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Valtteri Bottas wins dramatic season-opener Austrian GP English.Lokmat.com

Valtteri Bottas wins dramatic season-opener Austrian GP

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas on Sunday won the opening race of the season -- Austrian Grand Prix as teammate Lewis Hamilton suffered a dramatic late-racing demotion from second to fourth.
Valtteri Bottas wins dramatic season-opener Austrian GP

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas on Sunday won the opening race of the season -- Austrian Grand Prix as teammate Lewis Hamilton suffered a dramatic late-racing demotion from second to fourth.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and McLaren's Lando Norris finished second and third respectively. This was Norris' first-ever podium finish in the Formula One.

Hamilton was handed a five-second penalty for making a contact with Alex Albon.

The Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable performance advantage throughout the 71-lap encounter. But with 10 laps to go, the race exploded into life, with Hamilton handed his penalty after nerfing Albon into a spin on a Safety Car restart on lap 61.

This was the first time since 2014 that McLaren begins the season with a podium finish.

Behind Norris, Hamilton took fourth, ahead of the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez. Then came the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly in seventh, ahead of F1 returnee Esteban Ocon in eighth, with Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi in ninth and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel - who spun early on in the race after contact with Sainz - in tenth position, just one place ahead of the final finisher, Williams' Nicholas Latifi.

It was a nightmare race for Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who experienced a loss of power after just 11 of the 71 laps, costing him a chance of shooting for a third straight win at the Red Bull Ring - while teammate Albon appeared to suffer a similar problem just two laps from the end.

( With inputs from ANI )

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