Reigning Formula One champions Mercedes kick-started the delayed F-1 season in perfect style as their Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic first race of the calendar by winning the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday. Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari with McLaren’s Lando Norris achieved a milestone of sorts winning his first F-1 podium.
In the interim, Bottas’s Mercedes teammate and defending F-1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-second time penalty that dropped him from second place and saw him eventually finishing fourth. The 2020-21 season of Formula One finally got underway after a delayed start due to the coronavirus pandemic which also saw the last season (2019-2020) getting hampered at its fag end.
The Mercedes pair of Bottas and Hamilton were in a dominant position all through the Grand Prix’s 71-lap encounter, as per a report on formula1.com. However, the action really got heated up in the in the last 10 laps of the race with Hamilton handed his penalty after sending Alex Albon into a spin.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had a race to forget, as he experienced a loss of power after just 11 of the 71 laps, costing him a chance of shooting for a third straight win at the Red Bull Ring — while teammate Albon appeared to suffer a similar problem just two laps from the end.
Mercedes had black-liveried cars as the world champions made a visual stand against racism and for diversity in the wake of ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign.
The 2020 Formula One season kicked off with the Austrian Grand Prix and will be followed a week later by a second race at the same track on July 12.
The Hungarian Grand Prix, the second race of the season will take place a week after the second race. The season will move forward with two back-to-back races at Silverstone (August 2 & August 9), followed by the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona (August 16).
The Belgian Grand Prix will follow that on August 30, with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza seven days after the fact on September 6. All the races will be upheld by Formula 2 and Formula 3.