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Max in P5 in Austria after collision with Norris: 'Everything went wrong'

Published on 30 June 2024 by Kees-Jan Koster

George Russell won the Austrian Grand Prix after a dramatic conclusion. Max had a comfortable lead over Lando Norris for most of the race, until the final stages. The Brit got closer and closer, tailing him lap after lap in the last part of the race. After a few overtaking attempts, the final one ended in tears: the two collided, both got a puncture, and limped back to the pit lane. It marked the end of the race for Norris, and Verstappen eventually finished fifth. Oscar Piastri took second place, while Carlos Sainz secured the final podium spot. The fourth position went to Lewis Hamilton.

Regarding the incident with Norris, Max says after the race: “I felt he was diving and braking late. That if I did not move to the outside or right, we would collide. We will have to look into it, but the whole race was dramatic. The strategy was bad. I have often said that my tyres were done and we should pit. I lost a lot of time in traffic. The pitstops went all wrong. Everything went wrong. There are some things we have to analyse. Yesterday it went well, but today in the race all went wrong. That is strange.”

Mas was given a ten second time penalty after the incident with Norris. He says: “I do not know. I have to look into it. I defended on the inside, but I did not go too far in. He went to the outside and our rear tyres collided. That was a strange moment, I did not expect that.” Norris reported over the radio that he thought Verstappen moved under braking. Max says: “I always move before I braked. It may look so from the outside, but you cannot see when I brake.”

Asked what aspects of the race he was unhappy about, Max says: “The tyre degradation was not good. The tyres were overheating. And suddenly the balance of the car was all gone. Very strange. The pitstop was very bad. I said for a couple of laps that we had to come in because we were in traffic. There I lost a lot of time with old tyres.”

In Spielberg, everyone started on medium tyres today, except for Guanyu Zhou who started from the pit lane on hard tyres. Verstappen had a fantastic start and immediately gained a few car lengths lead. Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, struggled: he had collided with Oscar Piastri and had to pit for a new front wing. The two Mercedes drivers fought for third place, but Russell ultimately managed to hold onto the final podium spot. Hamilton also had to relinquish his fourth position to Sainz. The Brit had an earlier skirmish with the Ferrari driver, prompting Mercedes to play it safe and give the position back.

On lap 27, Max comes in for his first pit stop: a new set of medium tyres is fitted. He is investigated for an unsafe release, but later in the race, it becomes clear that the Dutchman is not in trouble. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso receives a ten-second time penalty after hitting the back of Zhou's car. Hamilton also faces a time penalty: he receives a five-second penalty for crossing the white line when entering the pit lane.

Halfway through the race, Verstappen has a seven-second lead over Norris. Russell is in third place, while Sainz and Hamilton are in fourth and fifth position, respectively. Pérez is next to receive a time penalty: he gets a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane. Gasly and Ocon have found each other on the track again. The two teammates are not fighting for points but for pride, which almost ends in a crash. Fortunately, the Frenchmen can continue without any damage. Gasly ultimately wins this battle.

The sun is shining in Spielberg, but it is raining penalties: Alexander Albon also receives a five-second time penalty for crossing the white line when entering the pit lane. Verstappen reports that his tyres suddenly feel very bad. The lead over Norris getting smaller and smaller. A slow pit stop of over six seconds further reduces the lead, allowing Norris to get within DRS range of Verstappen with just over ten laps to go. The Dutchman thinks something is wrong with the car and reports that he has no grip. Norris attacks, goes straight on, and overtakes Verstappen off the track. The Brit gives the lead back to Verstappen to avoid a penalty. He had already received a black and white flag for track limits and is being investigated by race control after this action.

The two continue to battle lap after lap, and it ultimately ends in disaster. Max and Norris collide, both suffering a puncture. They limp back to the pit lane. For Max, it means a lost victory, and for Norris, it is the end of the race. His car is too damaged to continue. Max receives a ten-second penalty for the collision. After the pit stop, he returns to the track in fifth place on soft tires and eventually finishes in that position. Russell benefits from the collision between Norris and Verstappen and crosses the finish line as the winner. Piastri takes second place, while Sainz secures the final podium spot. Amid all the pushing and shoving, the Haas drivers move up to sixth and eighth positions.

Results Grand Prix Austria:

1George RussellRUSMercedes711:24:22.79825
2Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes71+1.906s18
3Carlos SainzSAIFerrari71+4.533s15
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes71+23.142s12
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT71+37.253s10
6Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari71+54.088s8
7Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT71+54.672s6
8Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari71+60.355s4
9Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT71+61.169s2
10Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault71+61.766s1
11Charles LeclercLECFerrari71+67.056s0
12Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault71+68.325s0
13Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes70+1 lap0
14Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT70+1 lap0
15Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes70+1 lap0
16Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari70+1 lap0
17Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari70+1 lap0
18Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes70+1 lap0
19Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes69+2 laps0
20Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes64+7 laps0