Orange Crush - Verstappen dominates the Austrian GP


                                                        (Photo Credit: John Mann Reuters)


    From pole position, Max Verstappen led the way from start to finish and was unchallenged as the Red Bull Racing Honda driver took his fourth win in the last five races as he led all 71 laps.

    For the entire race, the battle was for second as early on. Lando Norris in his McLaren battled the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton for the first twenty-five laps. It was obvious that Team McLaren found straight line speed through the first and last sector on the track that kept Hamilton at bay while the battle went through the middle sector. On Lap 25 the balance on Norris' car fell off and Hamilton took second place. After Hamilton took second place, the gap between first and second place was up to 10.5 seconds.

    All the while, the F1 officials were investigating an incident that took place on lap four as Sergio Perez and Norris were battling for second place. Perez went on the attack on the outside line going into turn four. With little track remaining, Perez was forced into the gravel and dropped back down to 10th place. Norris received a five-second time penalty as a result of the incident.

    Norris and Bottas pitted on Lap 31. Bottas beat Norris out of the pits as he had to serve his five second penalty. Hamilton pitted on Lap 32 and Verstappen on Lap 33. Verstappen kept his lead at 13 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

    Hamilton went wide over the turtle curbs on the outside of turn one and received some damage to his car, which allowed Bottas to close in on Hamilton. Mercedes team officials told Bottas not to pass Hamilton, but with Norris closing the gap on the Mercedes he was free to pass Hamilton on Lap 52.

    In a twist from earlier in the race, Norris passed Hamilton for third on Lap 54, quickly after. Hamilton made his second stop of the day.

    Looking back in the midfield, Gasly and Ricciardo had an intense battle with Perez and Leclerc. Going into the downhill right-handed turn four, Leclerc tried to pass Perez around the outside Just like the situation between Norris and Perez earlier in the race. The two made contact and Leclerc was sent into the Gravel. Giving Perez and five second penalty. A few laps passed by and the two clashed once more, again sending Leclerc into the gravel again. Which awarded Perez another five second penalty.

    After making another pit-stop with eleven laps to go, Verstappen came back out to lock his lap in for the fastest circuit of the day. He went on to win by seventeen seconds over Bottas and Norris. Hamilton went on to finish fourth and Carlos Sainz went on to round out the top five. In a heartbreaking turn of events, George Russell went on to finish 11th after being passed by Alonso with five laps to go. Making the young Britsh driver miss out on another opportunity to score championship points for Williams. Lando Norris won 31% of the fan vote and was awarded Driver of the Day. 

     For the series as a whole, it is a well-deserved two-week break as Formula One goes onto the 10th round of the season as the series heads to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on July 18th. Verstappen has a thirty-two point lead in the championship standings over Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull has a twenty-four point lead over Mercedes in the Construtor Standings.