Bottas wins attritional season opener in Austria
Valtteri Bottas won the first race of the F1 season as chaos unfolded at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Finn battled gearbox issues in the closing stages, which were heavily hampered by safety car periods and eight retirements, to win his second win at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari and a first podium for McLaren's Lando Norris.
Lewis Hamilton was handed a second penalty of the day for been deemed to have collided with Alex Albon's Red Bull, dropping him to fourth, ahead of Carlos Sainz in the other McLaren.
After a penalty was handed to Lewis Hamilton prior to the race, meaning he would start fifth, Max Verstappen's Red Bull was the first car to break down while running second behind Bottas as he lost all power in his RB16.
Hamilton battled through the field to regain second spot, and behind his team-mate, the Mercedes duo raced away from the pack. But while Hamilton closed the gap to Bottas, both Brackley cars were told to avoid kerbs for fear of issues with their gearboxes. Safety car periods, caused by a mechanical failure for George Russell and a tyre coming off Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo, it put Hamilton in particular under pressure from the chasing pack.
Alex Albon tried a bold move around the outside of Hamilton for second, but hit the world champion for a second time in three races, sending Albon out of contention while earning the Brit a five-second penalty. It promoted Charles Leclerc into an unexpected podium spot in second place, while Norris' late charge, which included an elbows-out move on Sergio Perez's Racing Point, saw him snatch the final podium position from Hamilton by less than two tenths of a second.