Lap 44: There’s contact between Charles Leclerc and Kimi Raikkonen, with the Ferrari man clipping the Alfa driver’s front wing on his way past. Meanwhile, Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz has moved into the top six. He’s quietly having a very good race.
Lap 39: George Russell is OUT of the race. A hugely disappointing outcome for the Englishman, who had shown so much promise throughout the weekend. A technical issue with his Williams has forced him out of the Grand Prix. Imagine what he could do in a top-drawer car with better reliability. Maybe we’ll find out next season.
Lap 34: Max Verstappen has reported an issue with «BBW,» a reference to his brake by wire system, while Lewis Hamilton has reported lots of «de-rates,» a reference to the energy harvesting being clipped off in his hybrid engine. However, it appears Hamilton is the man making more progress. He’s pushing to close the gap and is now under five seconds. Verstappen has the cushion to consider his options, but Mercedes ilton off the leash, tell him to push flat out and potentially switch to a two-stop strategy.
Lap 30: Verstappen is in and out in the blink of an eye as Red Bull complete a lightning-quick pitstop. Any hopes of Mercedes closing the gap at the front are scotched, with Hamilton’s team telling their man, «This is all about who makes it to the end.»
Lap 29: Lewis Hamilton is in for his routine service, and he’s in and out in quick order, with no apparent issues. Verstappen, meanwhile, does what elite drivers do when their rival is in the pits – turn in the fastest lap of the race. He’s in on the next lap.
Lap : It’s pitstop time in Austria, but it hasn’t gone well for a couple of notable names. George Russell was stationary for a long time as the team checked his pneumatic pressure, while Sergio Perez had a slow stop, allowing Valtteri Bottas to complete a successful undercut. He’s now in third ahead of Perez.
Lap 26: Big moment for Lewis Hamilton, who very nearly lost the back end of his Mercedes as he exited Turn 5. It shows just how hard the seven-time world champ is pushing to keep pace with Verstappen, who is now five seconds up the road. It’s looking like Red Bull have things well under control at this stage in proceedings. But, don’t forget, it all looked comfortable for Verstappen in Baku. until it wasn’t.
But any worries about the McLaren man’s car appear unfounded at this point
Lap 20: Both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have been on the radio complaining about handling, but it’s the Red Bull man who holds the advantage after 20 laps of this 71-lap Grand Prix. He leads by four and a half seconds over the world champion, with the window for pit stops about to open. Red Bull have had the edge in strategy and pit work in recent races, but Mercedes need something special here to bring Hamilton into striking distance. The next few laps could be fascinating.
Lap 13: Norris has been passed twice. First, Sergio Perez blew past him with ease, then Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas followed suit. It seems he’s app for married hookup just trying to run a sensible early pace to get as much out of his tyres as possible and potentially go long in his first stint. Up front, Verstappen is holding his lead, with the Red Bull man around 2.8 seconds clear of Hamilton, who is holding steady in second.