Ricciardo holds off Hamilton to take third in Austrian GP

By ,

Tagged:
 , ,

1 Have your say

    The pace of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull in holding off Lewis Hamilton to claim a fifth-straight podium surprised even himself at the Austria Grand Prix, won by Valtteri Bottas.

    Mercedes driver Bottas won from pole position at the straight-heavy Spielberg track on Sunday, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel narrowly behind to maintain his Formula One championship lead.

    Third-placed Australian Ricciardo, who started fourth on the grid, was six seconds behind Bottas, but continued his strong form to hold off a late charge by Mercedes’ Hamilton.

    With three laps to go, Ricciardo was a second ahead of three-time F1 champion Hamilton before defending smartly to keep the Briton behind him as he attempted to pass.

    The result follows the 28-year-old Ricciardo’s victory in an incident-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix last week before third places in Canada, Monaco and Spain, taking his career tally to 23 podiums.

    “Baku, sure I was ecstatic to win, but we knew there were some circumstances. Today, all the top guys finished,” Ricciardo told reporters.

    “Sure, Lewis (Hamilton) started behind, but we had good pace, which is surprising in dry conditions.”

    Ricciardo celebrated with his now customary post-race ‘shoey’.

    “It was a fun race, there were some decisive moments at the start and then defending the last couple of laps,” he said.

    “The second last lap was the tightest and Hamilton got close but I was very pleased to see the chequered flag.”

    Ricciardo maintains fourth place in the championship, 29 points behind Bottas. Vettel extended his lead over main rival Hamilton to 20 points.

    Bottas did just enough to hold off Vettel’s charge, as the German driver crossed the line 0.6 seconds behind.

    Bottas got away cleanly as Vettel made a somewhat sluggish start.

    Vettel contested the Mercedes driver’s start on his radio, saying Bottas had jumped the lights, but the Finnish driver was later cleared by stewards of any wrongdoing.

    “I think that was the start of my life. I was really on it today,” Bottas said on the podium.

    It was his second victory of the season and career, putting him 15 points behind Hamilton in the standings.

    Hamilton started from eighth on the grid on Sunday after a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorised gearbox change after the last race in Azerbaijan two weeks ago.

    At the start of the race, Fernando Alonso had to retire his McLaren after a collision caused by Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.

    Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was slowed at the start by a clutch problem, which dropped him back in the field where he was collected by Alonso’s out-of-control McLaren — the fifth time in the last seven races Verstappen has failed to finish.

    Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, ahead of the Haas of Romain Grosjean and the Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

    Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll made fine starts from 17th and 18th on the grid, and both finished in the top 10.

    © AP 2017