Formula 1: Bottas of Mercedes Wins the first GP of the Season behind Closed Doors

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, winner of the Austrian GP at Spielberg, on July 5, 2020.

Finn Valtteri Bottas of the Mercedes team won the Grand Prix opening of the F1 season, which was held without an audience in Austria on Sunday 5th July 2020.

Finn Valtteri Bottas of the Mercedes team won the Formula 1 opening season Grand Prix on Sunday 5th July 2020 in Austria, which was held behind closed doors after more than three months of delay due to the coronavirus.

Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Briton Lando Norris (McLaren), who climbs for the first time on the box, complete the podium in twists and turns race.

Penalty for Hamilton

Both benefit from the five-second penalty imposed on Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) for hanging on the Thai Alexander Albon (Red Bull) who had just passed him. The Briton, already penalized three places on the grid for an error in qualifying, had crossed the line in second position.

The fastest lap point also goes to Norris.

Hamilton, Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr (McLaren), Mexican Sergio Pérez (Racing Point), French Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Esteban Ocon (Renault), Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), hooked by Sainz during the race, complete the top 10.

This first GP of 2020, in front of empty stands, was merciless for the mechanics, with no less than nine withdrawals out of twenty single-seaters at the start (Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean, George Russell, Kimi Räikkönen, Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat).

Mercedes also feared for their gearboxes for much of the race.

Knee to the Ground Against Racism

Before the start, fourteen out of twenty pilots, and several mechanics, placed one knee on the grid as a sign of support for the fight against racism.

All the pilots were dressed in T-shirts with the words “End Racism”, except Hamilton who wore the slogan “Black Lives Matter” .

Encouraged by the British driver, the first black driver in the category, several drivers and teams, as well as F1 and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), recently took a stand against racism following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the United States in late May.

Sunday, the choice was left to the pilots to express in their own way their commitment to this fight.

Originally scheduled for March 15 in Australia, the start of the season was postponed to the beginning of July. Only eight Grands Prix appear on the provisional calendar, while the championship promoter (Formula One) wishes to program between 15 and 18, instead of 22.

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