Verstappen makes it 5 from 5 with F1 Austrian GP win

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Max Verstappen took a convincing win in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix to continue his dominance of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Starting from pole position, Verstappen held off the threat from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on the opening lap, and as he has been so often this year, was never truly threatened as he scored his fifth consecutive win and his seventh in nine races this year.

Despite losing the lead to Leclerc for several laps after electing not to pit under a Virtual Safety Car period, Verstappen always seemed confident enough that he would have enough pace to retake the lead, and so it proved.

By the end, the Dutchman had enough time in hand to make an extra pit stop without losing his lead, taking on a new set of soft tires and setting the fastest lap on the race's final tour.

"Most important for me was lap one to stay in front. After that we could do our own race. Our stints were perfect and I enjoyed it a lot," said Verstappen, who had also had a lights-to-flag win in Saturday's S event.

"I don't like to think about [the title] yet. I'm just enjoying the moment driving this car and working with this team. The S weekend is always hectic and a lot of things can go wrong but luckily a lot of things went right — I'm just very happy with this weekend and we'll focus again on Silverstone."

Behind Verstappen, Leclerc finished second for his and Ferrari's best result of the season so far, with the Monegasque leading the race for several laps after pitting under the VSC.

Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez went some way to arresting his poor run of recent form with third place, with the Mexican putting in a fine recovery drive after having started only 15th following the deletion of several lap times during qualifying.

Carlos Sainz finished fourth in the second Ferrari, ahead of Lando Norris in an excellent fifth place for his and McLaren's best finish of the year to date.

Fernando Alonso took sixth for Aston Martin, ahead of the twin Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Pierre Gasly finished ninth in his Alpine, with Alonso's teammate Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10.

The only driver to fail to see the chequered flag was Haas' Nico Hulkenberg, who pulled off with engine trouble on Lap 14, prompting the deployment of the Virtual Safety Car.

Verstappen's win extends his lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship to 229 points. Perez is second on 148, with Alonso third on 129.

In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull has won every round of the season so far and has 377 points. Mercedes is a long way behind in second place with 178 points, with Aston Martin third on 172.

The 10th round of the 2023 F1 season is next weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

  •  Verstappen
  •  Austrian GP


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