Red Bull Reveal Secret to Verstappen's Austria Win

Formula One Grand Prix Friday free practise sessions Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W08 EQ Energy

Max Verstappen said it was a flawless race to win as a Red Bull Racing driver after he took the chequered flag in Austria on Sunday.

The Red Bulls ended up fifth and seventh on the grid, Verstappen and Ricciardo sandwiching Romain Grosjean's Haas. "Very hard to manage the tyres, lot of blistering, but we manged to hang on", he said.

The Red Bull ace enjoyed an excellent getaway and briefly moved up to second on the first lap as pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas dropped back. I just had to drive around the issue.

His retirement, with title rival Sebastian Vettel finishing third in his Ferrari behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen, puts Vettel into a one-point lead heading into next weekend's British Grand Prix.

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso came home eighth for McLaren ahead of Monegasque rising star Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari-powered Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

Verstappen went on to control the race once Mercedes' failure to pit Lewis Hamilton under the early virtual safety vehicle, caused by Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas's retirement from second place, cost the Briton track position later on.

"That was perhaps the most apprehension that I had in the last 25% of the race".

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"In this particular instance it was James showing an extremely broad pair of shoulders, standing up and saying "that's my mistake, Lewis, and I'm very sorry for it". It was damage limitation for me and a positive day". That's what I did in Paul Ricard so, of course, it's Daniel's turn here.

"We had a really good vehicle, really good pace".

The 20-year-old profited from Lewis Hamilton's retirement eight laps from the end of the race to claim an unexpected victory, 1.5 seconds ahead of Kimi Räikkönen. Hamilton then opened up a 2.4 seconds lead as the field was stretched on the tight, short track.

Allison also explained why Mercedes deliberated on its decision to pit Hamilton, saying the team thought it would still have an opportunity to pit under the VSC on the following lap.

He later told reporters that he had cleared the air in another sense and understood the position, grinning at the media crowd assembled in the team hospitality and pulling out his phone to film the scene. This took place during the virtual safety auto period when Valtteri Bottas retired.

The Australian is out of contract at the end of 2018 and had been waiting to see if there were options at Mercedes or Ferrari before committing to Red Bull, which will use Honda engines next year.

"I could see some orange smoke, I could see them cheering so I think that's good enough", said Verstappen, when asked whether he could hear their acclaim.

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