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Three winners and losers from a blockbuster Austrian Grand Prix

Written by Sophie Harvey

Austria’s Österreichring provided an idyllic backdrop to Formula 1’s latest renaissance, where a surprising turn of events saw Britain’s George Russell clinch a second all-time win. Though, not everyone went home quite as giddy as the man from King’s Lynn — most notably, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen.

To summarise the biggest storyline from the Styrian hills, a tussle for the lead saw the aforementioned duo collide in the closing stages of the race. Each driver was rewarded with punctures and penalties, terminating Norris’ race and leaving Verstappen with a ten-second penalty, placing him P5 after an additional pitstop.

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s take a better look at what unfolded — our winners and losers, coming up next.

Russell was certainly surprised by his shock win; Image Credit - PETRONAS Motorsport

Winner: George Russell

Whilst the Brit ran in a steady P3, Russell could see first-hand the fight breaking out between fellow countryman Norris and reigning champion Verstappen. 

So, when the two collided in extravagant fashion, he was quick to capitalise — soaring past both a limping, puncture-ridden McLaren and Red Bull to secure his first win of 2024.

The points haul leaves him sitting in P5 in the driver’s championship standings, extending his lead from teammate Lewis Hamilton. As the seven-time world champion prepares to depart Mercedes for the infamous Scuderia Ferrari, Russell has certainly stepped-up to show he is ready to lead the brand into the ‘new era’ of Formula 1.

His triumph also came as more than just a win for Mercedes, it was the Silver Arrows’ first win in two years — the last being Russell’s maiden win at the São Paulo Grand Prix, 2022. In what has been a period of turbulence for the Brackley-based team, they will be hoping for a similar performance in Silverstone.

Norris thought he had a chance at the win, but the late assail proved costly; Image Credit - McLaren F1

Loser: Lando Norris

As Verstappen’s closest rival in the championship standings, this weekend was far from Norris’ idea of a success. Ending his streak as the only driver to score points in every round this year, the Brit’s tussle has left him questioning his respect for the Dutchman.

His unluckiness began in the sprint, when his fight with Verstappen let Piastri through into P2. Demoting car #4 from its qualifying position, he lost out on further pivotal points.

Come the main race, Norris hoped to reassert his dominance in the final stint. Armed with a fresh set of medium tyres, the Brit began his attack — though, this soon unraveled, with the significant damage he sustained proving to be race-ending. Although it had no impact on his final result, he also earnt a five-second penalty in the process for exceeding track limits.

Whilst Norris did look to be the quickest driver of the weekend, it’s undeniable that he left Austria with very little to show for his efforts. Will the McLaren protege bounce back at his home-race next weekend? 

Austria proved to be Haas’ dream weekend; Image Credit - Haas F1 Team

Winner: Haas

With Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finishing P6 and P9 respectively, it’s double points for Formula 1’s only American outfit.

As the team’s biggest points haul of the year, it’s made a huge difference in the championship standings — clawing back P7 in the standings from close competitor, Alpine. Likewise, the battle with RB for P6 is most definitely back on, with just eleven points separating Haas from the Faenza-based scuderia.

Ayao Komatsu, newly appointed Team Principal of Haas F1 Team, was lost for words following the result. He stated: “I’m speechless. I’m just so happy for everyone to get this result.”

Without question, it was a big day for Haas. They will be hoping to continue this momentum to end the triple-header on a high, and sail further up the championship standings.

Did Charles Leclerc use up all his luck in Monaco?; Image Credit - Scuderia Ferrari HP

Loser: Charles Leclerc

With no podium finishes since his historic home-win in Monaco, Leclerc seems to be amid a rather unlucky patch. Whilst the Monegasque usually soars in Austria, this weekend was far from idyllic for car #16.

Beginning in sprint qualifying, Leclerc was unable to set a lap after issues with his SF-24 left him momentarily stranded in the pit exit. Whilst he did manage to salvage his effort by scoring two points in the subsequent sprint race, the qualifying that followed proved to be equally as tricky.

With one lap to reach the top of the timing sheets, there was pressure looming on the man in red. Grazing the kerb, uprooting the gravel and trundling off the track, he had pushed too hard and in return, it left him without a solid lap.

Come the race, contact with Oscar Piastri in the opening lap forced Leclerc to pit for a new front wing — the necessary but costly consequence left him at a huge disadvantage, finishing the race in P12 and scoring no points.

Sitting in P3, six points behind Norris in the standings, he will need an impressive run out at Silverstone if he wants to reclaim his advantage against the Brit.

Whilst he didn’t quite get the win he wanted, Piastri still went home pleased; Image Credit - McLaren F1

Winner: Oscar Piastri

The man from Melbourne had a mighty weekend around the Red Bull Ring. Whilst one side of the garage mourned the loss of what could have been a Norris win, the other cheered on an eager Piastri who picked up where his teammate left off.

Inheriting P2 after the Verstappen-Norris incident, the Australian capitalised and began to challenge Russel for P1. Whilst he didn’t quite get there, he solidified P6 in the standings and earnt a healthy haul of points for the constructor’s championship — bridging the gap to Ferrari down to just 23 points.

Piastri had a successful stint earlier in the weekend too, his attentiveness allowing him to sweep past teammate Norris when dealing with Verstappen. Here, he also took P2 in what was a prosperous weekend for car #81.

Williams seem to be nowhere, as of late; Image Credit - Williams Racing

Loser: Williams

Last year, the Grove-based team finished the season in P7 — seen as a Williams resurgence, fans believed the team was back on an upwards trajectory. Though, with Monaco being their only points-scoring outing, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Whilst a reassuring sprint qualifying from Logan Sargeant seemed fruitless come race day, both he and Alex Albon are still struggling to return to the points. The duo have spent the last races sitting at the back of the pack, usually surrounded by the neon green of Kick Sauber — and this race was no different.

Albon finished the weekend in P15, whilst Sargeant ended his outing in P19 — only ahead of retired Norris.

Speaking out on the issue, Team Principal James Vowles stated: “We weren’t where we should be in terms of performance.” 

Whilst this only reinforces the fact that this is a period of uncertainty for the team, perhaps the atmosphere of their home-race next time out will bring them some much-needed luck.


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