The Austrian Grand Prix delivered a banger of start to the Formula 1 season after almost three months of suspended racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Formula 1 season kicked off last Thursday with the ten teams hitting the Red Bull ring race track for the first time this year. The buildup of the momentum up to this point has been a slow burn. Nonetheless, the first race of the season compensated well enough for the suspended season in the past months.
First, there was a total of seven cars that did not get to finish the race. Second, there were two safety cars deployed towards the middle and latter parts of it. Lastly, there were two five seconds penalties handed to two erring drivers.
Austrian Grand Prix champion
Valtteri Bottas won the first Grand Prix of the 2020 season. He defended his pole position well. However, the skirmish on the track was not for the faint of heart. Bottas led the race from the start to finish, but there were several points in the race when his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, was right behind his tail. This was especially true during the two safety car restarts during the race.
The two Mercedes drivers were asked to be cautious with their cars because of gearbox sensor problems. Had it not been for that issue, Hamilton would have been able to overtake Bottas. Nonetheless, Bottas still emerged as the champion. On the other hand, Hamilton had to settle for the fourth position because of the penalty handed to him.
Bottas is on a great start and will look to build on his success with the race next week on the same tracks. He can expect more competition as Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon of Red Bull will come back hungrier.
Red Bull demise
Verstappen went off for a great start in the Austrian Grand Prix. However, he encountered an engine failure as early as lap 20, which forced him to retire his car. On the other hand, his teammate, Albon, was supposed to end with a podium finish. Unfortunately, he got involved with a collision with Hamilton when he tried to overtake the Mercedes driver.
This is reminiscent of his demise last year in Brazil involving the same driver in a similar overtaking situation. Due to the crash, Albon lost his chance of finishing with his first Formula 1 career podium spot. Hamilton was handed a final deduction of two points from his finish because of the crash.
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