Russell roars home after Verstappen and Norris collide

Mercedes driver George Russell was handed Austrian Grand Prix victory after leading duo Max Verstappen and Lando Norris clashed wheels and flew out of contention.

Britain's Russell stayed out of trouble behind them and glided by for his second F1 triumph after winning in Brazil in 2022.

Triple world champion and standings leader Verstappen had looked poised for an easy victory on his Red Bull team's home track after winning the sprint race and topping qualifying on Saturday.

But a slow second pit-stop allowed Norris to close up behind him and on a third attempt to pass the Dutchman, their wheels touched.

Norris had to retire while Verstappen limped home fifth, despite being handed a 10-second penalty for causing the collision with Norris. McLaren's Australian driver Oscar Piastri was second and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz third.

"Yabba, Dabba Do!" said Russell over the radio after snatching Mercedes' first win in 36 grands prix. "It's not over until it's over."

It looked like it would be a mere procession for Verstappen, chasing a third win in a row this season and a fifth victory at Spielberg.

He had sped away from the pack from pole, with all drivers managing the first lap without any major incidents.

The first drama came in the first pit-stops where Verstappen's car almost hit Norris as he boxed but the Dutchman avoided a penalty for unsafe release.

Max Verstappen
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was criticised by rival Lando Norris after a pit-stop incident. (EPA PHOTO)

Norris said on the radio: "He launched right at me. He launched straight into me. I couldn't turn right to the box."

When they both boxed a second time, Red Bull's mechanics were uncharacteristically slow but Verstappen still re-entered the race just in front.

Norris was on his tail though and the Briton tried to pass, only to complain that Verstappen had blocked his racing line. Norris then did overtake but immediately gave Verstappen the place back after exceeding track limits.

It set up an exciting last 10 laps, with Norris getting past again but appearing to force Verstappen off the track, with the champion somehow emerging ahead.

The next attempt on lap 64 of 71 saw both cars clash and Verstappen's tyre blew, knocking him down the pack. Norris was then given a 5-second penalty for leaving the track too often but damage to his car was too much anyway and his race was over.

The Dutch fans could at least celebrate Verstappen nudging 81 points ahead of second-placed Norris in the overall standings

The 26-year-old Verstappen has been slightly less dominant this season, now missing out in four races already compared to the three he did not win in the whole campaign of 22 grands prix last season. But he is still on course for a fourth straight world title in this record season with 24 races.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc also had a difficult afternoon, having to pit for a new front wing and coming home 11th, two places behind Australia's under-pressure RB driver, Daniel Ricciardo, who had started his 250th F1 race ninth on the grid.