Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix, Bottas chases Verstappen for P2

12-07-2020 15:37 | Updated: 12-07-2020 16:32
by Matt Gretton
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Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix, Bottas chases Verstappen for P2

Lewis Hamilton has won the 2020 Steiermark Grand Prix after dominating the race from start to finish. The Brit records his first victory and podium in Austria since the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas made an overtake on Max Verstappen towards the end of the race to complete the Mercedes one-two. Verstappen held on to third place. 

Bottas was forced to hunt down Verstappen in the second half of the Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver pitted 10 laps later than the Red Bull driver meaning his tyres performed better at the end of the race. 

On lap 66, Bottas used DRS to get past Verstappen but the 22-year-old fought back. Just a lap later, Bottas managed to use his tyre advantage to regain second-place and hold on. 

Sergio Perez started from 17th place, but climbed through the field to finish in sixth place. Perez was battling Alex Albon for fourth place on the last lap, but the two touched leaving the Racing Point with some damage. As a result, Lando Norris got his hopes up and put in another sublime final lap to slip ahead of Perez on the finish line. 

Both Ferrari drivers retired from the race before the fifth lap after crashing into each other at the start. 

How it happened

Before the end of the first lap, the two Ferrari drivers managed to bring out the safety car after colliding together. Leclerc lunged from deep and caught his teammate. The Ferrari mechanics retired Vettel immediately due to the rear wing damage and later pitted Leclerc for retirement. 

As Hamilton pulled away at the front, the midfield battle took centre stage. Perez managed to launch himself through the field quickly and was inside the top 10 before lap 20. George Russell's brilliant qualifying position was tainted after he ran wide into the gravel trap to drop to the back of the pack. 

After battling with his teammate, Esteban Ocon was forced to retire from the race as Renault experience more reliability issues with cooling.

In the pits...

Verstappen was the first of the leaders to pit and was quickly followed by Hamilton. The Dutchman managed to jump ahead of Bottas who pitted on lap 35 but the Mercedes driver had tyres that were 10 laps fresher. 

After the first round of pitstops, the Racing Point drivers managed to retain a strong position in the midfield. But it was Ricciardo who took control of the 'best of the rest' position at the half-way mark.

Otmar Szafnauer had his heart in his mouth as his two pink Mercedes battled each other. Perez won the fight and started his attack on Ricciardo. Within three laps, Perez was ahead of Ricciardo. Once the Mexican found clear air, he continuously recorded the fastest lap of the race. 

On lap 54, Mercedes engineers informed Bottas that they were on track to overtake Verstappen on the final lap of the race. 

Chasing hard

Bottas managed to overtake his Red Bull rival on lap 66, but the Dutchman came fighting back. Just one lap later, the Mercedes driver had the performance to hold second-place. 

On the last lap, Perez was pushing Albon hard for fourth place. The two touched which left Perez with front wing damage. Lando Norris then came into play with another fast final lap. He managed to best Perez's limping car to the line. 

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