Verstappen sensationally ends Mercedes' dominance as he edges Leclerc
(Photo: Getty Images/Mark Thompson)

Verstappen sensationally ends Mercedes' dominance as he edges Leclerc

Max Verstappen edged Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the final few laps to take 26 points. 

broganclasper
Brogan Clasper

Max Verstappen took the chequered flag after recovering from a dreadful start which sent him from second to seventh before Turn 1. 

However, the result is under investigation after Verstappen's pass on the Ferrari.

The Dutchman worked his way through the pack and with two laps to go he powered his way past Charles Leclerc who had led for the whole race. 

Valtteri Bottas made up the podium with the championship leader, Lewis Hamilton finishing in fifth behind Sebastian Vettel

A noteworthy performance too from the two McLaren cars with young Lando Norris earning his best ever finish with a P6 and Carlos Sainz making his way from the back of the pack to finish in eighth. 

Story of the race

Verstappen faired worse from the start after almost stalling his Red Bull - losing five places as a result. 

Hamilton's impressive launch saw him race past the stranded Dutchman and into third spot with Kimi Raikkonen - replicating his tremendous start from last year - and Norris both passing the Red Bull.

Vettel also got off to a sensational start, moving from tenth to fourth within the first six laps.  

Norris was unable to fend off Verstappen with DRS at his disposal with the 21-year-old out to rectify what was a dreadful start after his car was forced into an anti-stall. 

The Monogas pole-sitter quickly began to open up a healthy lead on the two Silver Arrows, finding himself 4.8s ahead of Bottas within 20 laps - Hamilton further adrift with the championship leader struggling to tame his Mercedes around Turn 1. 

Bottas pitted on Lap 23 and Ferrari followed suit by bringing Vettel in but what seemed a clever move from the Scuderia backfired as it resulted in a 6.1 stop - Leclerc switched onto the hard compound tyres on the following lap. 

Hamilton complained of a problem to his front wing which was evidently slowing the championship leader by around 0.750s a lap forcing the Brit into a lengthy pit stop which cost him two places. 

Elsewhere in the field, Norris fought his way back up to sixth place after pitting earlier in the race with the young Brit also being advised to allow Daniel Ricciardo to stay within his DRS to hold Pierre Gasly up behind the Aussie. 

His teammate, Sainz was too putting in a great display with the Spaniard pushing his McLaren up the grid from 15th to eighth. 

Verstappen, in front of a huge Dutch following, had his eye firmly on a podium spot and was showing much faster race pace than Vettel in third. With the benefit of DRS on Lap 50, he sent the fans in orange wild as he passed Vettel going into Turn 3. 

Embed from Getty Images

It only took the 21-year-old another six laps to leapfrog Bottas once again using Turn 3 to his advantage and finding himself back into P2 with Leclerc just 4.8s ahead of the Red Bull. 

With just four laps to go, the Red Bull of Verstappen had whittled the gap down to touching distance of the SF90 and on Lap 68 he lunged down the inside of Leclerc on Turn 3 but the Monogas managed to deal with the threat. 

Three laps remaining, Verstappen powered into the lead going into Turn 3. Perfect positioning leading into the corner and out of it - forcing the Ferrari off the track. 

Vettel managed to edge into fourth after taking Hamilton on the final lap but the headlines will rightfully go to Verstappen after the Dutchman made it back-to-back wins in Austria making it his sixth win in Formula One.  

VAVEL Logo