gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); George Russell Secures Mercedes’ First Win of the Season at Austrian GP Following Late Collision – The Zimbabwe Mail

George Russell Secures Mercedes’ First Win of the Season at Austrian GP Following Late Collision

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SPIELBERG, Austria — George Russell clinched Mercedes’ first victory of the season at the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, capitalizing on a late collision between McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen.

This marks Russell’s second career win in Formula 1.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished second, followed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in third.

The pivotal moment occurred with just seven laps remaining when Norris attempted to overtake Verstappen for the lead. Their clash ended Norris’ race and earned Verstappen a 10-second time penalty. Norris had accused Verstappen of “dangerous” driving during their intense battle.

On Lap 64, Norris collided with Verstappen’s Red Bull while attempting to pass on the outside. The contact caused significant damage to both cars, resulting in a left-rear puncture for Verstappen and a shredded tire for Norris. Although Verstappen managed to continue after repairs, Norris was forced to retire from the race.

The incident allowed Russell, who was running third and 15 seconds behind, to seize the lead. He maintained his advantage to secure his first win since the Brazilian GP in November 2022.

Lewis Hamilton finished fourth, while Verstappen crossed the line in fifth.

Verstappen had dominated the weekend, winning the sprint race and securing pole position in qualifying. The race, initially processional, became dramatic with 20 laps to go following a slow pit-stop for Verstappen, which allowed Norris to close in on his lead.

Norris made his first bid for the lead on Lap 55 at Turn 3, but Verstappen defended aggressively. Norris expressed frustration over the radio, accusing Verstappen of reacting dangerously to his moves.

Three laps later, Norris attempted another pass at the third bend, only for Verstappen to regain the lead at the next turn. Norris voiced his concerns again, predicting a potential crash if Verstappen continued his defensive tactics.

With eight laps remaining, Norris made another attempt to overtake. Verstappen ran off the track but rejoined with his lead intact. Their subsequent collision provided Russell the opportunity to take the lead.

Russell anticipated the collision between Norris and Verstappen. “They were going for it,” Russell said. “I knew it was a possibility. You are always dreaming and you have got to be there to pick up the pieces.”

Verstappen was displeased with his penalty, calling it “ridiculous.”

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth, holding off Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. Kevin Magnussen, also driving for Haas, secured eighth place, while RB’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly completed the top 10.

Verstappen remains the championship leader with 237 points, followed by Norris with 156.

The next race is the British Grand Prix on July 7.

Source: AP