Valtteri Bottas wins Austria Grand Prix in first post-covid race

This is the Espoo driver's 8th career win on the Formula 1 circuit.

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File picture of Valtteri Bottas at Austria Grand Prix, Sunday 5th July 2020 / Credit: Mercedes-AMG F1

The Formula One season got into gear again on Sunday, with the first race of the re-arranged schedule taking place in Austria.

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas claimed the top podium spot, adding to his wins last season in USA, Australia, Azerbaijan and Japan. This was his eighth win overall.

The race saw a number of incidents on the track including the safety cars on the track and a collision between reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Alex Albon which cost Hamilton a five second penalty and he ended up in fourth place.

“That was definitely quite a bit of pressure. One safety car was still OK, with the last one I was like ‘come on’ – there were so many chances for Lewis to come through if made a small mistake” Espoo driver Bottas told reporters after the race.

“I managed to keep it together and control the race from my side and it’s a good start to the season” he said.

Before the start of the Grand Prix 14 of the drivers, including Bottas, took a knee on the starting grid, most wearing ‘End Racism’ t-shirts. Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, wore a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt.

Six drivers, including Finn Kimi Käikkönen chose to stand instead of kneeling.

The kneeling protest gained popularity among sportsmen and women after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the US national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice.

The next F1 race in a re-arranged season takes place next weekend, also in Austria.