Hamilton races to comfortable victory in Styrian Grand Prix

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Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C), second placed Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) and third placed Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrate on the podium after the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP / POOL / Joe Klamar)
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Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP / POOL / Joe Klamar)
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Updated 12 July 2020

Hamilton races to comfortable victory in Styrian Grand Prix

  • It was Hamilton's first win of the season and the 85th of his career
  • Mercedes teammate Bottas finishes second to lead Drivers Championship.

DUBAI: After the mayhem, came normality.

Exactly a week after a raucous Austrian Grand Prix had kicked off the shortened and much-delayed 2020 Formula 1 season, the Red Bull Ring saw reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton win the Styrian GP in far more familiar circumstances, with Valtteri Bottas in second and Max Verstappen in third joining him on the podium.

Not that there was an absence of drama at the start of the race.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc had retired after colliding on the third turn of the first lap, an echo of the chaos that had made last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix such an unpredictable delight.

“I apologized,” Leclerc said. “Excuses are not enough at a time like this. I am very disappointed in myself, I have done a very bad job today, I let the team down. I can only be sorry, even though I know it’s not enough. I hope I can learn from this and will come back stronger for the next races. But it’s a tough time for the team. I put all the effort of the team in the bin.”

Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton  with his trophy on the podium after winning the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on Sunday in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP)

Yet after the safety car had come and gone, the race quickly settled into a pattern seen in so many races over the last few years.

Saturday’s qualifying rounds had taken place in horrendous wet conditions, with Verstappen in particular complaining about the awful visibility. Sunday’s conditions, on the other hand, could not have been more ideal, and with that came the expected excellence from the usual quarters.

Ten laps in, and the leaderboard had a very familiar look to it. Mercedes’s Hamilton and Bottas in first and third; Red Bull’s Verstappen and Alexander Albon in second and fourth. The same quartet would claim the top four places.

With just about a third of the race gone, Albon was trailing the leader by 27 seconds. Bottas was closing in on Verstappen, while Hamilton was maintaining a five second lead. Even at the early stage, it was a question who would finish second.

Verstappen was the first to go into the pit, dropping to third, but with the other three of the top four changing into medium tires, the order was soon restored.

With 30 of the 71 laps left, an interesting subplot was developing between the drivers in fourth and fifth, with Renault’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo in McLaren closing in on Albon.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP / POOL / Joe Klamar)

Just behind them, the twin threat of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were having their own little battle. It was one won by the Spaniard who would go on to overtake Ricciardo on lap 29. 

Having started 17th on the grid, Perez was quickly becoming the standout story of the race, though there was little danger of him troubling the podium places.

With five laps left, the race exploded into life as Bottas overtook Verstappen, only for the Dutchman to retake second place and then lose it again within seconds.

Mercedes were now in one and two and with Red Bull in third and fourth. It was a race F1 fans had seen before.

Hamilton, after his disappointment of last week, crossed the finish line a comfortable 14 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Bottas, with Verstappen a further 11 seconds behind in third.

“What a fantastic job guys,” Lewis said over the radio to his team.

“Your driving wasn’t bad either,” came the reply.

Calvert-Lewin hits hat trick as Everton thrash West Brom

Updated 20 September 2020

Calvert-Lewin hits hat trick as Everton thrash West Brom

  • Rodriguez stars as Ancelotti’s side extend their perfect start to the season

LONDON: Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit a hat trick and James Rodriguez bagged his first Premier League goal as Everton crushed 10-man West Bromwich Albion 5-2 to extend their perfect start to the season on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Grady Diangana’s early goal at Goodison Park.

But Calvert-Lewin equalized and James put them ahead before West Brom imploded.

Kieran Gibbs was dismissed for pushing James in the face in first half stoppage-time.

Then Albion boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after storming onto the pitch for a furious rant at referee Mike Dean.

Matheus Pereira equalized for Albion after the interval, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead and Calvert-Lewin sealed the points with his second and third goals.

At 23, Calvert-Lewin is the youngest Englishman to score a Premier League hat trick for Everton.

After a summer spending spree, Ancelotti is under pressure to deliver a big improvement on last season’s 12th place finish and the early signs are promising.

Having beaten Tottenham in their opening game last weekend, Everton have started a Premier League season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2012-13.

Calvert-Lewin already has four goals and Colombia midfielder James, making his first home appearance since his £12 million from Real Madrid, looks a quality addition.

If West Brom are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, they will have to improve their defense rapidly after shipping eight goals in successive defeats.

Diangana put West Brom ahead in the 10th minute when he advanced from inside his own half before drilling a long-range drive past Jordan Pickford.

Calvert-Lewin equalized in the 31st minute with a back-heel from virtually on the goal line after Albion defender Darnell Furlong inadvertently headed Seamus Coleman’s cross into his path.

The goal was initially disallowed for offside before a VAR review changed the decision in Everton’s favor.

James put Everton in front in the 45th minute when he took Richarlison’s pass and lashed a fine low finish into the far corner from 20 yards.

Gibbs added to West Brom’s woes when he was sent off for lashing out at James in retaliation for a challenge by the Colombian.

Bilic lost his cool as well moments later, angrily telling Dean that his decisions could “kill” his team.

Now watching from the stands after his dismissal, Bilic saw Pereira equalize with a superb free kick in the 47th minute.

But Keane poked Everton back in front after Richarlison’s header was pushed out by Sam Johnstone in the 54th minute.

Calvert-Lewin struck again in the 62nd minute, the striker sliding in to meet Richarlison’s cross with a close-range finish.

And Calvert-Lewin’s red-hot start to the season continued four minutes later when he completed his hat trick as the ball bounced off his back into the net.