Formula 1: Verstappen wins Austrian GP; Mercedes’ duo deny Hamilton podium finish

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Lewis Hamilton has started the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday from the fourth position. He ended up fourth. Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen started from the pole position and remained ahead of the field to win his third successive victory.

Verstappen has established a clear 32-point lead over Hamilton in the title race. He was accompanied on the podium by fellow Mercedes’ driver Valtteri Bottas, with McLaren Lando Norris in the third pedestal.

It was Verstappen’s fifth win of the season. Hamilton has only three. He  dropped down from second place to fourth late on after going too wide on a turn and rolling over a kerb, damaging one of his tires.

Hamilton has not won since the Spanish GP two months ago, a dismal streak of five races for the defending champion seeking a record eighth F1 title. All of those have gone to Red Bull, with Sergio Perez taking the other.

This was another crushing success for Verstappen on at the Red Bull ring, his team’s home track and with thousands of his orange-shirted fans cheering on his 15th career win. He also won here last weekend at the Styrian GP.

Verstappen clinched his third straight pole on Saturday and got away cleanly again for another lights-to-flag win, the way Hamilton has so often done.

A great day for him and his adoring fans was completed by a bonus point for the fastest lap.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s wait for a 99th F1 win continues and he will hope for a change of fortune at the British GP in Silverstone in two weeks’ time.