First day

The long-awaited Austrian Grand Prix immediately began with a scandal. While the pilots were preparing for the race and taking part in the first free races for almost half a year, Red Bull filed a protest on Mercedes using the new DAS steering system, which allows changing the front toe angle and achieving a small speed advantage on straight sections of tracks.

The novelty was demonstrated at the February tests and was presented precisely as part of the steering, which does not contradict the current regulations. Red Bull decided that DAS changes the suspension settings, which is strictly prohibited. The dispute between the two teams was settled quickly - Mercedes gave the green light to use the new technology until the end of the season, after which it will still be banned from use. And other teams, in this way, received a signal that, if they wish, they can also implement DAS on their machines. True, in addition to the German stable, only Red Bull is engaged in its development.

The first races on Friday showed that Mercedes pilots still have a huge advantage. Even a little rain, which took the riders extremely valuable time to test the settings, did not prevent Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas from confidently leading the protocol of the first training. Against their background, the helplessness of Ferrari seemed especially strong. Charles Leclair barely managed to get into the top ten, and Sebastian Vettel lost two more positions to him. Both were inferior to repainted black German cars for more than a second on a circle.

In the evening, the gap narrowed, but Vettel still lost, in addition to Hamilton and Bottas, to Sergio Perez at the Racing Point. His pink car is very much like last year’s version of Mercedes, and the British team does not hide that they were really inspired by the best car of the past season. The copy was so successful that the fans could make a hasty conclusion that the Racing Point would break into the top three teams if it continued to overtake the recognized favorites.

All the action from FP2 in Spielberg 🍿 # AustrianGP 🇦🇹 # / qun29uB4pn

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 3, 2020

Second day

The final training session began with the first full-fledged accident this season. Newcomer Williams Nicholas Latifi broke his car, which in the current specific conditions of the race immediately deprived him of a chance of success. The remaining pilots were more careful and showed the results that were to be expected before qualification.

🔄💥😩 @ NicholasLatifi's FP3 comes to a premature end # AustrianGP 🇦🇹 # / SrYzRqSYtD

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 4, 2020

Mercedes was still inaccessible, although its advantage almost disappeared - a second from Hamilton and Bottas were another ten pilots. Among them was not Daniel Quata. The pilot AlphaTauri could not yet catch up with partner Pierre Gasley and had to fight in qualification at least for access to the second segment.

The Russian coped with this task - after all, Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas had cars much slower. But besides them, Quat still overtook only Esteban Okon and took 13th place. Gasley settled down one more line and turned out to be Vettel's neighbor in the sixth row of the starting grid. The four-time world champion was mistaken in his last attempt to improve the time and was below the line of the top ten.

All the action from FP2 in Spielberg 🍿 # AustrianGP 🇦🇹 # / qun29uB4pn

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 3, 2020

His partner, too, qualification failed. Last year, the pole-position holder ended up in seventh place. Leclair lost not only to the pilots of Mercedes and Red Bull, but also to Perez, and Lando Norris from McLaren, who unexpectedly climbed to fourth place. Last season, such qualification results could not be imagined. As well as the fact that Valtteri Bottas will take the first line in the end, because during the weekend he was always behind Hamilton.


An hour before the race it became known about the changes in the starting grid. The new Red Bull protest that Hamilton during the qualification did not slow down under the yellow flags was satisfied. The reigning world champion lost three positions, and in his place Verstappen rose. By the way, the Dutchman became one of six pilots who refused to kneel in a sign of the fight against racism. Together with him, in particular, Leclair and Quat refrained from this gesture.

End racism.

One cause. One commitment.

As individuals, we choose our own way to support the cause. As a group of drivers and a wider F1 family, we are united in its goal. # / qjxYi1zWcJ

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 5, 2020

With the start of the race, two outsiders immediately appeared in the head of the peloton. Norris immediately began to lose his third position. Albon repelled one attack by Hamilton, but after a few laps, he also lost to the pilot of Mercedes. The next goal for the British was Verstappen, and their rivalry, taking into account the friction of the teams, promised to become very interesting. However, the Dutchman was not lucky. His car suddenly lost power, and the winner of the last two Austrian Grand Prix was forced to retire. The race was led by two former "silver arrows", which no one had the opportunity to keep up with.

LAP 11/71

Verstappen is crawling along! 😮

He's slipped from P2 to P17 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 # / 3WsBRncJYR

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 5, 2020

Quat did not start very well, rolling back to 15th position. But he was immediately able to pass Antonio Giovinazzi and Kevin Magnussen himself. The gatherings of Verstappen and Daniel Riccardo allowed the Russians to come close to the spectacle zone, and the pilot AlphaTauri soon burst into the top ten, taking advantage of the problems of Lance Stroll at the Racing Point.

Further, Kvyat was left to pursue Gasli, and Magnussen rendered him a favor. The Dane took off from the track and called the pace car onto the track. After the restart, the Russian really climbed to ninth place, but not due to overtaking his partner. Vettel came across an attacking Lecler Sainz and turned 180 degrees. Pilot Ferrari rolled back to 15th position. Judging by how poorly the Italian stable looked in Austria, it was difficult for him to quickly get to the spectacle zone.

By the middle of the race, most pilots received tires on which they could try to get to the finish line, which was a rather risky strategy. The gathering of George Russell literally rescued some pilots. Albon, Norris, Leclair, Kvyat, Raikkonen and Vettel received new tires and the opportunity to compete for higher places.

The Finnish pilot immediately lost his chance - the Alfa Romeo rider suddenly got off the wheel. The restart had to be postponed, and the distances for the final stage of the struggle were already a little more than ten laps. For the leading Mercedes pilots, this was good news, as they stubbornly refused to change tires to more recent ones.

LAP 55/71

Drama at the restart as Raikkonen's front right wheel comes off, and the Safety Car is redeployed immediately 😵 # AustrianGP 🇦🇹 # / LyTd7SoDcb

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 5, 2020

Albon tried to give battle to Hamilton, but their attack ended in contact, as a result of which the Red Bull driver rolled back to last place. The Briton was promptly convicted of this incident and received a five-second fine. The reigning champion risked being left without a podium, as Lecler and Perez followed right behind him.

LAP 61/71:

Contact between Albon and Hamilton at the restart!

Albon spins and drops to P13 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 # / 5iImqmGcVR

- Formula 1 (@ F1) July 5, 2020

The Mexican in the end was himself punished for speeding on the pit lane, and when this became known, Norris sharply puffed up his pace. As a result, the McLaren pilot managed to get close to Hamilton at the required distance and rob him of third place. Bottas celebrated the victory, and Leclair, in spite of all the failures, Ferrari repeated last year's second position.

Meanwhile, Quat on fresh tires continued to fight for getting into the points zone, but was forced to keep his tenth place in a dispute with Vettel. The pilot AlphaTauri lost to the German rider and soon completely lost the track - a puncture occurred at his wheel. Less than eight laps were left before the finish line, so he got his 12th place, but that was weak consolation for the Russian.