Verstappen retains Austria GP win, Leclerc stays second

Mark Scott
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has retained his Austrian Grand Prix victory after the FIA stewards took no further action against his race-winning pass on Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen battled back from a very sluggish start off the line from P2 and mounted an incredible late surge as he passed Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Leclerc inside the final 20 laps to record back-to-back victories at the Red Bull Ring.

The Dutchman launched two attacks on Leclerc, but his aggressive pass on Lap 69 was placed under investigation by the race stewards.

However, after much deliberation and a very lengthy wait for the verdict, the FIA have decided that the Austrian Grand Prix result stands. Verstappen P1, Leclerc P2, Bottas P3.

The official FIA statement read:

‘The Stewards reviewed video evidence, heard from the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen), the driver of car 16 (Charles Leclerc) and team representatives and determined the following…

‘Car 33 sought to overtake car 16 at Turn 3 on lap 69 by out-braking car 1. When doing so, car 33 was alongside car 16 on the entry of the corner and was in full control of the car while attempting the overtaking move on the inside of car 16.

‘However, both car 33 and car 16 proceeded to negotiate the corner alongside each other but there was clearly insufficient space for both cars to do so. Shortly after the late apex, while exiting the corner, there was contact between the two cars.

‘In the totality of the circumstances, we did not consider that either driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident. We consider that this is a racing incident.

Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.’

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