Valtteri Bottas may have taken the chequered flag at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, but this was no Mercedes domination.
Superficially Formula One’s long-awaited resumption looked little different from races past. Mercedes was blistering quick in qualifying, locking out the front row by more than half a second from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, and Bottas converted pole into a flawless light-to-flag victory.
But the face-value evaluation belies how hard the reigning constructors champion had to work to get the job done.
F1 is back, and we talk about dominant Mercedes, good old Ferrari, how to throw out old cassette tapes at the tip and keeping up piss fitness.
The Austrian Grand Prix, Formula One’s first race back from its COVID-19 hiatus, was everything the sport could have hoped for after a 200-odd-day break.
The race featured plenty of passing, clever and clumsy driving in equal measure, unpredictable unreliability and a battle for the podium that lasted until the very last lap.
Valtteri Bottas took away 25 points from a track around which he’s typically been strong, and with title rival Lewis Hamilton finishing fourth and Red Bull Racing failing to score, he’s stolen an early match in his fourth championship campaign with Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas won a dramatic season-opening Austrian Grand Prix in which only 11 drivers made it to the checkered flag after three safety car interventions.Continue reading on RACER
Valtteri Bottas has survived an Austrian Grand Prix of high attrition to claim the first win of the 2020 Formula One season.
The Finn led every lap, but his race was far from easy. The grand prix featured three safety car interventions and only 11 finishers at the chequered flag, and Bottas had to manage “critical” gearbox issues that prevented him from exploiting the full performance of his car.
He also had to absorb pressure from teammate Lewis Hamilton in the middle part of the race, though the Briton’s threat faded a little past half distance after becoming afflicted with similar reliability problems.
Valtteri Bottas will lead Lewis Hamilton on an all-Mercedes front row after the Silver Arrows dominated qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Mercedes had things all its own way at Spielberg with a more than half-second advantage over Red Bull Racing, but it was Ferrari’s lack of performance that shocked most after the Italian team lost Sebastian Vettel in Q2 and Charles Leclerc qualified a lowly seventh.
The battle for pole was a private affair between Bottas and Hamilton, with the Finn taking a 0.122-second upper hand after the pair’s first laps.
Valtteri Bottas has claimed pole at the Austrian Grand Prix in a foreboding display of Mercedes dominance, while Sebastian Vettel failed to qualify for the top 10 in a painful afternoon for Ferrari.Continue reading on RACER
Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of all three practice sessions, although with a reduced advantage, ahead of qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.Continue reading on RACER
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas completed a Mercedes Friday practice clean sweep at the Austrian Grand Prix, but it was Sergio Perez’s third-quickest time for Racing Point that grabbed the paddock’s attention.Continue reading on RACER
Formula 1 may have gone more than 200 days between race weekends, but based on first practice at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, absence has done nothing to shake up the competitive order. Picking up where it left off, Mercedes dominated the laptimes.Continue reading on RACER
Formula One isn’t the first sport to resume from coronavirus-induced hiatus, but its 15-race, four-continent plan to return to business certainly makes it the most ambitious.
This weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix (5 July), the first of three races in a row, will mark the beginning of a racing schedule of unprecedented intensity. Eight European races are crammed into 10 weeks, and while the sport is yet to confirm the composition of its next tranche of events, its intention is to travel to Eurasia, Asia and the Americas before concluding with three grands prix in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.
F1 is existentially wed to its international footprint. Its ‘world championship’ designation is dependent on the series traversing at least three continents, forcing it into a painful logistical challenge in a time of unpredictable border closures and lengthy quarantine times.