Verstappen claims surprise Austrian GP win amid Mercedes horror show

Hamilton hopes upgrades will give Mercedes an edge in title fight

Max Verstappen surprised the field by winning a dramatic Austrian Grand Prix on the day where Mercedes suffered its first double retirement in more than two years.The turn of events left Ferrari's.

Hamilton started in second, but roared off his marks on the 300-metre charge to the right-handed opening corner to assume the lead from his team-mate Bottas.

The victory was the 20-year-old Dutch driver's first of the season, fourth of his career, and came in front of an army of orange-shirted fans packing the grandstands and then flooding onto the track at the finish.

Speaking in the wake of yesterday's race, where Mercedes double DNF, and Ferrari's 2-3, handed the lead in both championships to the Italian team, asked whether the Maranello outfit had considered asking Raikkonen to move aside for him, Vettel was emphatic. But the race flipped on its head in the space of only a few minutes to turn their dream into a nightmare.

Meanwhile, Hamilton had settled into the lead building a gap a little over 2s amidst all the drama right behind, while teammate Bottas built no pressure on the Briton. "We were comfortably ahead but we will work on it and will try to re-evaluate to come back stronger for the next race".

In a critical error, Mercedes chose to keep race leader Lewis Hamilton out and their victory hopes quickly unravelled from there.

Skipping ahead, Hamilton was forced to pit for a second time on lap 53. "How did we miss that?" "But I don't know if we'll even get close enough to activate the DRS".

"It's my mistake. Do what you can", replied Mercedes strategist James Vowles.

"Lewis, this is James", he said over the radio.

Sebastian Vettel made a mistake on his first Q3 attempt but jumped from seventh to third on his final run ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

In came Hamilton for tyres on lap 25.

France's Romain Grosjean scored his first points of the season with a bang, finishing a lapped fourth for the USA -owned Haas team, who also had Denmark's Kevin Magnussen taking the checkered flag in fifth.

A seething Hamilton said: "I want to say something, but just leave me to it".

Hamilton had already been on the back foot before he stopped, his auto suffering lost fuel pressure, after a glaring strategy error by Mercedes had cost him the lead.

'We can't afford to throw away points. As it was, Räikkönen held second with both Ferraris coming home behind race victor Max Verstappen. "We're starting again on a different tyre compound so let's see what we can do".

Verstappen said it had been an "average" day, and that while Red Bull "lose quite a bit of time on the straights" with its Renault engine it was also struggling to find a handling balance.

Hamilton dropped to fourth, and following a series of furious exchanges with the Mercedes pit wall, he then ran out of power with only seven laps remaining.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso qualified 14th, but will start 13th as a result of Leclerc's penalty.

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