Valtteri Bottas held off late-charging Sebastian Vettel to take glory in Austria
Your weekly racing round-up: Formula 1, Formula 2 and Aston Martin’s soapbox racing switch
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas claimed his second Formula 1 victory of the season in the Austrian Grand Prix, fending off a late charge from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Finn Bottas started from pole at the Red Bull Ring and got a jump on his rivals with what he called “the start of his life”.
Rivals Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) both thought he jumped the start, but the stewards ruled Bottas’ start, in which he reacted 0.201sec after the lights went out, to be legal.
Bottas led Vettel for much of the race, but the German closed the gap late on and finished just 0.658sec behind. The win keeps Bottas third in the championship standings, behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton and 35 points adrift of leader Vettel.
“It’s important in the championship to get closer to the guys in front, so it feels good,” said Bottas. “We had a strong car today and it was like the perfect weekend for me: pole position and a win.”
Despite finishing second, Vettel still extended his title lead over Hamilton. The Brit started eighth on the grid after a five-place penalty for a gearbox change. He battled through the order, but failed to overhaul Ricciardo for the final podium spot, finishing fourth.
“When I went over the race trace I was actually quickest today,” said Hamilton. “I had the strongest race. Once I got past two cars – a Force India and a Haas – I was 16sec behind Valtteri and, in the end, I was just 6sec behind.”
The next race is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend.
Formula 2: Red Bull Ring, Austria
Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc had a mixed weekend at the Red Bull Ring, winning the first Formula 2 race but crashing out of the second.
Starting from pole in the feature race, the Monégasque racer built up an early lead in his Prema Racing car, and then fended off a charge from Nicholas Latifi, who came up the order on a different tyre strategy.
Leclerc’s fortunes changed in the incident-packed sprint race; he crashed out after inadvertently running into the back of team-mate Antonio Fuoco. Artem Markelov won the race.
British racer Oliver Rowland finished fourth and third respectively in the two races to cement second place in the championship standings, 49 points behind Leclerc.
Red Bull Soapbox Derby: Alexandra Palace, London
Fresh from its class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Aston Martin switched disciplines and scored a second place on their Red Bull Soapbox Derby debut.
The team’s V8 Vantage GTE challenger eschewed had only the power of gravity to tackle the obstacle-filled 450-metre course.
The soapbox racer was built in-house at Aston’s factory in Newport Pagnell. While race drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam both attended the event, it was Aston Martin Prototype Operations senior engineer Alex Summers who got behind the wheel.
The event was won by the Brooklands Special, a Napier-Railton replica built by a team from Loughborough.
Round-up: GP3 and IndyCar
- British racer George Russell claimed his maiden GP3 Series win at the Red Bull Ring, leading the first race from start to finish. Raoul Hyman took his first victory in the second race, in which Russell finished sixth.
- Hélio Castroneves claimed his first IndyCar Series victory since 2014 with a dominant showing at the Iowa Speedway oval.