The Ferrari driver slowly fights his way forward in Spielberg, but then there is a momentous scene. Max Verstappen also experiences a day to forget. Mercedes dominates again in the front.
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Turbulent start to the season for Formula 1: At the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris (McLaren), who landed ahead of the world champion with a five-second penalty for Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel finished tenth in the end – the race in Spielberg was just as bitter for the Ferrari driver as the debacle in qualifying before: the four-time world champion fought his way forward from eleventh on the grid to eighth before turning again Threw back at the end of the field. After all, the 33-year-old ended up in the points.
Last year’s winner Max Verstappen also got a day to forget – the Dutchman retired after 14 laps. Overall, it was a wild race – in the end, only eleven out of 22 cars crossed the line. “There is no better way to start the season,” said Bottas. Leclerc, on the other hand, hadn’t expected that. That’s a surprise. Of course we were also lucky: there were crashes, the penalty against Lewis. We didn’t have the pace, but second place is very satisfactory. ” Norris, the third-youngest driver on a Formula 1 podium at the age of 20, was simply “speechless. In between, I thought I had really screwed up. It is incredible what we have done to take a step forward.”
Ferrari is currently only mediocre in Formula 1
However, despite the flattering podium for Leclerc, Ferrari is a long way from being a serious challenger – and perhaps preventing Hamilton from scoring the idol Michael Schumacher of seven world titles. Ferrari’s opponents at the Austrian Grand Prix were Racing Point, McLaren and Alpha Tauri until the turbulent final phase – welcome to the midfield of Formula 1.
There was unrest in the last hour before the starting lights went out: Red Bull successfully objected to the non-punishment of Hamilton before the first ghost race in Formula 1 history, the world champion was, according to new TV pictures, for violating yellow flags Moved from second to fifth in qualifying on Saturday. The first profiteer was Red Bull star Max Verstappen, who entered the first race of the season directly behind Bottas.
There was no sign of the Ferrari power
Hamilton already had his “old” place in the twelfth of 71 laps. The Brit passed Norris and Albon in a duel, Verstappen rolled out with gearbox problems.
Vettel, however, struggled more badly from eleventh on the grid than right. “I don’t expect miracles. But I expect that we can make up a few places,” the Heppenheimer had said before the race. Ultimately, he benefited from the outages of Verstappen and Stroll. The long feared power of the Ferrari on high-speed lines was no longer visible.
After the failure of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen on lap 27, the safety car moved out for the first time – and the field together again. Vettel wanted to forcefully pass McLaren driver Sainz four laps later, who will take his place in 2021. Vettel turned and fell back at the end of the field.
But the reason for the generally weak appearance of the Scuderia is probably primarily to be found under the hood. Not only Ferrari, but also the customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo were significantly slower than last year. Since the fraud allegations against the Ferrari engine last year and the secret agreement between the team and the world association FIA in winter, the rumor mill has been bubbling.