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Mercedes' Bottas wins season-opening GP in Austria

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Finland's Valtteri Bottas drove his Mercedes to victory in the coronavirus-delayed season-opening Formula One Grand Prix in Austria on Sunday.

[SPIELBERG] Finland's Valtteri Bottas drove his Mercedes to victory in the coronavirus-delayed season-opening Formula One Grand Prix in Austria on Sunday.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was second in an action-packed race, which started after 14 of the 20 drivers took a knee on the grid in an anti-racism statement.

Lando Norris, in a McLaren, secured a first-ever podium finish in third, ahead of world champion and fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes.

Hamilton received a three-place grid penalty at the start and then a five-second penalty in the race.

"Lewis was really quick today but I managed to keep it together. No better way to start the season," said Bottas of a race held behind closed doors.

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Leclerc, one of six drivers who opted not to take a knee on the grid, had started in seventh place.

"It's a huge surprise, but a good one. I think we did everything perfect today - we had a bit of luck, but it's part of the race too. That was the goal, to take every opportunity," he said.

Norris was overjoyed at his finish, coming on the back of a fourth best time in qualifying.

"I'm speechless. There were a few points where I thought I'd fudged it up a bit... but I managed to get past Perez and end up on the podium!

"I'm so happy and so proud of the team."

AFP

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