Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had a comfortable sprint F1 race win in Austrian GP from Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
The first of two formation lap started in the sprint F1 race in Austrian GP weekend when Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue. At the end of the that lap, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu stopped at the final corner.
Even though he got going, the extra formation lap had to be taken. The start worked well for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who led the way calmly from the fighting Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. The two went at each for couple of laps.
Sainz tried to clear him for multiple times whether at Turn 1 and or Turn 4, but the Spaniard couldn’t get through and dropped back. Mercedes’ George Russell, meanwhile, was fourth from Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and the Haas pair.
It was Kevin Magnussen in sixth from Mick Schumacher, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez making up five places to be eighth after the opening lap. There was an incident involving Williams’ Alexander Albon, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
The Thai was on the outside while the Frenchman on the inside when his wheels touched with the Brit’s which sent Gasly into a spin. This dropped to the back while Hamilton was 11th as Albon made up a good chunk to be 10th on the soft tyres.
It wasn’t for long as Hamilton cleared Albon for 10th and also Bottas to be ninth behind the Haas pair. Those two were cleared by Perez just few laps ago, who also passed Ocon to be fifth. The Mexican, in fact, caught up on the tail of Russell pretty soon.
Hamilton got stuck behind the Haas pair as Bottas stood 10th. There was a 5s penalty for Albon for forcing McLaren’s Lando Norris off the track at Turn 3 in their battle for 11th. The Thai eventually lost to both the Brit and Daniel Ricciardo later on.
He was involved in another incident with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, where the wheel touch sent the German onto the gravel. The moment dropped him to last even though he managed to get out of the gravel and make his way onto the track.
While Verstappen led the way comfortably, the fight for the final point continued between Schumacher and Hamilton. The Brit tried hard but just couldn’t get through him as the German had DRS from teammate Magnussen up ahead in seventh.
It was Verstappen to win the sprint F1 race in Austrian GP as Leclerc ended up second from Sainz with the Top 3 remaining as it is for the main grand prix. Russell was fourth from Perez, who made up nine places to round out the Top 5.
Ocon was sixth from Magnussen and Hamilton in the points, with Schumacher keeping off Bottas in the Top 10. Both Norris and Ricciardo recovered well in 11th and 12th for the main race as Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll slotted in 13th from Zhou.
He kept off Gasly at bay in a close fight till the end as Albon was 16th after his penalty from AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Vettel. The German was classified 19th but he was asked to retire due to damage.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 9, 2022
UPDATE: Post the sprint race, the managers of Schumacher, Ricciardo, Russell, Ocon, Perez, Stroll and Vettel were summoned for radio communication on the second formation lap. But the stewards let them off with no further action.
“The Stewards received a report from the Race Director and used audio evidence. The Stewards met with the team managers concerned and determined that the messages that were under investigation were permitted,” the note said.
Aside the qualifying session, the stewards also met Vettel regarding a Sporting Code break during the drivers’ meet on July 8. It was noted that the German left the meeting without permission expressing frustration at the meeting.
Since drivers are not allowed to leave such meets without permission, Vettel was handed a suspended fine of €25,000. It was also noted that the German apologised for his behaviour and had a constructive meeting on several topics.
“The driver, Sebastian Vettel, left the drivers’ meeting that was held at 19:30 on Friday 8 July, without permission, and expressing frustration at the meeting,” the statement said. “Drivers are not free to leave when they want, this being a breach of the requirement to attend. Drivers at this level are role models for every driver around the world and in the opinion of the Stewards Vettel failed to live up to that standard in this case.
“Subsequently Vettel had a meeting with the Race Director, who informed the Stewards that Vettel apologized without reservation, and that further, they had a very constructive conversation covering the topics in the meeting and more. The Stewards determine that there is a breach, which cannot go without penalty, but that based on the report from the Race Director there are factors in mitigation.
“Therefore, the Stewards order a fine of €25,000, which is suspended for the remainder of the 2022 season, subject to any breach of Article 20.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations or of Article 12.2.1 f) of the International Sporting Code.”