Max Verstappen won Red Bull’s home Austrian Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton suffered his first race retirement since in two years to lose the Formula One championship lead to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The victory was the 20-year-old Dutch driver’s first of the season, fourth of his career, and came in front of an army of orange-shirted fans packing the grandstands and then flooding onto the track at the finish.
Kimi Raikkonen was a close second, with team mate Vettel third to claw back the overall lead by a single point from Hamilton, their Mercedes rival whose record run of 33 successive scoring finishes came to an end.
“It was amazing, very hard to manage the tyres, lot of blistering, but we managed to hang on,” said Verstappen.
“It was amazing to win at the Red Bull Ring with so many Dutch fans here.
“I needed to catch up with the points, today was a very good day for me, and I hope we can continue like this.”
Vettel, who started sixth after collecting a three place grid penalty, now has 146 points to Hamilton’s 145 after nine rounds and with the Briton’s home race at Silverstone next weekend.
Verstappen took the lead after Mercedes kept Hamilton out during a virtual safety car period that followed Bottas’s retirement on lap 14, with all the others behind the Briton pitting for fresh tyres.
Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles came on the radio as the bearer of bad news, admitting his error as Hamilton struggled to comprehend what had happened.
“I’m fourth now,” exclaimed the driver.
“I’m not going to be able to pass anyone. We have thrown away the win,” Hamilton added a while later.
“This is James, I have thrown away the win today,” replied Vowles. “Passing is possible. I’m sorry.”
New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley did not finish the race, clawing his way from the back of the field into 11th before a gearbox failure forced him to retire with 14 laps remaining.
“We made a few changes to the aero balance compared to qualifying so I felt much better with the car today. In the first part of the race I seemed to struggle compared to the Saubers around me, but as the tyres got older, the car came alive and was getting stronger.
“Initially I thought it was a puncture because I could feel something moving on the rear…and hopefully (we’ll) come back stronger next week in Silverstone,” he said.