Verstappen denies Leclerc first win in dramatic climax

Verstappen denies Leclerc first win in dramatic climax

01/07/2019

Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix after a thrilling overtake three laps from the end denied Ferrari's Charles Leclerc his first ever victory.

Valtteri Bottas completed the podium with Sebastian Vettel in fourth and Lewis Hamilton in fifth.

But the big talking point came on lap 69 when Verstappen and Leclerc bumped wheels as the Red Bull man took the lead in controversial circumstances.

It came after a wretched start for Vertsappen which saw Hamilton and Bottas move up ahead of him, and the Dutchman drifted deep down the pack until he resolved a problem with his battery.

Meanwhile, leader Leclerc was able to establish a lead over the Mercedes and pressed his team to be allowed to push the pace, with team-mate Vettlel, in fourth, cutting into the gap ahead of him.

Midway through the race Hamilton was given the chance to push with his first set of tyres while briefly holding top spot before his own pitstop, he reported problems with his front wing, and the replacement forced him down into fifth behind Vettel.

On lap 50, Verstappen??ôs raw pace saw him glide past Vettel into third, and when Vettel pitted onto soft tyres in response, Hamilton was able to move up into fourth. Six laps later, Verstappen swept into second and set up a chase with Leclerc before the thrilling finale.

With only a few laps remaining, Leclerc and Verstappen battled wheel to wheel, with a nudge from the Red Bull driver edged the Monegasque off the track and claimed a brilliant victory. Championship leader Hamilton could only finish in fifth.

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