Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Austrian GP ahead of rejuvenated Ferrari’s Leclerc in 2nd

Vienna, July 2 (BNA): Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen continued his march toward a third consecutive world title with a dominant win at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen started on pole for the fourth consecutive race and took his fifth consecutive win and seventh in nine races so far this season. He extended his championship lead to 81 points over Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez.

The 25-year-old Dutchman has taken to 42 F1 wins overall, one ahead of the late Ayrton Senna and single-handedly fifth on the list of all-time F1 winners.

Charles Leclerc – last year’s winner here – finished 5.2 seconds behind Verstappen in second with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez third, 17.2 behind him.

But Verstappen’s winning margin was cut short by his late pit stop, and it was another comfortable victory at his team’s home track in Spielberg, reports the AP.

He made a clean pole start, pitting Leclerc in Turns 2 and 3 and easily regaining the lead from him after stopping midway through the 71-lap race at the Red Bull Ring.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr and several other drivers received five-second penalties for going off track.

Perez started 15th and passed Sainz with 10 laps to go to take his first podium since his second-place finish at Miami GP two months earlier.

Sainz was fourth, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin sixth, Hamilton seventh and team mate George Russell eighth.

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