Valtteri Bottas has struck the first blow in the 2020 season, winning the Austrian Grand Prix from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, as Lewis Hamilton was demoted from a second place finish on the road to P4 after a five-second penalty for contact with Alex Albon – handing McLaren’s Lando Norris his first F1 podium for finishing P3.
The Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable performance advantage throughout the 71-lap encounter. But with 10 laps to go, the race exploded into life, with Hamilton handed his penalty after nerfing Albon into a spin on a Safety Car restart on Lap 61.
A late surge for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after a difficult weekend for Ferrari saw him climb to third by the flag, meaning he inherited second after the Hamilton penalty, while a late pass on the Racing Point of Sergio Perez was enough to give Norris the net P3, meaning McLaren begin a season with a podium for the first time since 2014.
Behind Norris, Hamilton took fourth, ahead of the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz and Perez. Then came the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly in seventh, ahead of F1 returnee Esteban Ocon in eighth, with Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi P9 and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – who spun early on in the race after contact with Sainz – in P10, just one place ahead of the final finisher, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.