Lining up seventh and twelfth on the grid respectively, Max moved up one place to sixth on the opening lap having passed Bottas, while Carlos gained three places with a blinding start which took him up to ninth spot.
The positions remained unchanged for a few laps behind the Safety Car after the very frightening, but thankfully harmless accident involving Alonso and Raikkonen and then on lap 15, Verstappen was unable to hold off Bottas’ Williams and he dropped to seventh, until making his pit stop on lap 26. The cool conditions meant a one stop was the only logical strategy choice today. Carlos had pitted one lap earlier but unfortunately that’s where his bad luck started, losing some valuable time while in the pit-lane and then having to retire only a few laps later due to a technical problem.
As for Max, you can’t see the drivers’ faces in their full-face helmets, but just from watching the way he was throwing his STR10 around, you could tell he was having a ball, dicing with those around him. Seventh looked on the cards, but a slight delay scuppered that hope. In the end, in one of the most exciting battles of the closing stages, Maldonado just managed to get his Lotus ahead on the penultimate lap. But it was a good day for Max, who proved our update package has delivered more performance and the Dutchman was delighted to get on the scoreboard for the first time since Malaysia.
No one could challenge Mercedes and, once Nico Rosberg got the best start from second of the grid, he was pushed hard by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but the German took the win, his second here in Austria. Third was Felipe Massa for Williams, who snatched the final place on the podium after Sebastian Vettel had a slow pit stop in the Ferrari.
Our post-race pack up is less frantic than usual tonight, as we are staying on at the Red Bull Ring for two days of testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, although current weather forecasts suggest the main item on the agenda for the first day could be rain tyres! After that, it’s on to Silverstone for round 9, the British Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.