Melbourne: Lewis Hamilton crashed with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in a wild final lap on Sunday as he claimed a dramatic victory in a pulsating Austrian Grand Prix.
The defending two-time world champion, who started from pole position, attacked the championship leader who defended hard at Turn Two where the pair collided. Rosberg forced Hamilton off the track, but the Briton rejoined, the pair touching briefly again, and pulled clear to win. Behind him, Rosberg suffered a damaged front wing and dropped back to finish fourth.
The collision concluded a titanic contest between the two Mercedes men after an incident-packed race. Dutch teenager Max Verstappen claimed his second career podium finishing second for Red Bull ahead of third placed Finn Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari. Rosberg was fourth ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull, Briton Jenson Button of McLaren Honda, Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Haas and Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso.
Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams was ninth ahead of German Pascal Wehrlein, who claimed a fine final point for Manor. The stewards announced an inquiry into Rosberg’s part in the final lap collision after the race as Hamilton was jeered by some of the crowd as he stood on the podium.
“I was on the outside,” said Hamilton, on team radio. “It wasn’t me that crashed.”
Hamilton’s win ended Rosberg’s hopes of a third consecutive victory and cut the German’s lead in the title race from 24 points to 11 ahead of next weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.