Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Hamilton wins as Ferrari implodes

Published:Monday | July 13, 2020 | 12:18 AM
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after winning the Styrian Formula One Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring racetrack in Spielberg, Austria, yesterday.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after winning the Styrian Formula One Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring racetrack in Spielberg, Austria, yesterday.

SPIELBERG, Austria (AP):

Lewis Hamilton won the Styrian Grand Prix from pole position yesterday to clinch an 85th career win and move within six of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One (F1) record.

Most of Schumacher’s wins were during a dominant spell with Ferrari, but his old team is struggling badly. For the second time in the past four races, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel crashed into each other and went out.

When Hamilton stood on the podium, he raised a clenched right fist.

Hamilton’s record-extending 89th career pole on a rain-drenched track was one of his best in extreme conditions, but during the race he was hardly challenged as he finished a sizeable 13.7 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and 33.7 ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Because of social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, the drivers on the podium had their trophies delivered by a remote controlled device.

“What a weird year but (it’s) great to be back driving with this kind of performance. The team did a fantastic job, it was just for me to bring it home,” Hamilton, who finished fourth last week after a time penalty. “Difficult weekend last weekend but this was a great step forward.”

Bottas won last weekend’s season-opening Austrian GP on the same Red Bull Ring track in Spielberg at the foot of the Styrian mountains – hence the name change.

Despite the sizeable margin of Hamilton’s win, Bottas maintains he can challenge for the F1 title. He leads in points 43-37.

“I have no reason to doubt any of my ability or skills. I know what I’m capable of,” the Finnish driver said. “I really feel some improvements in my driving since last year, that’s why I’m confident it will be a good battle for the championship this year.”

Like last Sunday, drivers again wore black T-shirts with ‘End Racism’ and most took the knee a few moments before the national anthem.

Styrian GP results

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Valterri Bottas

3. Max Verstappen

4. Alex Albon

5. Lando Norris

6. Sergio Perez

7. Lance Stroll

8. Daniel Ricciardo

9. Carlos Sainz Jr.

10. Daniil Kvyat

F1 championship standings

1. Valterri Bottas 43

2. Lewis Hamilton 37

3. Lando Norris 26

4. Charles Leclerc 18

5. Sergio Perez 16

6. Max Verstappen 15

7. Carlos Sainz Jr 13

8. Alex Albon 12

9. Pierre Gasly 6

10. Lance Stroll 6