Russell wins Austrian Grand Prix after late Verstappen-Norris collision

The Mercedes driver capitalised on Max Verstappen’s and Lando Norris’s lap-64 crash to claim an unlikely victory.

Drivers on podium.
Winner George Russell, British driver for Mercedes, is sprayed with champagne by third-placed Ferrari's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz after the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix motorsports race [Jure Makovec/AFP]

George Russell has won the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes after Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris collided late in the race while fighting for the lead.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished second with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz third at Spielberg, Austria’s Red Bull Ring on Sunday.

The gifted win was a first for Mercedes since November 2022, when Russell triumphed in Brazil, and the second of the Briton’s career.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” declared the jubilant winner after taking the chequered flag in a race that stored up its excitement until the last 20 laps, when the battle between Verstappen and Norris boiled over.

A slow 6.5-second pit stop for Verstappen during lap 52 brought Norris right back into range and the ensuing duel saw the McLaren car enjoying a drag reduction benefit as Norris tried to overtake.

“The team have done an amazing job to put us in this fight. You’ve got to be there at the end to pick up the pieces and that’s where we were,” Russell said before stepping up to the top of the podium.

“We were only about 12 seconds behind and I knew it [the collision] was a possibility. You are always dreaming.”

Russell had started third, with Verstappen on pole and Norris alongside on the front row, but the win was handed to him after 64 of the 71 laps.

Both frontrunners suffered punctures, Norris limping back to the pits and retiring while Verstappen rejoined and finished fifth behind Mercedes’s seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Drivers on track.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (front) drives ahead of McLaren’s British driver Lando Norris during the Austrian Grand Prix. The drivers collided during lap 64 of the 71-lap race, gifting the victory to Mercedes’s George Russell [Joe Klamar/AFP]

Stewards handed the Dutch driver a 10-second penalty for causing the collision, but that made no difference to Verstappen’s result and he increased his championship advantage to 81 points over Norris.

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Haas, a major boost for that team, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez seventh and Kevin Magnussen eighth for Haas.

Daniel Ricciardo gave RB two points in ninth and Pierre Gasly took the final point for Renault-owned Alpine.

Source: News Agencies