Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE
- Valtteri Bottas wins the Austrian Grand Prix after dominating
- Lewis Hamilton finishes second but drops to fourth after penalty
- Charles Leclerc takes second, with Lando Norris stealing third
- Max Verstappen left fuming as he retires after just 14 laps
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Max Verstappen retired in a huge blow to his title hopes
3.48pm: What. A. Race. Who saw that coming? We end the day with just 11 cars left on the track as Norris takes his first career podium.
Lap 71: BOTTAS WINS – Bottas wins the Austrian Grand Prix! Hamilton drops down to fourth thanks to his penalty. Leclerc second and Norris third.
Lap 69: Albon joins Red Bull team-mate Verstappen in retiring as Kvyat joins him off the track. We’re down to 11 runners.
Lap 68: Perez slapped with five-second penalty for speeding in the pits. Norris is now past the Mexican into fourth and in for a spot on the podium if he can close the gap on second-place Hamilton.
Lap 66: Hamilton handed five-second penalty following collision with Albon. Leclerc up to third as he performs a late, late manoeuvre on Perez. Leclerc and Perez will be second and third as it stands once penalty applied.
Lap 64: Hamilton and Albon under investigation following their coming together. Meanwhile, Leclerc shows his class to fly past Norris. The Ferrari man has just set the fastest lap of the race.
Lap 62: Perez takes advantage of Albon’s trip into the gravel to move up to third. Norris and Leclerc complete the top five, with Albon now down in 13th.
Lap 61: Bottas speeds away as the safety car heads back down the pit lane. Albon battles with Hamilton and spins out after touching with the Mercedes. That sure-fire podium has gone.
Lap 59: “It’s not how you want to start” is Verstappen’s verdict as he speaks for the first time since his retirement. Albon has taken back the place he ceded to Perez – despite the safety car still being out – so Red Bull are on course for a podium as it stands.
Lap 57: Raikkonen strolls down the pits and will be looking for answers after the nightmare moment for Alfa Romeo. Suspect the stewards will want some too.
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Kimi Raikkonen has been forced to retire
Lap 55: Albon tries to dive down the inside past Perez after the restart but we’re immediately under safety car conditions again as Raikkonen spectacularly retires. The Alfa Romeo man lost his front-right tyre just after pitting and becomes today’s seventh retiree as Albon is forced to cede the place.
Lap 54: While the yellow flags are waving, why not have a read of what former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer has had to say about Vettel’s clash with Sainz? It’s right HERE.
Lap 52: We’re back behind the safety car again as Russell and Grosjean join the growing list of retirements. This is bad news for Mercedes with the chasing pack bunching up.
Lap 49: Vettel is now bearing down on Russell as we approach the final 20 laps of today’s race. Sadly for the Ferrari man, they’re battling for 13th.
Lap 47: So, it is “critical”. Mercedes order Bottas and Hamilton to stay off the kerbs to get to the end in one piece. Fortunately for them, they’ve got the pace to stay ahead.
Lap 44: Hamilton and Bottas’ W11s are suffering with sensor issues on their gearboxes. Shouldn’t be a major issue, but sensor issues did lead to Stroll’s retirement.
Lap 42: Where’s Vettel? Still down in 14th, unfortunately. He’s in between former team-mate Raikkonen and Grosjean in unfamiliar territory for Ferrari.
Lap 41: Hamilton is on the attack and using DRS to close the gap on Bottas. The Finn’s just got another warning to take it easy on the kerbs.
Lap 38: Bottas leads from Hamilton, with Albon, Perez and Norris completing the top five. Leclerc, Sainz, Gasly, Kvyat and Ocon are in the remaining points positions.
Lap 37: Vettel is past past Romain Grosjean and up to 14th. The Haas driver is facing a penalty for going over track limits.
Lap 35: Mercedes are so far in front they’re going to turn their engines down. Hamilton’s not best pleased, but he might have passed Bottas by the time that happens.
Lap 33: Stewards decide against taking action following Vettel and Sainz’s coming together. Meanwhile, Sainz’s current McLaren team-mate Norris has lost fourth place to Perez.
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Valtteri Bottas leads from Lewis Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring
Lap 32: Vettel running down in 15th, with just Williams debutant Latifi running behind him. The four-time champion has given himself a might task. Bottas still in front, a little over a second clear of Hamilton.
Lap 31: Carlos Sainz spins Vettel as he goes wheel-to-wheel with the two Ferrari’s. Quick reminder – the McLaren driver will replace Vettel next year. Awkward.
Lap 29: Bottas is just keeping his tyres nice and warm as he leads the pack around behind the safety car. Fingers crossed we’re back racinga again soon – we’ve waited long enough for this, after all!
Lap 28: Horner brands Verstappen’s retirement as “hugely frustrating”. Red Bull are investigating a suspected electrical problem on the RB16.
Lap 27: Mercedes get the stacked pit stop spot on as Bottas and Hamilton come in for fresh tyres. Is that the contest over? Barring any silly mistakes, of course.
Lap 25: Bottas, Hamilton, Albon, Norris and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez make up the top five as the yellow flags and safety car come out following Kevin Magnussen’s spin off the track. Magnussen is out.
Lap 23: Hamilton goes fastest in Spielberg. He’s cut the gap to Bottas to just 3.8 seconds. Mercedes one-two on the cards here.
Lap 21: Stroll follows Verstappen and Ricciardo in retiring after engine trouble. Not the start to the 2020 season he was dreaming of!
Lap 19: Gasly cruises past the struggling Stroll and into 9th. Kvyat is also past the Racing Point driver, whose weekend is heading south.
Lap 18: Vettel makes the most of Lance Stroll’s engine issues as he moves up to 8th. Ricciardo’s Renault horror show continues as he retires.
Lap 17: Mercedes in control in Spielberg. Bottas almost seven seconds clear of team-mate Hamilton, who’s blasting ahead of Albon.
Lap 14: VERSTAPPEN OUT – Verstappen is out of his car in the pits and, quite rightly, he is furious. Walks straight through the garage and into the paddock.
Lap 12: Nightmare for Verstappen as he drops from P3 to last place. Is his race over? It looks like Red Bull have dropped a clanger here.
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Updates as 2020 F1 season kicks off at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg
Lap 9: Hamilton makes his move on Albon and is now in the podium places. Next up, Verstappen.
Lap 7: Vettel is up a place to 10th after overtaking Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Lap 6: Bottas has really got the hammer down in front and is putting a decent gap between himself and Verstappen. Hamilton is closing in on Albon.
Lap 4: Hamilton makes his first move of the day as he gets past Norris to go fourth. At the opposite end of field it’s a familiar sight as Williams bring up the rear end.
Lap 3: Albon makes the most of DRS being activated to breeze past long-time friend Norris and move into third. Christian Horner will be loving this!
Lap 2: Bottas gets urged to “look after that car” on team radio in a reminder of the danger posed by the kerbs at the Red Bull Ring.
Lap 1: Sensational start from Bottas as he pulls away from the pack from the off. Norris has a cheeky look at going past Verstappen but the Red Bull star retains third.
2.14pm: And there we have it, the 2020 F1 season is finally underway! Stick with us for live updates as the action unfolds over in Spielberg.
2.04pm: We’re moments away from lights out at the Red Bull Ring and excitement is piquing. The formation lap comes next and, then, away we go!
1.58pm: A moving moment at the Red Bull Ring as most of the F1 grid take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hamilton, who remains the only black driver to have competed in a Grand Prix, leads the initiative while wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Black Lives Matter message.
1.55pm: Huge stat pointed out by Sky Sports F1‘s David Croft. Thanks to Hamilton’s penalty, Norris becomes the first McLaren driver to start third in any race since Jenson Button back in 2016. Interestingly, that came during the Austrian Grand Prix that year. Cheers Crofty!
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Lewis Hamilton led his rivals in supporting Black Lives Matter
1.50pm: 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill doesn’t sound best pleased about what’s happening in Spielberg. The British racing legend tweeted: “I get up early. Go for a bike ride and when I get back all hell has let loose in F1! Oh dear. It was all going so well.”
1.47pm: Hamilton admitted in yesterday’s post-qualifying press conference that Verstappen’s switch to a medium tyre might pay dividends today. “I think it’s going to be a close race still,” Hamilton said. “He’s on the medium tyre so a slightly different strategy and they’re very quick on race pace – so it should be a lot closer tomorrow, I would expect.”
Verstappen now has the opportunity to make the most of the potential advantage as he goes in search of a third successive Austrian Grand Prix win. Can he do it? Stay right here to find out!
1.42pm: CONFIRMED – Hamilton has been handed a three-place grid penalty. Stewards have reviewed new footage filmed from the Mercedes driver’s car during Q3 and determined he could have seen a yellow light panel flashing as the flags were being waved. He will start fifth on the grid.
1.40pm: Mercedes will now be banking on Bottas making the perfect start with Verstappen breathing down his neck. The W11 was half a second quicker than the RB16 in qualifying and the Silver Arrows – who race in all-black for the first time here – will need to make the most of that advantage.
It’s not just at the front where we’re in for some fascinating battles, though. Esteban Ocon, racing in his first Grand Prix for more than 500 days, was disappointed to qualify in 14th and will have the likes of Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat in his sights on the first lap.
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Lewis Hamilton has been handed a late three-place grid penalty
1.30pm: Former F1 driver Martin Brundle admits the changes to the starting grid are coming later than ever before. Speaking on Sky Sports F1, Brundle said: “I don’t remember ever having a grid changed this close to a race.
Brundle thinks Verstappen and his team stand to benefit, with their choice of tyre from yesterday possibly set to pay dividends. “This plays beautifully into Red Bull’s hands,” Brundle said. “They’re starting on the medium tyre, a different tyre to the top-10.”
1.25pm: Big blow for Hamilton less than an hour from lights out in Spielberg. Red Bull’s protest has seemingly proved successful, with Verstappen’s gear being moved from third on the grid to the front row, next to Bottas.
Hamilton’s setup is being moved back to fifth, suggesting Mercedes expect the 35-year-old to be handed a three-place grid penalty. Just a reminder, this specific penalty would relate to Hamilton potentially ignoring yellow flags and not slowing down after Bottas left the track during Q3 yesterday.
1.20pm: There is set to be a moment of reflection prior to the Austrian national anthem being played at today’s race. It is expected at this point that some of the F1 field will take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
Norris addressed the situation on Twitter and said: “One quick message too before people make assumptions about what decisions drivers take on the grid to express their support against racism. We all share the same belief in ending racism and supporting equality for all.”
1.15pm: At the opposite end of the grid to Bottas, Williams new boy Nicholas Latifi will start the first Grand Prix of his F1 career from last place. The Canadian, whose father has been tipped to pump some of his fortune into struggling Williams, crashed during Free Practice 3 and saw the incident impact his qualifying run.
2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen finds himself in the unfamiliar position of starting alongside Latifi on the last row, where the most-experienced and least-experienced drivers on the grid meet. Just ahead of Raikkonen will be Alfa Romeo team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi and Latifi’s team-mate George Russell.
Austrian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Valtteri Bottas is on pole after Mercedes locked out the front row
1.10pm: Plenty of pre-race focus has been on whether drivers will take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Verstappen says he will not do so and tweeted: “I am very committed to equality and the fight against racism. But I believe everyone has the right to express themself at a time and in a way that suits them. I will not take the knee today but respect and support the personal choices every driver makes.”
Leclerc, likewise, will not take a knee and tweeted: “I believe that what matters are facts and behaviours in our daily life rather than formal gestures that could be seen as controversial in some countries. I will not take the knee but this does not mean at all that I am less committed than others in the fight against racism.”
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1pm: Bottas set a new lap-record at the Red Bull Ring yesterday as he and Hamilton both managed to undercut the time put down by Ferrari’s Leclerc last year. The 30-year-old went round the circuit in this picturesque corner of Styria in just 1:02.939.
Hamilton was not far behind, though, clocking in at 1:02.951 during Q3 – after which he avoided a potential grid penalty having been accused of ignoring yellow flags and contravening track limits. The Brit has a seventh F1 title in his sights and will want to start with a bang today. However, he may drop to 10th if Red Bull’s late protest sees stewards change their mind.
12.45pm: Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage as the Austrian Grand Prix kicks off the 2020 F1 season. Valtteri Bottas starts on pole after the Finn and Lewis Hamilton underlined Mercedes‘ superiority over their rivals during qualifying yesterday. Hamilton is, however, in danger of losing second spot after Red Bull asked stewards to review their decision to not penalise the reigning champion for possibly ignoring yellow flags during Q3.
It’s an altogether different story for Ferrari, who look well off the pace of their long-time rivals and even Red Bull. Sebastian Vettel will start down in 11th in Austria, with his Prancing Horse team-mate Charles Leclerc seventh on the grid.
Max Verstappen completes the top three in Spielberg and this year goes in search of a third win on the bounce at the Red Bull Ring following his victories in 2018 and 2019. The Dutchman’s Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon will start fifth, just behind surprise package Lando Norris, of McLaren.
The action gets underway at 2.10pm (BST) but we’ll be here to bring you the all-important build-up.
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