’s how the 2017 FORMULA 1 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX played-out lap-by-lap:
There’s plenty of excitement ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas on pole - ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The Finn will be keen to win for the Silver Arrows, and limit damage, with Lewis Hamilton starting from P8 - given his 5-place gearbox penalty - on supersoft tyres, to go longer in the race.
The grandstands are a sea of orange with 12,000 Max Verstappen fans travelling from the Netherlands to see their man compete. The 19-year-old will start from P5, just one place behind his teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
It’s been a disappointing weekend for Williams, with Felipe Massa starting from P17 - and Lance Stroll in P17. This was meant to be a strong event for the British team with its FW40 generally aero efficient, but it’s said updates have upset the rear of the car. Can they move forward from the penultimate row of the grid?
We’re expecting this race to be generally a one-stop for all drivers, unless we see some rain. Who’s going to be the first mover? One stop is around Lap 29, 2-stop lap 30 and 50 but that’s ambitious.
Top-7 are all on ultras, Hamilton on supersofts - as is Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Williams’ Lance Stroll and Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Williams’ Felipe Massa are on softs.
Bottas gets a great start, Vettel swamped by Ricciardo - as Verstappen spins at Turn 1. Vettel retains P2, but Ricciardo barges past Raikkonen to take P3 at Turn 3 - who goes wide and drops to P5. Grosjean has moved up to P4, so excellent jump there. Verstappen is last and slow, looks set to retire unfortunately.
Kvyat and Alonso are into the pits. Bottas leads Vettel by 1.4 seconds, ahead of Ricciardo, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Perez, Hamilton who’s made up one spot, Ocon, Sainz and Massa up to P10.
Bottas leads, but Vettel sets the fastest lap, a 1:10.149 in P2. Vettel has said Bottas jumped the start but looked marginal. Raikkonen passes Grosjean for P4 at Turn 4.
Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:09.940. Perez in P6 is all over the back of Grosjean. Hamilton in P7 is less than half a second behind Perez.
Bottas sets another fastest lap, a 1:09.539 - as Hamilton sets the fastest first sector, he’s in P7. Sainz in P11 is less than half a second behind Stroll in P10 - both Williams having lightning first laps.
Another fastest lap for Bottas, a 1:09.379 - he’s now 2.6 seconds ahead of Vettel and on a charge. Kvyat under investigation for pushing into Alonso - who hit Verstappen.
Yet another fastest lap for Bottas, a 1:09.138. The Finn is 3-tenths faster than Vettel and Ricciardo on that last lap. Big train of cars from Vandoorne in P12, down to Hulkenberg in P15 - all within a second of each other.
Bottas is not letting up his pace on the ultras, another fastest lap, a 1:09.024. Hamilton passes Grosjean at Turn 4 around the outside and goes up into P5.
Bottas’ fastest laps continue, a 1:09.019. Red Bull’s Christian Horner says Verstappen had a clutch issue, responsible for slow start - after which he was hit by Alonso.
Top-10 is Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon, Massa, and Stroll. Bottas is 0.6 faster than those around him. Kvyat gets a drive-through for causing Turn 1 melee.
Bottas is 4.5 seconds ahead of Vettel, and does yet another fastest lap, a 1:09.000. Vandoorne in P13 is 0.7 adrift of Palmer ahead, with the Belgian pushing to get a chance at a point.
Ricciardo in P3 is 2.9 seconds behind Vettel - and 4.6 seconds ahead of the Ferrari of Raikkonen. The lead pack is coming back to challenge the pace of Bottas, they’re now within a tenth of a second.
Bottas is now 5-seconds ahead of Vettel in the lead.
Vettel is upping his pace, more than a tenth faster than Bottas on that last lap - with the 4-time World Champion trying to close the gap.
Order is Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon, Massa and Stroll closes top-10. Hamilton complaining his rears are going off, but is 2.7 seconds behind Raikkonen.
Hulkenberg pits for softs. Magnussen in P11 is less than a second behind Stroll and eyes the final point.
Bottas is now 5.2 seconds ahead of Vettel, could he be building a gap just in case he gets penalty for his start? Raikkonen complains he has a blister on his left-front tyre.
Bottas is still doing very quick times, 1:09.1s - a tenth up on Vettel, and 3-tenths faster than Ricciardo. Hamilton is now 1.1 seconds behind Raikkonen, the Brit chasing him down.
Magnussen in P11 is now within 0.5 second of Stroll for that final point. Vettel told he’s still on Plan A, which would be a one-stop. Hamilton is now within a second of Raikkonen, could we see a move very soon?
Bottas leads Vettel by 5.5 seconds, Ricciardo 3.7 seconds behind his former teammate in P3.
Bottas now 6.1 seconds up on Vettel.
Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:08.989 - 0.6 faster than Vettel on that last lap. Hamilton looking at Bottas into Turn 3, but can’t make the move stick there.
Bottas sets another fastest lap, a 1:08.959 - as Hamilton in P5 is told his brake temps are a little high.
Bottas still more than 0.5 seconds faster than Vettel on that last lap.
Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:08.777. He’s on a roll here, just effortlessly quick right from the start. Hamilton has dropped back from Raikkonen just to save brakes.
Bottas has been cleared of his start by the race stewards. Raikkonen and Hamilton are moving through traffic, assisting the Mercedes driver.
None of the top-10 has pitted as yet. Bottas is 7.9 seconds up on Vettel - though the German is right with his rival on pace now.
Bottas has lapped all up to P15 - who is Wehrlein. Magnussen looks set to take Stroll for P10, the Dane all over the Canadian.
Order is Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon, Massa and Stroll closes out top-10. Hamilton is still struggling to get close to Raikkonen.
Magnussen looks set to retire, could be a hydraulic issue - he’s slowing and has dropped out of contention.
Bottas leads Vettel by 8.2 seconds, looks very comfortable but is pushing - he’s still 0.5 seconds a lap faster than his rival.
Hamilton pits for 2.4 seconds, comes back out on the ultras - switching to Pirelli’s softest set. He exits in P5, 20 seconds behind Raikkonen. Vettel has also complained about vibration.
Hamilton putting in searing sectors, as Raikkonen told to carry on.
Bottas leads Vettel by 7.9 seconds, as Ricciardo pits from P3. He puts on the supersofts.
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:07.867 - as Vettel pits from P2, goes onto the supersofts, 2.5 second stop. The German returns in P3 behind his teammate, until he pits.
Vandoorne passes Ericsson at Turn 4, goes into P14. Hamilton is just 3-seconds behind Ricciardo in P5. Perez pits from P9, as does Stroll from P10 - 2.3 second stop.
Bottas has now lapped up to P9, and is moving through traffic. Grosjean has pitted as well, goes from ultras to supersofts - 2.7 second stop.
Bottas is now 19 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, both of whom are yet to pit.
Hamilton says his rear doesn’t feel good, but told to continue. He says he has too much front wing. Vandoorne under investigation for ignoring blue flags for Raikkonen.
Bottas still on searing pace, a 1:08.9s - but Vettel in P3 is around 0.5 seconds faster on that last lap.
No drivers are within a second of each other, as Bottas has lapped up to P9 - Grosjean the next driver for him to lap. Bottas says there’s not much left in the tyres, so he’s about to pit.
Bottas pits from the lead, goes onto supersofts - 3.4 second stop, so slow stop there. Raikkonen goes into the lead. But Vettel is now much closer to Bottas. So Bottas is in a Ferrari sandwich, with Raikkonen ahead and Vettel behind.
Bottas passes Raikkonen at Turn 4, and moves up to the lead.
Raikkonen pits, having been foiled at keeping Bottas behind. 2.7 second stop - the Finn goes onto the supersofts. So it’s Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon and Stroll. Vandoorne gets a drive-through for ignoring blue flags. Sainz told he needs to retire the car.
Bottas leads Vettel by 4.3 seconds, Ricciardo 3.9 seconds behind him in P3.
Hamilton in P4 is 3.8 seconds behind Ricciardo, but can he make the ultras last until the end?
Top-4 all have 4-seconds between them. Massa pits from P8, goes from the softs to the ultras for a quick final stint.
Palmer in P11 is now 1-second faster than Stroll ahead, so can he catch and then pass the Canadian? He needs the point.
Vettel does a personal best lap, four tenths up on leader Bottas on that last tour. Ricciardo unable to match the pace of those around him.
Vettel sets the fastest lap, a 1:07.713 - he’s flying! Hamilton says that he’s struggling. His front left is blistering badly.
Bottas sets a personal best, one tenth up on Vettel on that last lap. Can Hamilton get on the podium, and get past Ricciardo? He’s one tenth slower than the Australian on that last lap.
Ricciardo sets a personal best lap, a few tenths up on Hamilton - knowing he has to respond of the podium.
Vettel told rain quite possibly coming at the end of the race, he’s 3.76 seconds adrift of leader Bottas.
Raikkonen sets the fastest lap, a 1:07.680 - two tenths faster than Hamilton ahead on that last lap. Bottas laps Massa in P9.
Ricciardo sets another personal best lap, though it’s still more than a tenth slower than Hamilton behind.
Vettel is chasing down Bottas - the gap just 3-seconds. Hamilton in P4 is just 2.8 seconds behind Ricciardo. Massa in P9 is all over the back of Ocon - 1-second the gap.
Vettel laps Massa, Bottas laps Ocon. The top-5 is covered by 23-seconds.
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:07.608 - so he’s been saving that pace. He’s now 2.7 seconds behind Ricciardo.
Hamilton sets another fastest lap, a 1:07.571 - he can smell the podium in this race. But can he catch and then pass Ricciardo?
Lap 61 - 10 LAPS TO GO:
Ricciardo and Hamilton are both desperate to make the podium, with the Brit now 2-seconds adrift.
Bottas leads Vettel by 2.4 seconds, are we going to see a repeat of Russia - where the German puts maximum pressure on the Finn? Hamilton sets another fastest lap, a 1:07.511 despite blistering. 1.3 seconds the gap.
10-seconds covers the top-4. Hamilton now 1-second behind Ricciardo and he desperately wants that podium.
Bottas leads Vettel by 2.2 seconds, Ricciardo in P3 leads Hamilton by 1.3 seconds - can either of them be chased down?
Vettel is catching Bottas for the lead, Hamilton is catching Ricciardo for the podium - but will we run out of laps?
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:07.424 as they lap Kvyat. He’s asking for maximum power from the power unit.
Hamilton is now within DRS range of Ricciardo - as Vettel gets the gap to Bottas down to 1.8 seconds.
Vettel is 1.1 seconds adrift of Bottas, so that second win for the Finn is hanging in the balance. Perez, who needs to be lapped by Vettel, has got in the way of Vettel - handing an advantage to Bottas.
It’s all on as Vettel tries to catch Bottas, and Hamilton tries to grab that final podium spot from Ricciardo. Every point counts here.
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:07.411 - he’s doing everything he can to get on that podium. Hamilton tries to pass Ricciardo into Turn 4, but can’t make it stick.
Lap 71 - FINAL LAP:
Bottas’ win is under fire as Vettel stays very close into Turn 1. Hamilton is all over the back of Ricciardo. Neither driver is able to get past to make the difference - as Bottas takes his second win in F1.
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|8||31||Force India Mercedes||70||+1 lap||4|
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