Hamilton claims easy Stryian GP win, Ferrari pair crash out


Lewis Hamilton claimed a comfortable win at the Styrian Grand Prix ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, as Ferrari's drivers took each other out of the race on lap one.

Hamilton only lost the lead briefly after pitting, with teammate Bottas extending his first stint in an attempt to beat Verstappen to second, in what was a fairly lonely race for the world champion to the finish. The foundations for Hamilton's win were set with a supreme qualifying performance in a wet qualifying session on Saturday afternoon and the six-time world champion carried that form over to Sunday.

Bottas' strategy created an entertaining fight late on, with the Finn catching Verstappen five laps from the finish of the race. Verstappen did not make things easy for Bottas, brilliantly fighting back in a wheel-to-wheel battle on lap 66 to briefly hold on to second. The Red Bull driver was unable to do the same on the next lap as Bottas finally got by to secure Mercedes' first one-two finish of the season.

The main drama of the race had come on the opening lap of the race as Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel collided at Turn 3 while battling at the rear end of the pack. The contact destroyed Vettel's rear wing and he retired immediately, while Leclerc's race only lasted two more laps before Ferrari was forced to call him to the pits to retire with damage from the incident.

Leclerc took full responsibility after the collision, which ruined the team's opportunity to analyse the upgrades it fast-tracked to this race. Without Ferrari, the battle behind fourth-placed Alexander Albon provided the rest of the entertainment.

The damage to Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari forced him to retire from the race after one lap.
The damage to Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari forced him to retire from the race after one lap.
Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Image

It had looked like Sergio Perez was going to claim fifth, but the Mexican driver sustained damage two laps from the end while attempting a move on Albon for fourth at Turn 4. That allowed McLaren's Lando Norris to catch and pass Perez through the final corner, just seven days on from the Englishman's sensational podium finish at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Several corners earlier Norris had got past Perez's Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll with a nice move on the run down to Turn 4. Stroll finished seventh behind Perez but is under investigation for a move on Daniel Ricciardo on the penultimate lap in which he pushed the Renault wide at Turn 3. 

Ricciardo dropped from sixth to eighth as a result of the incident but still finished ahead of Carlos Sainz in ninth and Daniil Kvyat, who rounded out the points-paying positions.