F1 2020: Bottas wins chaotic season opener in Austria

By autoX Editorial | on July 5, 2020

F1 2020 is finally underway with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas clinching the first race win at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc finished the race in second, while McLaren's Lando Norris took his maiden podium finish in third. 

After waiting for months, F1 2020 finally kicked off at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The race ended with Valtteri Bottas clinching the first win of the season, as he crossed the finish line ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. However, thanks to a 5-second penalty for Hamilton, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris moved ahead of the reigning world champion in the final standings, thereby, handing Norris his maiden podium finish!

Although the race got off to a slow start with not much action on the track, it soon turned into a dramatic affair with many incidents, including multiple retirements, safety car periods, and crashes. By the time the race ended, almost half of the grid had retired!

However, despite all that, Bottas led the race from start to finish from pole position and looked flawless throughout. He only came under threat from Hamilton in the second half of the race but kept his nerves to keep his teammate at bay. Hamilton finished less than a second behind Bottas, but he was given a 5-second penalty for colliding with Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon, which resulted in the latter to spin and lose a probable podium finish.

Despite struggling during practice and qualifying, Ferrari and Leclerc managed to finish on the podium. But the driver of the day was Norris, who produced a stunning last lap to finish less than five seconds behind Hamilton and claimed his first-ever podium finish in F1. Norris’ teammate, Carlos Sainz, finished in fifth behind Hamilton, meaning it was a great overall day for the McLaren team.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who originally finished fifth in the race, was demoted to sixth after receiving a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was seventh, while Esteban Ocon finished in eighth on his F1 return with Renault. Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was ninth as he finished ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who made a mistake early on in the race as his car tangled with Sainz’s McLaren and ended up in a spin. Vettel dropped to the back of the field owing to this mistake. Only 11 drivers finished the race, and the last driver to cross the finish line was William’s Nicholas Latifi – a good result for him, considering it was his debut F1 race.

Also read, 

Mercedes will bring F1 tech to AMG road cars with the electric exhaust gas turbocharger 

2020 F1 season to start in July, first 8 races of revised calendar confirmed

Tags: Formula One

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