Charles Leclerc pitted significantly later than Verstappen, on Lap 27, and caught up to the leaders on Lap 37 to retake the lead.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc held off Max Verstappen of Red Bull to win the Austrian Grand Prix, and Lewis Hamilton completed the podium after Carlos Sainz retired. Verstappen, the champion and winner of the Sprint, pitted on Lap 12, giving the lead to Leclerc. Leclerc pitted significantly later, on Lap 27, and caught up to the leaders on Lap 37 to retake the lead. Verstappen was being challenged for P2 by Sainz, so the Dutchman pitted once more on lap 37.
On lap 51, Leclerc made his second pit stop. On lap 53, he reclaimed the lead. The Spaniard abruptly slowed down as Sainz closed in on Verstappen, the fire at the back of his Ferrari signalling the end of his race. Hamilton, who had fought his way up from P8 to P4, was now in the final podium position.
Verstappen came within 2.3 seconds of winning for the third time in a row at the Red Bull Ring, but Leclerc took the victory for the first time since Round 3 at Melbourne despite a late-race scare in which he claimed his throttle pedal was sticking, making downshifts challenging. After starting fourth, George Russell dropped to a distant fourth after losing time in his first pit stop and receiving a five-second penalty for hitting Red Bull’s Sergio Perez early on. Esteban Ocon of Alpine finished fifth after starting sixth, with Perez having quit immediately after the Russell-Perez incident.
Mick Schumacher, who passed both Kevin Magnussen of Haas in P8 and Lando Norris of McLaren in P7 after serving a five-second time penalty for breaching track restrictions, was named the fans’ Driver of the Day. In P9, Daniel Ricciardo gave McLaren a two-point finish, with both of the team’s drivers enjoying increased speed thanks to their medium-hard-hard strategy.
After having to pit three times due to a possibly hazardous release, Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 from last on the grid for Alpine. He had to come in twice during the Virtual Safety Car brought on by Sainz’s retirement. Starting from the pit lane, Alex Albon, a Williams driver who finished 12th after starting 15th, lost ground to Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, who advanced to P11.
Lance Stroll of Aston Martin was next in line, finishing 13th, and Zhou Guanyu of Alfa Romeo was right behind him in P14. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda struggled and placed 15th and 16th, respectively. However, Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin fell to 17th after a collision with Gasly for which the Frenchman was fined due to damage sustained early on.