Verstappen wins Austrian GP; Mercedes fails to finish

Daniel Ricciardo French GP 2018

Daniel Ricciardo French GP 2018

That meant Ricciardo was giving the 20-year-old Dutch driver, who is seen by many as a future world champion, the benefit of a "tow" while the Australian's auto took the aerodynamic hit.

Do you think Verstappen's tactics were unfair?

It was one that looked a distant possibility following Red Bull's dire qualifying.

Max Verstappen took victory in a sensational Austrian Grand Prix, leading home both Ferraris having starting fifth on the grid.

"Unbelievable, he was keeping the rear left cooler than the rear right!" said Horner. "A very, very mature drive by him".

"It (the blistering) wasn't predicted coming into the race, but it is hot today and the load in these last two right corners, they are massive the amount of energy these tyres have to take up around there", he told Sky F1. That's where Max was really good today, backed off through those two right-handers and made up his time in other parts of the circuit.

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Red Bull did tell Verstappen to move in front of Ricciardo but the Dutchman could be heard vehemently refusing to do as he was asked.

"We have a very simple policy here that has operated for the last seven years", he said. "After that, the vehicle came good, but we just ran out of laps".

Ricciardo, already a double race victor this season, slowed in a bid to get Verstappen to go past but the youngster maintained position instead, with the team urging both men to hurry up.

At the front, Verstappen led his Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo by 4.9 seconds with Raikkonen third, a second down, and Hamilton a further six-tenths adrift. Hats off to him because the tyres were so crucial there, you see the blisters and everything that's going on, he just managed to keep those temperatures down and manage it all the way through. "Luckily I could manage it until the end of the race".

But paddock whispers in Austria went a bit further and suggested that Ferrari was looking at making the switch earlier: perhaps as early as the Belgian GP. We managed to hang on until the end. "We discussed it with Renault obviously, and there will be no nicer way of them to sign off this partnership than with an engine that hopefully produces some more wins and who knows what else". I think that was a race we could have won with the circumstances, we had really good pace.

"But if they say "you have to drive in front for all qualifying", you have to do it".

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