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Formula 1: Crash of Verstappen and Norris: Russell wins in Spielberg

Formula 1: Crash of Verstappen and Norris: Russell wins in Spielberg
Formula 1: Crash of Verstappen and Norris: Russell wins in Spielberg

For a long time it looked like Max Verstappen would win in Austria. Then his Red Bull team made a mistake and a serious accident occurred. A Mercedes driver benefited from this.

After a collision between world champion Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, Mercedes driver George Russell won the thrilling Austrian Grand Prix.

World champion Verstappen dragged himself to the finish line in fifth place after a late crash of his own making at the Red Bull home race in Spielberg. For his McLaren rival, however, the eleventh Grand Prix of the year ended prematurely. Verstappen even extended his lead in the World Championship to 81 points ahead of Norris.

Russell celebrated his first Grand Prix victory since Brazil 2022, completely unexpectedly. Norris’ McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri came second after a breathtaking race in the final stages. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz came third. Haas veteran Nico Hülkenberg was back in the points in sixth place.

Bad luck again for Leclerc

In midsummer temperatures of 30 degrees and more, Verstappen defended his leading position at the start and easily pulled away in the first few laps. Around 21 hours earlier, he was still having problems in the sprint and had to fend off and counter attacks from Norris and Piastri in the McLaren with his maneuvers. Despite this, the three-time champion won the short race over 100 kilometers and earned eight World Championship points.

In the main race, nobody could keep up at the start, and things went particularly badly for Ferrari star Charles Leclerc. The winner of the Monaco Grand Prix had to pit after contact with Piastri after the first lap and have his front wing changed. The 26-year-old fell to the back of the field and struggled to catch up, while second-placed Norris was unable to get significantly closer to Verstappen.

At the beginning of the weekend, Verstappen had complained about slight set-up problems on his employer’s home track. In qualifying for the Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, however, his team apparently found the perfect settings to once again leave the competition behind. The Red Bull Ring is one of Verstappen’s declared favorite tracks. Even before this year, he was the record winner on the track.

The final phase becomes turbulent

The fans, thousands of whom came from the Netherlands, were treated to an exciting race at the front, something they hadn’t seen for a long time. Only Norris was able to keep up somewhat, but was still around six seconds behind after 20 of 71 laps. Even 30 laps later, the picture hadn’t changed – but then things got chaotic.

With 20 laps to go, Verstappen complained on the radio that his tires had worn down a lot. His team then made a mistake in the pits and it took a long 6.5 seconds before he could get going again. Suddenly Norris was only 1.3 seconds behind and was even able to overtake briefly. After the maneuver on lap 59, Verstappen immediately regained the lead. They continued to race hard against each other – too hard. On lap 64, the two friends had a serious collision that resulted in them losing their positions at the front.

Norris then had to retire from the race. Verstappen, on the other hand, managed to make it to the pits and was able to continue, but he received a time penalty for the crash. In the turbulent final phase, Russell took the lead ahead of Piastri and Sainz. Verstappen did everything he could to achieve a better result, but only managed fifth place.

Source: Stern

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