Lando Norris and Max Verstappen crash as George Russell wins sensational Austrian GP | F1 | Sport

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen crashed while battling for the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix, allowing MercedesGeorge Russell to storm through to take the victory. Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz completed the podium in Spielberg.

There were no dramas for the polesitter at the race start. He enjoyed an excellent launch, while Norris came under pressure from Russell and Sainz behind. At the end of the opening lap, the Dutchman was already escaping DRS range.

From there, Verstappen marched on up the road, scampering over five seconds clear of Norris before the first round of pit stops rolled around. When they did, the two frontrunners nearly made contact with the three-time world champion forcing his rival onto the brakes as he left his pit box.

There were bigger struggles for some of the other big names. One of these was Fernando Alonso, who picked up a 10-second penalty after launching an audacious move up the inside of Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu.

Lewis Hamilton was also slapped with a five-second penalty after sliding across the white line on the entry into the pit lane. The Brit’s misdemeanour was pointed out by Piastri behind him, and the stewards duly acted, hitting Mercedes’ man with a costly time loss.

By far the biggest loser from the opening stages, however, was Charles Leclerc, who had pitted three times by the time his rivals came in for their second. The Monegasque racer lost a key chunk of his front wing after lap-one contact with Piastri, all but ending his hopes of points before lap two ticked over.

During the second stint, there was little movement between Verstappen and Norris, but a 6.5-second pit stop from the No.1 car’s crew allowed Norris to close to within three seconds of his championship rival. The Dutchman then suffered a major lock-up on used tyres on the out lap.

Such was Verstappen’s struggles, Norris climbed into DRS range with 17 laps still on the ticker, setting up a grandstand finish between the Red Bull and McLaren pair. However, after a speculative look from the Brit, the duo settled down into a rhythm.

After a short spell of serenity, Norris closed up again and after a couple of failed overtaking attempts, the pair came together, giving the McLaren man damage that forced him to retire, while Verstappen was hit with a 10-second time penalty. Russell, meanwhile, was freed up to run away with the win.

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