Formula One

Russell gifted Austrian F1 win after Verstappen, Norris collide


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Russell gifted Austrian F1 win after Verstappen, Norris collide

CHAMP. Mercedes' George Russell celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the Austrian Grand Prix.

Florion Goga/REUTERS

‘It's not over until it's over,’ says Mercedes’ George Russell, the 26-year-old Brit who became the beneficiary of a collision between leaders Max Verstappen and Lando Norris

George Russell won the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday, June 30, after Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris collided late in the race while fighting for the lead.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished second with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz third at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring.

The gifted win was a first for Mercedes since November 2022, when Russell triumphed in Brazil, and the second of the Briton’s career.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” declared the jubilant winner after taking the checkeered flag in a race that stored up its excitement until the last 20 laps when the battle between Verstappen and Norris boiled over.

A slow 6.5 second pitstop for Verstappen on lap 52 brought Norris right back into range and the ensuing duel saw the McLaren enjoying a drag reduction benefit as Norris tried to overtake.

“The team have done an amazing job to put us in this fight. You’ve got to be there at the end to pick up the pieces and that’s where we were,” Russell said before stepping up to the top of the podium.

“We were only about 12 seconds behind and I knew it (the collision) was a possibility. You are always dreaming,” the 26-year-old Brit added.

Russell had started third, with Verstappen on pole and Norris alongside on the front row, but the win was handed to him after 64 of the 71 laps.

Both frontrunners suffered punctures, Norris limping back to the pits and retiring while Verstappen rejoined and finished fifth behind Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Stewards handed the Dutch driver a 10-second penalty for causing the collision but that made no difference to Verstappen’s result and he increased his championship advantage to 81 points over Norris.

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Haas, a major boost for that team, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez seventh and Kevin Magnussen eighth for Haas.

Daniel Ricciardo gave RB two points in ninth and Pierre Gasly took the final point for Renault-owned Alpine.


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