Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas made a great start from pole position to win the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished just behind in second to extend his championship lead over main rival Lewis Hamilton to 20 points.
Bottas did just enough to hold off Vettel’s late charge, as the German driver crossed the line 0.6 seconds behind.
“I think I needed one more lap because Bottas was really struggling to get up the hill,” Vettel said.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo showed great ability to defend third place from Hamilton, who almost passed the Australian driver on the last two laps but had to settle for fourth.
It was Ricciardo’s fifth podium finish in succession and he celebrated with his now-customary, post-race ‘shoey’.
Both Bottas and former teammate Vettel were quick to turn down a drink from Ricciardo’s iconic post-race celebration.
“It was a fun race, there were some decisive moments at the start and then defending the last couple of laps,” Ricciardo said.
“The second last lap was the tightest and Hamilton got close but I was very pleased to see the chequered flag.”
Bottas clinched the second victory of the season and his career, putting him only 15 points behind Hamilton in the overall standings.
Hamilton started from eighth on the grid on Sunday after a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorised gearbox change after the last race in Azerbaijan two weeks ago, which Ricciardo won.
At the start of the race, Fernando Alonso had to retire his McLaren after a collision caused by Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was slowed at the start by a clutch problem, which dropped him back in the field where he was collected by Alonso’s out-of-control McLaren – the fifth time in the last seven races Verstappen has failed to finish.
Bottas got away cleanly as Vettel made a somewhat sluggish start. Vettel contested the Mercedes driver’s start on his radio, saying Bottas had jumped the lights, but the Finnish driver was later cleared by stewards of any wrongdoing.
“I think that was the start of my life, I was really on it today,” Bottas said on the podium.
“I’m really happy. It is only the second win in my career, a massive thank you to the team.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, ahead of the Haas of Romain Grosjean and the Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll made fine starts from 17th and 18th on the grid, and both finished in the top 10.