Are you watching, Paul Ricard?

Date published: June 30 2019

Are you watching, are you watching, are you watching Paul Ricard? Because the Austrian Grand Prix was bloody awesome.

Here is how race day unfolded in Austria…

In what was the first Austrian Grand Prix since Niki Lauda’s passing, the Red Bull Ring planned a series of tributes for the three-time World Champion. The first corner has been renamed after him and, on every seat, the famous red cap.

A degree in FIA Maths was needed to work out the starting grid, with George Russell confirming more movement with a late pit-lane start.

So that’s Russell, qualifying P19, moving up to P18 despite a three-place grid drop for blocking…and then to the pit lane. Clear as mud.

An awful start for Max Verstappen saw him sink down the field, while Charles Leclerc held on to the lead. Kimi Raikkonen was up to P4!

Lando Norris was brave in his battle against Sebastian Vettel, but it was the German who got the job done.

Mercedes and Ferrari soon locked out the top four…

The traditional race struggles returned for Haas, before Kevin Magnussen was hit with a drive-through penalty for being out of position at the start.

Raikkonen was showing Pierre Gasly his best impression of a brick wall.

Valtteri Bottas and Vettel dived into the pits on lap 22, but a slow stop for Vettel eliminated all the hard work he had done to close in on the Mercedes.

Leclerc followed on the next lap as all three opted for the hard tyre.

Hamilton was leading but far from happy as he complained to his team that the front wing was broken.

The Silver Arrows were forced to change it at the stop, costing him valuable time – the Championship leader was now behind Vettel and Verstappen.

Verstappen reeled in Vettel at an impressive rate…

He’s only gone and done it. Next up, Bottas.

Vettel dived straight into the pits and put on the softs. A surprise move from Ferrari as they looked to take advantage of the tyre struggles of their rivals in the closing stages.

Cheered on by the army of Dutch fans, Verstappen was bringing the race to life. Leclerc was all that stood between him and the win.

Five laps to go and Verstappen was within a second of Leclerc as the pair lapped Gasly.

A bang of wheels and through went Verstappen into the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix on lap 69!

Meanwhile, in a complete afterthought Vettel passed Hamilton for P4 – just shows you what a cracking race this was.

Verstappen wins the Austrian Grand Prix. But wait! The FIA are investigating the Dutchman’s overtake on Leclerc.

Don’t you dare…

Finally, action in 2019!

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