Hamilton dominates Austria race


    SPIELBERG, Austria. — Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton dominated the Styrian Grand Prix in a Mercedes one-two on Sunday to celebrate his 85th Formula One win and move a step closer to Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 victories.

    Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas, winner of last weekend’s season-opener that was also held without spectators at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, finished 13.719 seconds behind with his championship lead cut to six points.

    Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completed the podium, more than half a minute behind Hamilton, on a sunny afternoon at his team’s home track.

    Hamilton’s victory, something of a cruise past the empty grandstands, was his first since Abu Dhabi in November and extended his record run of successive points finishes to 35 races.

    “What a weird year it is, but it’s great to be back up here, to be driving with this kind of performance,” said Hamilton, who started from his 89th pole position after a sensational lap in a rain-drenched qualifying and remained in complete control.

    “I’m so grateful to be back in first place. It feels like a long time coming since the last race last year, and to come back in after a difficult weekend last week is a great, great step forwards.”

    Sunday’s race was the first time a circuit has hosted two back-to-back rounds in the same championship year, with the original calendar ripped up and rewritten due to the COVID-19 pandemic.