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Verstappen claims he can still be a contender after Austria GP win

05 July 2018

Daniel Ricciardo was left fuming with Red Bull and teammate Max Verstappen saying the tactics used during qualifying Saturday for the F1 Austrian Grand Prix 'could have been more fair'. "It's fantastic to win in a Red Bull at the Red Bull Ring", said Verstappen, who was supported by an "Orange army" of more than 20,000 fans. He backed off through the final two corners at the Red Bull Ring on a number of occasions.

Max Verstappen has his sights on challenging for the drivers' title after winning the Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton was unhappy before his late retirement complaining to his team that "we've just thrown away a win", by bungling the timing of a tyre change.

Ferrari took the next two spots, as Sebastian Vettel of Germany finished in third place, ahead of his Finnish teammate Kimi Raikkonen, meaning both will be kicking off the race from the second row. Romain Grosjean was fourth ahead of his Ferrari-powered Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon and his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez. It was double points finish for Sauber - with Charles Leclerc finishing ninth and Marcus Ericsson taking tenth place.

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Both their days went from bad to worse in a matter of laps, however, with Ricciardo retiring with a broken gearbox on lap 53 and Hamilton's power unit forcing him to stop 10 tours later.

The German, whose team did not invoke team orders for Raikkonen to cede position as might have been expected, clawed back the overall lead by a single point from Mercedes rival Hamilton.

Horner said that Verstappen did such a good job in ensuring that the tyres were being looked after that the critical left rear tyre was operating at a cooler temperature than the right. "Very consistent. No mistakes".

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"I think in general it was not the best day but there is still room for improvement". That's what I did in Paul Ricard so, of course, it's Daniel's turn here.

It was clear running for Mr. Hamilton, as he took Top Spot from Verstappen early in the session and never gave it up. Hamilton led after getting the jump off the start, while Bottas, who fell back as far as fourth after stumbling off the line from the pole, got back to second after making a three-wide pass on the outside of Raikkonen and Verstappen entering Turn 3.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was the first retirement, with his engine spewing a cloud of smoke and flames. His stopped Mercedes triggered a virtual safety auto, and most of the field chose to make an early stop for new tyres.

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When a virtual safety vehicle was called, he pitted while Hamilton stayed out and the advantage was his - but he had already made things happen by forcing his way past Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap from fourth on the grid.

Verstappen claims he can still be a contender after Austria GP win