Lewis Hamilton celebrated the 85th victory of his Formula One career by performing a Black Power salute – and then vowed to spend the rest of his life fighting racism.
In the moments after a dominant performance to win the Styrian Grand Prix, Hamilton stood on top of his black Mercedes car, clenching his right fist in the air.
Then, after collecting his winner’s silverware, Hamilton, now with his helmet off, looked down on the tarmac. Holding the gold trophy in his left hand, he sent his clenched right fist skywards.
Hamilton’s powerful celebrations against the backdrop of the Styrian mountains were a nod in the direction of African-American 200 etres runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos – who first performed the anti-racism gesture after taking gold and bronze respectively at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
Before the race, Hamilton took a knee for the second week in a row. He was joined by 11 of the 20 drivers in what is becoming an increasingly uncomfortable image for the sport’s bosses.
Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas took the lead in dropping to the tarmac, but some drivers stood, some arrived late, and others were not even there.
The grid is appearing increasingly divided on the subject. It should also be noted that the television feed cut to a Red Bull parachutist as Hamilton, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, knelt.
“We spoke about it in the drivers’ briefing and what we intended to do,” Hamilton said. “Some were asking how long we have to continue to do this. Some felt like doing it once last week was enough.
“I just had to encourage them and say that racism is going to be around for longer than our time here.
“People of colour, who are subjected to racism, don’t have time to take a moment to protest once and then for that to be it.
“We have to continue to push for quality and raise awareness. For me, personally, it is going to be a lifelong thing.”
LECLERC: "I apologised. Excuses are not enough at times like this. I'm disappointed in myself and let the team down.— Formula 1 (@F1) July 12, 2020
"I am sorry even though it’s not enough. We don’t need that, the team doesn’t need that and I've put all the plans of the team in the bin."#AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/z2YNTZNGer
Chase Carey, F1’s chairman, has vowed to put in $1 million (£783,000) of his own money to improve diversity in the sport he rules. The FIA has also pledged more than £900,000.
But Hamilton, 35, added: “Although it is great to see Chase being so kind to donate the million dollars, and it has been great to see the FIA step up, if you don’t know the problem you don’t fix it, and a million dollars doesn’t go that far.
“A lot of work needs to go on in Formula One and the FIA really needs to be a part of it – and the drivers, too, because we all have great platforms.”
Following his poor performance at the same venue the previous weekend, Hamilton was in mesmerising form at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring this time. He laid the groundwork for Sunday's triumph with possibly his greatest performance over one lap in Saturday’s rain-hit qualifying session.
Hamilton finished 1.2 seconds faster than anyone else at a track with just 10 corners. On Sunday, he roared away from his starting marks and never looked back – taking the chequered flag 13.7 seconds clear of Bottas.
Bottas completed a one-two for Mercedes when he overtook Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with just four laps remaining. And it is the Finn who holds a six-point lead over Hamilton in the championship ahead of next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Red Bull driver Alexander Albon finished fourth, while Lando Norris turned in another impressive display for McLaren. The 20-year-old, who a week earlier became the youngest Briton to stand on a grand prix podium, overtook both Racing Point cars on the last lap, Sergio Perez at the final bend, to finish fifth. He is now a nose-bleeding third in the standings.
Charles Leclerc issued a grovelling apology to team-mate Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari’s crisis-hit campaign took another sorry twist. Less than a mile into the race, both scarlet cars were effectively eliminated after Leclerc smashed into Vettel on the opening lap.
Leclerc was launched airborne after he rattled the kerbs at turn three and landed on Vettel’s car. The force of the impact ripped off Vettel’s rear wing and the four-time world champion was forced to retire. Leclerc stopped for repairs and attempted to solider on in his wounded car, before he too was forced to park up.
It was the second time in four appearances that the Ferrari drivers had taken each other out of a race following last year’s embarrassing coming together in Brazil.
“What happened today is clearly my fault,” said Leclerc, 22. “I take full responsibility. I made a mistake and apologising is not enough.
“We are going through a difficult time and we don’t need this. I have apologised to the team and to Seb, who didn’t do anything wrong. I let everyone down today and I am very sorry.”
Leclerc started 14th, four spots behind Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the year after the Italian team chose not to renew his contract.
That's it from me today
Thanks for joining me. It didn't have the drama of last week but that was a solid race with intrigue throughout even though, sadly, Hamilton's win never looked in doubt. Red Bull are just not on the pace of Mercedes. The battle behind Mercedes is quite close, though, and we saw one Red Bull (Albon), both McLarens, Renault, Racing Point all running with good pace at various points.
I'll be back next week for Hungarian GP practice. But stay tuned for more analysis on here later today and on Monday and Tuesday morning. Enjoy the rest of your weekends.
The trophy robots...
Fair play to Ferrari for letting them use the SF1000 to deliver the trophies pic.twitter.com/FUyKT5EBXX— WTF1 (@wtf1official) July 12, 2020
Credit to Lance Stroll there
Drove a decent, solid race. Out-qualified Perez yesterday, too. I expect great things from Racing Point this year, if the last two weekends are anything to go by. They come away from the first two rounds in fourth in the standings, but really they could and perhaps should be second or third.
This is how close it was at the end for P5/6
Updated constructor standings
Can anyone catch Mercedes. Well, they can. But they won't.
Carlos Sainz took the extra point for the fastest lap, though, so he gets three points.
It's the introduction of the remote controlled trophy presentation...things
It's... wonderful. And also a little bit awful. I'll try and find a video of it.
Updated driver standings
Bottas leads Hamilton by six points and then... Lando Norris? Yes, Lando Norris, who follows up his 16 points last weekend with another 10.
Important to get third and fourth there for Red Bull
After a pointless weekend last time out. They could not have afforded any more missteps, given how quick the rest of the midfield pack looks, especially Racing Point.
Hamilton reacts to a brilliant but ultimately extremely comfortable victory
Thank you to my team and everyone back at the factory. It's great to be back up here and driving. The team did a fantastic job with the strategy. It was up to me to stay off the kerbs and bring it home.
Let's not forget Ferrari...
Whose disastrous season continues. No points here and they might be fighting for third/fourth/fifth in the championship. They can't afford races like that where they take each other out...
Well, it was an interesting final few laps
Even if Hamilton's win was never in doubt. Verstappen didn't have the pace to hold off Bottas or keep up with Hamilton. Perez drove a brilliant race and was so close to getting P4 but damaged his front wing in an incident with Albon and then ended up losing P5 to Norris on the final lap... and he nearly ended up in P8 behind Stroll and Ricciardo...
That Racing Point looked mighty, though. Imagine what they could have done if they'd not have been out of position on the grid?
OUT: OCO, LEC, VET
Norris takes Stroll for P6 on the final lap!
With fresh tyres he had much better place...
Perez's ailing Racing Point is slowing, slowing, slowing with damage...can Ricciardo and Stroll get past?!On the line? Norris does! What about the rest of them?! I'm not sure. That was close!
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE 2020 STYRIAN GRAND PRIX
Never in doubt. Comfortable all weekend along...Bottas second, Verstappen third...
DRAMA! Stroll gets past Ricciardo at turn three...Ricciardo left the door open...Norris is there to take advantage... can HE get past Stroll?! No... Stroll takes sixth there!
Perez has dropped well back from Albon now, so I think that's that one done. Still, brilliant race from Perez and not such a great one from Albon, despite what Christian Hroner will say.
Oh, Perez and Albon touched in turn four! Perez was on the inside and damages his front wing...
Lap 69 of 71 - Top 10
Lap 68 of 71 - Has Perez got the legs to get past Albon?
I am not sure now. Maybe the chance was when he first got to the back of him, but the backmarkers helped Albon out a lot, there. Verstappen stops and puts on fresh tyres, so he'll be going for the fastest lap too.
Lap 67 of 71 - Bottas vs Verstappen... in full effect
Bottas gets it done this time, in the same place. Mercedes 1-2. Perez now four tenths away from Albon! Sainz in P10 has a free stop so takes fresh tyres and will go for the fastest lap in the final few rounds. Albon doing well here.
Lap 66 of 71 - Bottas vs Verstappen... in full effect
Bottas tries a sneaky move around the outside of turn three, but gets DRS and better traction on the run down to turn four...he takes the place into braking...but Verstappen keeps it going around the outside of turn five...and then the inside of turn six! He keeps the place! Great driving, brilliant.
Lap 65 of 71 - Top six and gaps
- VER +9.8
- BOT +10.3
- ALB +45.7
- PER +46.2
- RIC +58.9
Lap 64 of 71 - A new fastest lap from Perez
Is this the time? Have Racing Point allowed him to crank it up? Don't think the tyre issue will be too much of a problem for Albon now as Perez has had plenty of time in his dirty air. Bottas within 1.5s of Verstappen...looks like a Mercedes 1-2 from here, Verstappen's pace isn't there. Perez still flying with the quickest sector in S1...
Lap 63 of 71 - Bottas vs Verstappen and Perez vs Albon are the two big battles in the last nine laps
Lap 62 of 71 - Hamilton extends his lead to 8.5s
Verstappen in P2 is now only 3.1s ahead of Bottas. Meanwhile McLaren let Norris pass Sainz, who is struggling on worn tyres. He's up into P8. Perez still in DRS range but not close enough, the lead hovering around 0.8s.
Lap 61 of 71 - Stroll still not past Ricciardo
Albon managing to keep Perez behind him, though solidly within DRS range. He can't get quite close enough to make a move, but it may come into play in the next few laps... or the final few laps.
Lap 60 of 71 - Verstappen has a bit of debris trapped in his front wing
Bottas now 4.7s behind him. And on 10 laps newer tyres. This is one to watch, he could be up within a few seconds in about five or six laps. Maybe a few more.
Lap 59 of 71 - Top 10
Lap 58 of 71 - Bottas now 5.6s behind Verstappen
As Verstappen drops to 7.6s behind Hamilton, who is going to win this race at a canter.
Lap 57 of 71 - Albon is 28s behind Verstappen, for reference...
This is the problem Red Bull had all last year. Annoyingly for Perez he was a bit held up by the Williams of Russell going into turn one. He'll be close on the back of Albon soon enough, though.
Lap 56 of 71 - Perez within DRS range of Albon...
Not sure finishing behind Perez, who started in P17, will go down well in Milton Keynes...
Lap 55 of 71 - Bottas taking a few tenths out of Verstappen a lap now
Perez setting fastest sectors and is 1.3s behind Albon. He'll be right up on him very soon. Another new fastest lap from him. Ah man, Perez is superb. I love him. So underrated. How has he not found his way into a top team since he was ousted by McLaren?
Lap 54 of 71 - Stroll struggling to get past Ricciardo
Whereas Perez breezed past.
Lap 53 of 71 - Perez still flying
Albon now only 2.6s ahead. I am so excited about this new Racing Point car. It's so rapid and Perez FINALLY has a car beneath him that means he can show his talent.
Lap 52 of 71- Perez sets ANOTHER new fastest lap
Taking 0.8s out of Albon that time. Bottas making a bit more progress on Verstappen. Stroll can't quite get past Ricciardo yet, though.
Lap 51 of 71 - Top 10
Perez sets a new fastest lap! He's within 3.8s of Albon now, taking a whole second out of him that time around.
Lap 50 of 71 - Hamilton leads Verstappen by 5.1s
Easy peasy at the moment. Bottas now nine seconds behind Verstappen, has he cleared the traffic yet?
Lap 49 of 71 - Ricciardo about to fall behind Stroll here now, too
This is a decent performance from the Aussie and Renault here, but that pink car is just in another league at the moment. Perez five seconds behind Albon and with three laps fresher tyres. At the end of the Belgian GP last year we saw Albon go onto the grass to overtake Perez, will roles be reversed here?
Lap 48 of 71 - Bottas not making inroads
But he does do the fastest first sector. Hamilton's lead still a smidgen under five seconds. We've not seen him or Verstappen on TV for about 15 laps. Because, frankly, it's not much of a race there. Perez breezes past Ricciardo into turn four again. Next up: Albon.
Lap 47 of 71 - Racing Point have superb pace
Clear midfield leaders at the moment.
Big battle here: Perez vs Ricciardo and then possibly Albon. I think he'll get both.
Lap 46 of 71 - Perez gets past Stroll
After a lengthy battle from turn three to turn six. Great driving from both but that is the best result for the team as Perez has fresher tyres by five laps.
Lap 45 of 71 - Hamilton's lead stable at five seconds
Bottas in traffic (backmarkers) at the moment and not really able to make much of a dent into Verstappen's lead ahead of him.
Lap 44 of 71 - Running order
OUT: OCO, LEC, VET
Lap 43 of 71 - This race really needs a Safety Car
It's not absolutely appalling but it does look quite predictable at the moment. I think it will come alive in the final 20 or so laps, though. Bottas vs Verstappen and then a mighty fight in the midfield. Where 10s separates P4 from P8.
Lap 42 of 71 - Bottas sets a new fastest lap
He's 6.8 behind Verstappen and he took out half a second from him the last time around. I do think Albon might struggle to hold onto P4 here. Ricciardo on quicker soft tyres and only four seconds behind. He was a little slower the last time round and the bigger threat may come from the rapid Racing Points.
Lap 41 of 71 - Top 10
*yet to stop
Lap 40 of 71 - Perez keeps the place... in the end
Perez keeps P8 going into turn three but Sainz gets easily past at turn four...but Perez on fresher rubber goes around the outside of turn five! Nicely done. That Racing Point is a rocket around here. It might even be quicker than the Red Bull...
Lap 39 of 71 - Bottas with good pace
Verstappen closes the gap by a fraction. Perez finally pits and goes onto the medium tyres, coming out in P8, just behind his team-mate and only JUST ahead of Sainz. Will he keep that place?
Lap 38 of 71 - Ricciardo pits
He comes out on the soft tyres in P7. Can he charge through the field on those? They're going to have to last half the race, though...
Lap 37 of 71 - Verstappen five seconds behind Hamilton
Bottas a further 8.2s behind, but with 10 laps fresher tyres. Guess that could be the fight to watch in the second half. That and the Racing Points scything their way through the field and Ricciardo's differential strategy.
Lap 36 of 71 - Albon pits from P4
And he'll come out to a fairly clear track but with a gaggle of cars behind him by a few seconds.
Lap 35 of 71 - Top 10
Lap 34 of 71 - There is an almighty battle for fifth about to happen
Would be great to see it towards the end of the race. Stroll comes out of the pits ahead of Sainz.
Lap 33 of 71 - Perez released as Stroll pits from P7
Bottas into the pits now, from the lead. Hamilton will retake that ahead of Verstappen, who is 5.2s behind currently. Quick stop, 2.3s, he goes onto the medium tyres.
Lap 32 of 71 - Verstappen lapping similarly to Hamilton
But I think Hamilton has pace in his pocket. Sainz pits for his first and probably only stop. It's a slow one, 7.2s so that's at least 3-4 seconds lost and that is not good news for his race. He comes out behind Grosjean and in P13. That has cost him.
Lap 31 of 71 - Racing Points getting close
Perez the quicker man but behind Stroll in P7.
Lap 30 of 71 - Verstappen lapping well here
Should Bottas pit now he'd come out third behind Verstappen. But I think it's a matter of when rather than if...
*has stopped once
Lap 29 of 71 - Christian Horner: "I think Mercedes are a little bit quicker than us..."
Ha. Just a bit...
Lap 28 of 71 - Verstappen questions the decision to pit
The pace isn't there, though. Think the second is the absolute best they can hope for today but even that is an outside chance today. I don't think he's got much of a hope of that, Bottas will get past him easily.
Lap 27 of 71 - I am not sure why Red Bull didn't try a different starting tyre
They were never going to beat Mercedes running a similar race. And so it panned out. Still a bit of room for movement here, though. In comes Hamilton in second, behind Bottas. And well ahead of Verstappen.
Lap 26 of 71 - First pits stops taking place
In comes Ocon... and he's retiring from the race... not sure what the problem is but that's a few points dropped at least. All their hopes on Ricciardo now.
Lap 25 of 71 - I wonder if they might leave Bottas out
I think they might have the pace to get past without copying the strategy. Verstappen got very lairy on the pit entry, there. Bottas indeed told to go long. Verstappen got out ahead of Albon, though. Who is not in his team-mate's race at the moment.
Lap 24 of 71 - Hamilton nearly seven seconds ahead now
Red Bull mechanics out in the pit lane, trying to avoid losing a place to Bottas here at the stops. Not sure it'll work though. He goes onto the medium tyres. Will he get to the end on those?
Lap 23 of 71 - Think Mercedes will be 1-2 after these pit stops
The Red Bull just has not got the pace to keep up. Hamilton had a bit of a lock-up into turn three, though it won't have cost him too much time. Bottas now within firm undercut range of Verstappen, two seconds.
Lap 22 of 71 - Hamilton now 5.6s ahead of Verstappen.
Hmmmm. Bottas closing up too.
Lap 21 of 71 - Top 10
Norris gets through with DRS, overtaking Gasly and going into the final points position. I think one of the Racing Points might be able to beat Albon here. I think they have the pace for that. Keep an eye out for it.
Lap 20 of 71 - Hamilton sets the fastest lap
Both Mercedes drivers being told to push now. Positioning themselves for pit stops now. Albon is too far adrift to be a consideration when putting now. At least for Hamilton.
Lap 19 of 71 - Ricciardo finally gets past Ocon
But that should have happened a long time ago. Ocon is going to be easy prey for those Racing Points in about three or four laps.
Lap 18 of 71 - Renault need to be wary of those Racing Points
Having Ocon and Ricciardo fighting each other is only going to make the Racing Point getting ahead much more likely. Anyway, Hamilton extends his lead to 3.7s, another four tenths quicker than Verstappen that time. The Red Bull is not in Mercedes' league. Verstappen probably should be more worried about Bottas behind him.
Lap 17 of 71 - Ricciardo wants to get past Ocon
And he should be let through. He's on the medium tyres and it's hurting his race to spend it behind his team-mate. Ricciardo gets DRS and gets through down the inside at turn four... or does he?
No, Ocon fights back and keeps sixth. This is is a bit silly. They are in a good position here but are wasting it somewhat.
Lap 16 of 71 - Running order
It's turned into another familiar weekend at the back for Williams.
Lap 15 of 71 - Albon closer to the midfield battle again
He's only a couple of seconds, if that, ahead of Sainz in P5. He's not pulling away by any means.
Lap 14 of 71 - Hamilton puts another four tenths on Verstappen
That Mercedes has pace to burn. Perez finally gets past Norris, which was coming, quite frankly. I wonder if they'll hgave the pace to challenge the Renaults and the lead McLaren? I think they might...
Lap 13 of 71 - Bottas puts in the fastest lap
He's within four seconds of Verstappen now. Albon not really holding onto that battle, his last lap was a second slower than Bottas. Perez not quite close enough to the back of Norris to try a move into turn four.
Lap 12 of 71 - Top 10 and gaps
- VER +2.5
- BOT +6.4
- ALB +14.4
- SAI +16.5
- OCO +17.7
- RIC +18.5
- GAS +19.5
- STR +2.05
- NOR +21.8
Lap 11 of 71 - Norris struggling to keep Perez behind
But just about managing it at the moment. Verstappen puts in a personal best lap to close the gap to 2.5s, by a couple of tenths.
Lap 10 of 71 - Hamilton's lead stabilising
This is kind of what happened in last week's race, albeit with Red Bull on medium, not soft tyres.
Here's another view of the Ferrari incident.
Lap 9 of 71 - Hamilton extending his lead
Another half a second that time. Bottas a further four seconds down the road. Perez closing up onto the back of Norris and with superior pace at the moment. That Racing Point is lightning whilst the McLaren looks a bit better with low fuel.
Lap 8 of 71 - Verstappen lapping about three or four tenths slower than Hamilton
Albon powering past Sainz into turn four with the aid of DRS.
Lap 7 of 71 - Hamilton leads Verstappen by 1.9s
Ricciardo and Ocon having a tight battle, Ocon in P6 and staying ahead for now. Hamilton sets a new fastest lap.
Lap 6 of 71 - Bottas past Sainz
He's up into third now. Six seconds away from Hamilton. I might posit that this race needs Bottas chasing Hamilton for any chance of competition at the front...
Lap 5 of 71 - Hamilton leads Verstappen by 1.3s
Bottas is reeling in Sainz in third. Meanwhile the damage to the floor of Leclerc's Ferrari is enough for him to retire. That's a double DNF for them. Awful stuff.
LAP 4 of 71 - Race restarts
Hamilton keeps his lead with a nice jump from the Safety Car. Norris and Stroll having a tussle early on with Norris taking the place. Russell's gone wide and his slipped right down the order... did he come together with Magnussen?! He went right through the gravel in the middle of the lap.
Lap 3 of 71 - Hamilton leads under the Safety Car
It was a very late lunge from Leclerc up the inside of turn three. He launched himself over the inside kerb and into the rear wing of his team-mate. Not a great move. Quite desperate.
SAFETY CAR ENDING
Lap 2 of 71 - SAFETY CAR
Ferrari's weekend going from bad to appalling. Not much of a change in the order there. Leclerc comes out again but is dead last. At least he'll be on the same lap.
THE STYRIAN GRAND PRIX IS GO!
Hamilton gets a super start and keeps his lead... but Sainz goes around the outside of Verstappen at turn one! Can he keep the place? No... he runs wide and off the track! He keeps third, though.
THE FERRARIS COLLIDE AND ONE OF THEM HAS A BROKEN REAR WING! I think it's Vettel...
They came together in turn one, Leclerc on the inside but not exactly sure how the rear wing broke. They are both in but I think Vettel is done here.
The grid forms up...
...the customary burn outs a plenty. Fingers crossed for a great race. 19 cars on the grid, Grosjean in the pit lane.
FORMATION LAP IS GO!
Everyone away cleanly. Short lap here so there won't be too much time spent waiting on the grid for the frontrunners.
I think it's a real shame the Racing Points aren't further up the field. The top seven are all starting on the soft tyres, which is a bit of a shame. Only Gasly, Vettel, Kvyat, Raikkonen, Latifi and Giovinazzi are on the mediums. Could be a fairly dull one-stopper without the intervention of a safety car, but let us hope not.
Think this will be: 1st Hamilton 2nd Bottas 3rd Verstappen
Lights out very shortly indeed! One minute until the formation lap...
Fair to say the coverage of it on TV was not that extensive...
Hamilton takes a knee ahead of the race. Joined by 11 of his fellow drivers. #StyrianGP— Philip Duncan (@PhilDuncanF1) July 12, 2020
Some of the same drivers who did not take a knee last week do the same this week.
What is Red Bull's true pace?
We didn't find out last weekend due to Verstappen's retirement after 11 laps. He seemed to be able to keep up with Bottas fairly well until that point and was on the more favourable strategy, arguably. Hopefully he can keep going for at least a bit longer and take the fight to Mercedes. Wouldn't rule out him leading off the line, either.
And what about Alex Albon? He was quite far adrift of Verstappen in qualifying again and didn't really have great race pace last week. He could do with a good weekend here after last week's DNF.
Will Mercedes need to stay off the kerbs again this week?
They had reliability issues — in the form of gearbox sensors — in last week's race which we were told were "critical". Both drivers were ordered to stay off the kerbs. Team principal Toto Wolff says the issue could appear again this week. He spoke to F1.com and had this to say.
“It’s about constant massacring the suspension that is something that will cause us a headache, so once we have settled in our positions, then we will be trying to avoid the kerbs. It’s a very Austria-specific topic.”
I can't see them worrying about it until it becomes a problem. Race first and then worry about it later. And they will probably have the pace without ragging their cars on the kerbs anyway.
Hamilton's pole lap in full — video
Worth a watch.
35 minutes until lights out. No last-minute protests this week...
Hopes for Bottas today?
He starts in P4 but with Hamilton and Verstappen ahead of him, would third be a terrible result? I think he'd be happy with second to Hamilton today. Hamilton looked to have the quicker pace in the race last week and Bottas has a 13-point lead. If he can keep that going into the next round then it won't be terrible. Ideally, for him, he'd like to extend it, obviously.
Driver standings after R1
Would be interesting if the split wasn't the same as last week
Hearing some drivers set to kneel before national anthem. As with last week, likely to be a split. ‘End Racism’ T-shirts to be worn. #StyrianGP— Philip Duncan (@PhilDuncanF1) July 12, 2020
A word for George Russell yesterday
He qualified in P12 and was only a tenth of a second away from getting through to Q3. That was Williams' best qualifying performance since the end of 2018! With grid penalties he will begin 11th. What chance of some points? If this week is like last week then there's a hope. Mind you, he retired last week so...
How qualifying unfolded
That final lap from Hamilton, though...
Final times from qualifying
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 19.273secs
- Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:20.489
- Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:20.671
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:20.701
- Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:20.922
- Lando Norris* (Gbr) McLaren 1:20.925
- Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:20.011
- Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:21.028
- Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:21.192
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.651
- Charles Leclerc* (Mon) Ferrari 1:19.628
- George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:19.636
- Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:19.645
- Daniil Kyvat (Rus) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:19.717
- Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:20.211
- Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:21.372
- Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:21.607
- Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:21.759
- Antonio Giovinazzi& (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:21.831
- Romain Grosjean% (Fra) Haas F1 No Time
*Three-place grid penalty
%Pit-lane start due to breaking parc ferme rules
&Five-place grid penalty due to unscheduled gearbox change
Good afternoon F1 fans
And welcome to our coverage for the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. It is essentially a repeat of last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix — run at the same track — with a different name. But with no F1 for seven months, is anyone really that bothered about two grands prix at the same track within a week of one another? I can't say I am.
For those of you who saw yesterday's wet and wild qualifying session and are wondering about the forecast for the race today, then I am here to disappoint you if you wanted more rain. It's going to be fine, with highs of around 20C and no possibility of rain. Mind you, we had a dry race last week and that was fairly dramatic, so fingers crossed for a repeat of that.
With plenty of rain around, it really was a testament to the organisers and the drivers that they managed to get the entire session completed with barely a hitch and only a 45 minute delay. So well done to them. In the end, Lewis Hamilton proved his prowess in the wet (again) by setting a time that was 1.2 seconds quicker than anyone else, including 1.5 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas. It was a truly astonishing lap to watch, as the weather got worse, Hamilton got quicker. The only man who looked like he might be able to stop him was Max Verstappen, who spun on his last quick lap. The Dutchman will start second for Red Bull.
Carlos Sainz had his career-best qualifying in his McLaren, mastering the conditions to finish third ahead of Bottas. Esteban Ocon, too, deserves some praise for his fifth place for Renault. There were plenty of drivers and teams who will be disappointed, notably Racing Point, who looked rapid in Friday practice. Sergio Perez could not make it out of Q1 and Lance Stroll was better, but qualified only 12th. Ferrari's struggles also continued, only placing 10th and 11th. In the wet or the dry, that car looks slow. Worse news for them, too, is that Charles Leclerc picked up a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat in qualifying and will start 14th.
With the wet session yesterday it means that every driver gets a free starting tyre choice. That means we could see divergent strategies or that, perhaps more realistically, the majority of drivers and teams know the optimal strategy (softs for 20-30 laps, mediums for the rest) and will choose that. Fingers crossed for something a bit different.
As ever, I'll be here for all the build-up to the Styrian Grand Prix, the live updates from 2.10pm and the reaction. Can't wait.