It feels like a lifetime ago since I wrote an F1 race day post, but it’s good to be back.
Today was a landmark day for F1, not only are we starting the season under unprecedented circumstances, but also during a monumental human rights movement. The teams and drivers wore face masks while also wearing shirts that stated ‘End Racism’. Lewis Hamilton has been open about his criticism of the sport, highlighting the blatant lack of diversity. Mercedes have supported Hamilton on this point, changing their livery to black, and publishing reports about the lack of diversity in their team while pledging to make a change.
Before the start of the race, the drivers stood before a sign reading ‘End Racism’ and took a knee in support fo the Black Lives Matter movement. Hamilton has been pushing for reform in the sport and this is a big step for F1 as an organisation.
However, 6 drivers did not kneel. Some decided to stand and pointed to their t-shirt instead, drivers such as Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen tweeted before the race saying they are in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but choose to show this differently.
Bottas starts in pole position and has a fantastic start, Norris also has a great start keeping his 3rd position.
Hamilton works his way up the grid, by the second lap he is in 5th with Perez not far behind in 6th. Racing point have had such a brilliant start to the year, with Stroll also in the top 10.
Albon is working hard in 3rd, some drivers are struggling for pace, waiting for their tyres to warm up.
Verstappen has found some great pace, his medium tyres start to warm up and he snatches the fastest lap on lap 4. However by lap 12, Verstappen starts to have problems, the Redbull goes into anti-stall and drops to last place. Verstappen retires on the first race of the season.
Hamilton has worked his way up to 2nd, Mercedes seem to have great pace. The same however could not be said for the two Ferrari’s; Leclerc and Sebastian both struggle, by lap 15 Leclerc is in 5th while Vettel is in 9th.
Renault also struggling with Ricciardo in 10th on lap 15. Albon is having a great race, he is right behind Hamilton in 3rd and seems to have everything under control.
Things take a bad turn for Lance Stroll, after a great start his car suffers engine problems, he moves down the pack and Vettel overtakes on lap 16.
Renault also struggling as Ricciardo appears to get stuck in 3rd gear and by lap 18 he is forced to go into the pits forcing his retirement. Stroll is not far behind, on lap 21 Racing Point retire his car.
Magnussen slides out and hits the wall on lap 26, it looks like brake issues. The safety car comes in, meaning free pit stops.
There is an issue in the pits as Racing Point release Perez into a McLaren, luckily no collision, but definitely an unsafe release.
The safety car ends and the mayhem begins, Sainz clips Vettel, causing Vettel to spin out. It seems to have been Vettel’s fault and a clumsy move it was.
Grosjean is off the track on lap 51, causing a safety car to be released.
Mercedes runs into some gearbox issues slowing both cars down.
Reikkonen’s wheel suddenly comes off his car, and he crashes moments after the safety car ends, this race has not been forgiving.
Albon is having a superb race until Hamilton clips him, Albon spins off on lap 61 and drops from 3rd.
10 laps to go and Norris is seconds away from his first podium, only if he can overtake Perez. However, on lap 64 Leclerc takes Norris moving Norris to 5th, Leclerc moves to 3rd and if this race couldn’t be any more chaotic, Hamilton gets a 5 second penalty for crashing into Albon.
Sainz then gets a penalty meaning Lando Norris will get a podium! His first is F1.
Kvyat’s tyre also comes off, he is out of the race in the last few laps. It is now down to 11 drivers.
Bottas crosses the line in 1st, Leclerc 2nd and because of the penalties Norris takes 3rd, also bagging the fastest lap.
There was definitely quite a bit of pressure all through the race. One Safety Car was still okay. With the last Safety Car it was like, ‘Come on, not again.’ There were so many chances of Lewis having to get the lead even if I made a small mistake. He was really quick today, I managed to keep it together and control the race from my side. There’s no better way to start the season.Bottas, 2020 Austrian GP
WHAT A RACE!
Here is the final race classification:
Favourite Tweets Of The Race
The Stewards when they see Christian Horner turn up to their office for the fifteenth time. pic.twitter.com/zodwIz4Ve9— Andy #DaCostaSZN (@AndyGraham22) July 5, 2020
When you realize Lando has a legitimate chance of getting a podium. pic.twitter.com/nASUgIWRgW— David Gossett (@davidjoshuapro) July 5, 2020
SAFETY CAR! pic.twitter.com/NHrZ6uyA5D— WTF1 (@wtf1official) July 5, 2020
Stay off the kerbs.— WTF1 (@wtf1official) July 5, 2020