Verstappen Gives His Orange Army The Win They Wanted

Verstappen Gives His Orange Army The Win They Wanted

Red Bull racing's Max Verstappen celebrates his first win of the 2018 Formula One season.

"Max did a very mature job in managing the tires, particularly through Turns 8 and 9, the last two, the fast-right handers".

"I could see some orange smoke, I could see them cheering so I think that's good enough", said Verstappen, when asked whether he could hear their acclaim.

Last year's victor in Austria was Bottas, driving for MercedesAMG. Three laps later, the luckless Bottas was also forced to abandon, pulling off to park his Mercedes.

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Verstappen made a courageous move at turn eight to pass Raikkonen, with the Red Bull giving the Ferrari a nudge without consequences.

So, yeah, incredible that they all came over here. At the front, Verstappen led his Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo by 4.9 seconds with Raikkonen third, a second down, and Hamilton a further six-tenths adrift.

"I couldn't have chosen a better race to do it, so very happy", the Dutchman, cheered on by an estimated 20,000 countrymen in the crowd, added.

That moved Verstappen just three points behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who in turn is 50 behind championship leader Vettel. Hats off to him because the tyres were so crucial there, you see the blisters and everything that's going on, he just managed to keep those temperatures down and manage it all the way through.

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When Hamilton did pit, he came back out in fourth place.

The first wave of quick laps ended in favor of Bottas - the Finn was 0.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton and Vettel because of an error showed only the sixth result. "But you can see the new reality is there are three teams capable of putting the vehicle in the front and winning races". Second place in the race went to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, while third place went to Sebastian Vettel. He managed to get through 57 laps on the super soft tyre to be just outside the top 10, with a pit stop needed to get home, when his gear box failed. The new version should make reliability better, according to the manufacturer, but the team decided not to deploy it as Verstappen and Ricciardo would have received grid penalties for using yet another version.

Qualifying begins at 2:00p BST Saturday, 30 June, and the race starts at its now traditional time of 2.10p BST.

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was eighth for McLaren ahead of Monegasque rising star Charles Leclerc and his Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson.

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The triple-header of consecutive French, Austrian and British races concludes next week at Silverstone with the championship now fascinatingly poised.

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