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Bottas wins Austrian GP as Hamilton challenge left on its knees

By People Daily
Monday, July 6th, 2020
Mercedes’ Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (right) and Ferrari’s Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc celebrate with champagne on the podium after the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix race in Spielberg, Austria yesterday. Photo/AFP

Spielberg, Sunday

Valtteri Bottas stayed calm in a stormy race on Sunday to claim a measured victory for Mercedes as Formula One returned with a bang in a belated, dramatic and incident-strewn 2020 season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

Seven months after the final race of 2019, the Finn, who had started from the 12th pole position of his career, led from start to finish to come home ahead on the road of team-mate six-time champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Briton, however, had been given a five-second penalty during the race and was demoted to fourth behind Charles Leclerc, who brought his Ferrari home second and Briton Lando Norris who claimed his maiden podium for McLaren.

Hamilton, hit with a late pre-race grid penalty that dropped him from second to fifth, had clashed with Red Bull’s Alex Albon in the final laps, forcing him into a spin off track.”

“There was definitely quite a bit of pressure on me there,” said Bottas, speaking through a face mask afterwards. 

“One Safety Car was ok, but I was like ‘another one? And come on?’ Lewis was quick, but I was able to control it.”

Leclerc admitted the result was a surprise after Ferrari’s dismal form in practice and qualifying.  -AFP