Formula One: Austria review – big European race made better by fierce rivalry

*What: Red Bull’s third victory of the year. *Where: Hockenheim, Germany. *Why: Hockenheim is the headquarters of the sport’s oldest F1 team and home to its most powerful and wealthy shareholder. This makes the German Grand Prix the ideal staging post for Red Bull to cause a surprise. Mercedes have struggled after the unexpected loss of their driver, Valtteri Bottas, to Mercedes, and Mercedes drivers have now won every race this year. Max Verstappen did his best to keep up, but eventually was caught up in a late-race crash with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and will now switch to the sports car world championship next year.

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3 points from the Rosberg win

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia takes victory for Red Bull during the German Grand Prix. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images

Michael Schumacher became the first driver to score more than 100 points from 16 races in 1998. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel only needed a 10th place in Sunday’s race to take an outright lead, although the gap should be enough to stop him from being caught.

3 points from the Rosberg win

Sebastian Vettel of Germany wins the German Grand Prix. Photograph: Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

Rosberg was frustrated that the German Grand Prix’s small flat track was allowed to exist in the first place. Formula One introduced 12-bangers instead of street-legal track-retro cars in 1998 and encouraged small cars that were easier to race, which meant no space for a Mercedes-powered car to wheeler-deal. It has also meant that tyre manufacturers have not had to develop longer-lasting compounds because drivers could reset the tyres afterwards. Rosberg has been critical of the small-footprint layout ever since.

1 point from the Rosberg win

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia crosses the line for the first win of his Formula One career. Photograph: Kuiper Berg/Getty Images

“I did not think this would be the year that Renault would have that third championship – but here we are!”

Vettel out-qualified Bottas and was still in second when Bottas left the garage for the start-finish straight. Red Bull’s boss, Christian Horner, believes the car’s design has a relatively long run to make its mark on the championship.

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