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Bottas rounds off his great weekend and Vettel comes out more leader of Austria

Bottas rounds off his great weekend and Vettel comes out more leader of Austria

Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) rounded off his great weekend by winning, from pole position, the Austrian Grand Prix, the ninth round of the Formula One World Championship, in which German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), second in the Red Bull Ring, reinforced its leadership and already leads by 20 points to the English Lewis Hamilton, teammate of the winner, who finished fourth.

Bottas, 26, who celebrated the second pole of his F1 career on Saturday, achieved his second victory in the premier class of the motoring, after the one achieved this year in Russia. In a race that Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) finished third; and in which the two Spaniards, Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda) and Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), had to leave.

The Asturian double champion (2005 and 2006, with Renault) did so after being rammed before the first corner by the Russian Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), while the young talent from Madrid did so with 25 of the 71 laps remaining. to the fourth shortest track in the World Cup (4,318 meters), behind Monaco, Interlagos (Brazil) and Mexico City.

Vettel and Hamilton – who had arrived in Austria, 14 points behind the German – had focused attention during the previous days, after the controversial incidents of the crazy race in Baku, two weeks ago.

Both had simulated peace on Thursday, at the FIA ​​(International Automobile Federation) press conference, in which ‘Seb’ admitted mistakes and repeated apologies. Although both Hamilton and the four-time German world champion gave up shaking hands in public after interviews in the pit lane after qualifying on Saturday.

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On Friday, Lewis had dominated both free sessions, before it was announced that, for having replaced the gearbox of his Mercedes – before the deadline of six races in a row – he would be penalized with five places on the grid.

Vettel, the fastest in Saturday’s free practice, was surprised by Bottas, who signed his second F1 pole in Austria -after Bahrain in April-, after having dominated a qualifying in which his teammate the triple English world champion was third.

Hamilton had to look for the comeback from the eighth; and Bottas, to contain the attack of the two Ferraris, since, behind Vettel and next to Ricciardo -winner in Azerbaijan and who signed his fifth consecutive podium-, the other red car started, in the Finnish Kimi Raikkonen.

Bottas not only turned out well, but, in his own words, made his “life” “come out”; and Ricciardo passed Raikkonen, in a convulsive start from behind, in which the Russian Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) ruined the career of the double Asturian world champion, who started twelfth, by hitting him from behind.

Alonso, who complained about the Russian – “you can’t go bowling” – abandoned at the first change, on a bad day for the Spanish pilots, since Sainz, who started well from tenth place, suffered all kinds of problems with his engine until at turn 46 he got out of the car, after a ‘hot’ weekend off the track.

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Twenty laps before Carlos left -who was ninth, six laps from retiring-, Bottas led ahead of Vettel and Ricciardo, while Kimi, apparently with (in this case welcome) problems, acted as a ‘stopper’ with Hamilton , who had risen to fifth place.

The Briton was the first to stop, in a race that was decided at the top with a single entry into the garages.

He did it to change, on 32nd, his supersofts (recognizable by the red stripe) for the ultrasofts (stripes).

Vettel stopped at 35, to shed the ultrasofts and put supersofts; the same as Bottas did in the 41st, at which point he momentarily gave up the race lead to Kimi (who would stop four later), but got back on track ahead of ‘Seb’.

The German ‘flew’ with the new tire and put the Finn in a tight spot, placing 1.2 seconds with four laps to go and eight tenths with only two remaining to the checkered flag.

At the same time, Ricciardo held off Hamilton’s attack and finished, in third position, celebrating his fifth consecutive podium. That he tastes much better as it coincides with the fifth retirement in the last seven races of his young Dutch teammate Max Verstappen, involved in the early accident that also left Alonso out.

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Vettel indicated that “with one more lap” he would have won, but will enter Silverstone (England) on Thursday, home of the British Grand Prix, with 171 points, twenty more than Lewis. That he settled for setting the fastest lap and improving the record held since 2003, in a race held on the Styrian track, by the German Michael Schumacher, record holder of titles (seven), victories (91) and ‘poles’ (68) in Formula One.

Bottas, happy with his second F1 victory, is now third in the World Championship, 35 points behind Vettel and 29 over Ricciardo, by far the happiest of the three who took the podium this Sunday.

Verstappen lost sixth place in the World Cup in favor of Mexican Sergio Pérez (Force India), who once again completed a great performance and ratified seventh place on the grid in the race, finishing behind Kimi and Frenchman Romain Grosjean (Haas). sixth.

‘Checo’ defeated his fellow Frenchman Esteban Ocon, his new ‘intimate enemy’, eighth at Spielberg; and he slipped into the noble zone of the general, in theory reserved for the three great teams. From which the brave Guadalajara pilot evicted Max. The one who, with 50, now surpasses by five points in the World Cup standings. EFE.

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