Ferrari insist stewards are wrong to uphold Max Verstappen's victory

Wednesday, 03 Jul, 2019

Win at the teams home track?

One conclusion was that the stewards took so long to make their decision because of the ruckus caused recently following the highly unpopular time penalty in Canada that cost Sebastian Vettel victory.

With Vettel and Hamilton out of the equation, Formula One feasted on a battle of its next generation as the two 21-year-olds went toe-to-toe for the win.

Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, who saw their streak of 10 successive wins - eight this season - come to an end. Of course, it's disappointing to lose your first victory in the last few laps.

While a performance-based clause had always been speculated, confirmation that the option could be invoked as soon as next month inevitably resulted in rumours that Verstappen was eyeing off Valtteri Bottas' seat at Mercedes, allowing him to challenge Lewis Hamilton in equal equipment.

"It's not worth thinking of [a penalty] because thankfully they made the right decision", Horner said on Sunday evening.

In the end, the result stood and he thoroughly deserved his sixth F1 victory, his second consecutive win at the Red Bull Ring and his team's 60 in its relatively short history. The only "consistency" that would have been reflected by Verstappen being penalized would be the FIA consistently penalizing everything the second place finisher doesn't like about how the race victor drives late in races.

"I think after qualifying yesterday it was somehow very optimistic and after the first laps of the race, he was controlling the race and saw himself in a good position".

The Monegasque, forced wide as Verstappen went through, said he would let the stewards decide. "I thought 'so young, can he cope with the pressure?'", Britain's 1996 world champion and Sky Sports television pundit Damon Hill said of Norris's season so far.

Verstappen passed again on the inside at Turn 3, with the pair touching wheels again, and he did not allow Leclerc to hit back.

I think he gave him enough room, Leclerc comes in aggressively - what are you supposed to do? "We need drivers going wheel-to-wheel and fighting with each other".

"This is very important, also for the future and for Honda as well", he added, referring to Red Bull's engine supplier getting its first victory in the hybrid era, which started in 2014. The only thing that changed from the first to the second lap was contact.

Verstappen had dropped from second to eighth in a poor start but powered his way through the field to become the first non-Mercedes victor of 2019.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton could only manage a fifth-place finish. "Today exposed our Achilles Heel", said Wolff. "We couldn't really race with our vehicle". "If we try to [compare] in that regard we're effectively compare apples and oranges".