Russell gifted Austrian win after Verstappen, Norris collide

George Russell claimed victory at the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday, following a collision between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris in the closing stages of the race while battling for the lead.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri secured second place, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finishing third at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. This triumph marked Mercedes’ first win since November 2022, when Russell emerged victorious in Brazil, and it was the second win of his career. “It’s not over until it’s over,” exclaimed Russell as he crossed the finish line, in a race that kept spectators on edge until the final 20 laps when the Verstappen-Norris showdown reached its peak. Verstappen’s slow 6.5-second pitstop on lap 52 allowed Norris to close the gap, resulting in an intense battle where Norris benefited from drag reduction while attempting to overtake. “The team has done an incredible job putting us in this position. To collect the pieces at the end is crucial, and that’s exactly what we did,” Russell expressed before stepping onto the top step of the podium.

“We were just approximately 12 seconds behind, and I was aware that the collision could happen. One is always daydreaming.” Russell began the race in third position, while Verstappen secured pole position with Norris beside him on the front row. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, Russell emerged as the winner after completing 64 out of the 71 laps. Both leading drivers experienced punctures during the race. Norris was forced to limp back to the pits and eventually retire, while Verstappen managed to rejoin the race and finished fifth, trailing behind Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion from Mercedes. As a consequence of causing the collision, Verstappen received a 10-second penalty from the stewards. Nevertheless, this penalty did not affect his final position, and he extended his championship lead over Norris to 81 points. Nico Hulkenberg achieved a commendable sixth place for Haas, providing a significant boost for the team. Sergio Perez of Red Bull secured seventh place, and Kevin Magnussen finished eighth for Haas.

Daniel Ricciardo secured two points for RB with a ninth-place finish, while Pierre Gasly claimed the final point for Alpine, which is owned by Renault.

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