Bottas prevails in cliffhanger

Bottas prevails in cliffhanger

Mercedes driver edges past German Vettel by 0.6 seconds

Bottas prevails in cliffhanger

Valtteri Bottas won a cliffhanger Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finishing a mere 0.6 of a second behind to increase his lead over Lewis Hamilton to 20 points after nine races.

Hamilton, Bottas's team-mate, started in eighth place after a grid penalty triggered by an unscheduled gearbox change and finished fourth.

Vettel now has 171 points to Hamilton's 151. Bottas is third overall on 136.

"I had a bit of deja-vu in the end from Russia," said Bottas, referring to his first Formula One win at Sochi in April when Vettel again almost reeled him in at the finish and also crossed the line 0.6 behind. "At the beginning I could control the race but it was trickier towards the end."

Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull, at a circuit owned by the energy drink brand, for his fifth successive podium finish with Hamilton pushing him hard to the chequered flag.

The victory from pole position was the second of the season and of his career for Bottas, who joined Mercedes in January as a replacement for retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg. Apart from the closing laps the Finn's biggest scare came at the start.

Bottas reacted with split-second precision, his getaway so blindingly quick that Vettel alongside immediately questioned whether the Mercedes had jumped the lights. Stewards investigated and took no further action.

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