Austrian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen wins sprint to extend title lead

Verstappen pushed Leclerc towards the pit wall, and their fight gave Sainz an opportunity to challenge his team-mate into Turn One and again at Turn Three on the first lap. Verstappen took advantage of the scrap between the Ferraris and was two seconds clear by the end of the third lap, as Leclerc fought to hold off Sainz. Once he was more than a second clear of Sainz, he lapped consistently more quickly and set his sights on trying to close down Verstappen. Sainz was hampered, he said, because he had overheated his tyres behind Leclerc. Leclerc, who finished just 1.6 seconds behind Verstappen, told his team over the radio afterwards: “We are quick. Encouragingly for Mercedes, though, Russell lost only 1.5 seconds to Perez in the 10 laps to the end once the Red Bull moved clear of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine into fifth place behind the Briton. Hamilton finally passed Schumacher with two laps to go to take a solitary championship point.

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