Max Verstappen tightened his grip on the Formula One driver standings as he cruised to victory in the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday with his closest challenger Lewis Hamilton a distant second. The Dutchman started from pole in his Red Bull and led throughout to finish more than 35 seconds head of British reigning champion Hamilton in his Mercedes. Finn Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, chased home by the second Red Bull of Mexican Sergio Perez.
Verstappen led from start to finish for the third time this season as he increased his lead over Hamilton to 18 points while Red Bull, sponsored by an Austrian company, increased their lead in the constructor’s championship.
“Unbelievable. The car was on fire," Verstappen on team radio at the finish. “Another win at home feels really good."
“It’s looking really good." he said after climbing out of his car. “We just have to keep pushing really hard and I’m confident we can do a really good job again."
Hamilton spent much of the race expressing frustration on his inability to cut into Verstappen’s lead as once again Mercedes was not quite as quick as Red Bull, although he did pick up a bonus point for the fastest lap time.
“It was a bit of a lonely race really," Hamilton said. “I was trying to keep up with those guys but, the speed they have - they’ve obviously made some big improvements. Impossible to keep up."
“They continue to keep pulling out those laps - and on the straights we lose a lot. Nonetheless, we got good points as a team today and we’ve just got to keep pushing."
Briton Lando Norris was fifth for McLaren.
Carlos Sainz was sixth for Ferrari. Monegasque Charles Leclerc clawed his way through the field after having to pit after wrecking his Ferrari car in a lap-one crash to finish seventh.