Verstappen Wins the Austria Grand Prix, Then Learns He Won the Austria Grand Prix
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Putting it mildly, Formula 1 needed this.
But it took their dudes forever to make it official.
The German juggernaut's top driver, Lewis Hamilton, got docked three grid positions for being a bit too frisky in the first qualifying run. Teammate Charles LeClair stepped up, though, to claim the pole position and keep the team well set for a run at McLaren's record.
Verstappen wound up in second position, which woulda been cool.
But it never helps when the ride stalls:
Dude did a helluva job making up for it, weaving and darting his way through traffic to the point where he was hunting down LeClerc.
That's when racing instincts went into overdrive, radio communications would up in bold, and Dutch fans dressed in their customary orange heartily approved:
Apparently, the first rule of Dutch driving is what's beside you is the other dude's problem.
But, this isn't tag, dammit, it's racing.
That moment settled the order of finish:
Then, the wait began.
Stewards took their own sweet time studying the contact between Verstappen and LeClerc. Who knows if the recent past didn't weigh into their considerations?
- The French Grand Prix the week prior to this was so paint-by-numbers, it probably had hardcore Formula 1 fans longing for a demolition derby or something; and
- Mercedes and Hamilton got gifted a win in the Canadian Grand Prix when Sebastian Vettel was docked five seconds for a mere close encounter with him.
The stewards finally did.
Verstappen won on the track and -- three hours later -- in the high command.
Mercedes was none too pleased, but dudes, really.