The hammer is Verstappen

The Dutchman wins at Red Bull's home with Hamilton second. Sainz goes back from 12th to sixth and Alonso finishes ninth.

The-hammer-is-Verstappen

It looks like Verstappen won a race in Austria and Hamilton came second, but it's actually about much more than that. He lost English, on each lap, for 71 steps across the finish line. He saw the seven-time champion how the gap against Red Bull grew and grew, from the tenths to the four seconds he defended before the pit stops. Then, beyond ten, the tires were changed once, 35 on the finish line due to the Englishman's double stop. Sir Lewis did his best with a great car, the Mercedes, but he was at a huge distance from the driver and the car of the moment. 'Mad Max' conquered the Styrian GP and hit the World Championship. Not because of the difference in points, they are 18 and there is a very long season left, but because of the feeling of unbeaten that the lion awakens.

It came out easy, from pole, he defended himself at the first vertex and dedicated himself to flying. He raced alone the entire race, barely having to worry about turning down from fifth without scares. Hamilton stopped on lap 28 at a considerable distance from Max, and he on 29. The 'undercut' was impossible. In addition, it did not rain nor should the safety car appear throughout the hour and a half of the race, so it was a placid Sunday for Verstappen and perhaps the most comfortable victory of the 14 that he accumulates in his showcase. More will come, the next one may come this Sunday at the Austrian GP. At the Red Bull Ring, the home circuit. Someone is about to hit the World Cup.

Hamilton and Bottas completed the podium. The third place should have gone to Checo Pérez, but a horrible stop by the team that makes them better made him lose his position in the pit lane to the Finn and he finished fourth. It is a good booty for Valtteri, who did not go up to the drawer from Barcelona. But the faces at Mercedes are long because after narrowing down the flex flaps and checking tire pressures, the RB16B is still there, up front, giving them the biggest headache since they became the greatest team of all time.Exhibition against Carlos Sainz's stopwatch

For the rest of the grid, it was a moved grand prize. At the start, Gasly and Leclerc touched (Alonso, who started eighth, was fighting with them at that time) and the Frenchman left. The Monegasque had to change tires on the first lap due to a puncture. Norris went ahead and Sainz, who started 12th, needed eight laps to reach points positions when Ricciardo lost several spots in no time. Alonso settled seventh.

The Madrilenian could choose a tire for the start and rode the middle, when his rivals in the race (of the top-10) had come out with soft. That allowed him to extend his first 'stint' when the rest had already stopped to change the tires, but few imagined that he would hold out with the same game until lap 41! More than half a race rolling loaded with gasoline with Pirellis of medium hardness.

As soon as Sainz ran out of traffic, he flew back and got what was his a week ago, at Paul Ricard. Then he started fifth and finished eleventh, without points, because the tires disappeared. This time he started 12th and finished sixth, only behind Norris among those who do not drive a winning car, and he would have caught him had it not been for the fact that he was locked up by Hamilton, of whom he became unfolded. It 'helped' that Leclerc got off the hook due to the incident at the start and should run under other circumstances, because the wall suddenly 'uncomplexed' and he had to find an intelligent strategy with the first of his cars. The play went well for them, because the Ferraris ended up flying and Leclerc signed a great comeback, seventh, with brilliant overtakings to Raikkonen or Vettel. When you think with two cars at the same time, you are able to score many more points than McLaren.

Alonso fought all afternoon on the most difficult train, the one that closes the top-10, and finished ninth behind Stroll, but ahead of a tough Tsunoda. A worthy Russell ran out of points, who fought for them with Williams for half the race. A bad stop took him off the hook, and then he had to abandon due to mechanical failure. In seven days he can retaliate on the same stage, albeit with 100,000 fans in the stands. The locals will drink energy drinks, the Dutch will prefer beer, but everyone will want Verstappen to win again. And they may go home happy.

Photos from as.com

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