Valtteri Bottas has won the Austrian GP 2017 by a mere 0.6s in what turned out to be a tight battle to the chequered flag. Vettel crossed the finish line in second while an epic battle for third between Hamilton and Ricciardo saw the Red Bull claim the final spot on the podium. This is Bottas’ second win of the season and in F1 as well. Vettel now holds a 20 points lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.

Bottas started from pole at the Austrian GP 2017, sharing the front row with Vettel. Hamilton qualified third but had to drop down to eighth as part of his five place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Bottas had a perfect start, taking the lead while Vettel followed through in second. Verstappen spun on turn 1, as Hamilton moved one place up into seventh. The Red Bull was forced back into the pits after that spin, and Alonso dived into the pits as well. Grosjean managed to pass Raikkonen for fourth, Ricciardo stayed in third.

Replay showed that it was Kvyat who hit Alonso after locking up, which in turn caused Verstappen to spin and both drivers had to pit.

In the meantime, Hamilton passed Grosjean for fifth place on turn 4. After 8 laps, the order was Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon, Massa and Stroll. Kvyat was handed a drive through penalty for causing the collision earlier on.

By lap 12/71, Bottas lead over Vettel had increased to 5s. Pirellu predicted a one stop strategy at the Austrian GP with supersofts and softs making longer runs.

Hamilton was getting closer to Raikkonen, 1.1s separated then after 18 laps, although the Brit was complaining about oversteering. Bottas then blasted a fastest lap of the race in 1m08.959s on lap 22. His gap over Vettek had increased to 7.7s. He also had one of the quickest F1 starts ever, just 0.2s of the lights going out.

Bottas increased his lead to 8.1s after 30 laps, the order behind him remained unchanged – Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez, Ocon, Massa and Stroll. Hamilton pitted from P5 on lap 32, switched into ultrasofts and managed to retain his position.

Vettel stopped on lap 35, and picked up supersofts as well before rejoining behind Raikkonen in P3. Ricciardo had pitted before but lost one place when he rejoined in fourth place. Hamilton meanwhile had set a new lap record at the Austrian GP on 1m07.867s, breaking Michael Schumacher’s record of 2003.

Bottas made his stop on lap 41 but it was a slow one, 3.4s and he lost a second. He emerged ahead of Vettel and behind Raikkonen who now assumed the lead but yet to stop. Moments later Bottas passed Raikkonen for lead on turn 4, the Ferrari man made a mistake on turn 3.

Raikkonen came in on lap 45 and switched into supersofts as well. He rejoined in fifth behind Hamilton.

Sainz retired on lap 46, a tough race for Toro Rosso it has been, this was his third DNF of the season. Bottas then set the fastest time of the race, and Vettel bettered that with a new record of 1m07.713s. The record did not last that long as Raikkonen set one of his own on 1m07.680s.

On his quest for third place, Hamilton set another record breaking lap on 1m07.607s, and on lap 62 he even set a faster one on 1m07.511s, shrinking Ricciardo’s lead to 1s. And another new fastest lap, this time a 1m07.424s. With 3 laps to go, Bottas led Vettel by 1.2s while Ricciardo led Hamilton by a mere 0.5s in the battle for third.

Bottas went on to win the Austrian GP 2017 with Vettel just 0.6s behind. Ricciardo managed to stay in third till chequered flag.

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