A start timed to perfection and a momentous win in Austria for Bottas.

The Austrian Grand Prix kicked off with a thrilling and rather frenetic start at the Red Bull Ring in the picturesque city of Spielberg yesterday with a real tussle for the top positions. Set against a stunning backdrop of Styrian mountains and dense woodland, race nine of the championship so far saw Valtteri Bottas starting in pole on the grid alongside Sebastien Vettel in his Ferrari in second. Bottas made a lightning speed start and shot out of the grid to go steaming ahead and was immediately surrounded by an onslaught of jump-start controversy. Indeed, a raging Vettel blamed Bottas for an 'un-human' start and demanded that the stewards carry out a thorough investigation. "From my point of view, he jumped the start - I was sure that he did", said Vettel post-race. However, we did not have to wait too long until the FIA governing body declared the Finn's start as entirely legal and that his perfect start was well within the tolerances allowed.

Indeed, Bottas dominated the race from start to finish and held off a charging Vettel, particularly during the closing few laps. With the second win of his F1 career safely under his belt, no-one could deny that the Finn had performed outstandingly well under pressure and displayed immaculate driving skills throughout the weekend making him a truly deserving winner. When interviewed about his controversial start, he said "I think that was the start of my life, I was really on it today. When the car was moving, the lights were off....that is the main thing". Now within touching distance of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, Bottas has shaken up the leader board and is certainly now in contention for the championship.

After a disappointing result in Baku a few weeks ago when he had suffered severe headrest problems after being hit by Vettel, Lewis Hamilton would have been far from amused with his pre-race grid penalty yesterday for an unauthorised gearbox change that placed him in eighth position. With brake-disc failure on his Mercedes car in qualifying on Saturday he was simply unable to chase down the leading pack out on the track and finished the race in fourth, climbing up four places from pole but narrowly missing out on a podium place. Perhaps now wishing he could erase the last two disappointing races, a glimmer of hope was offered to him in Austria with the news that he had actually received the honours for the fastest lap time and had set a new lap record. There is now a sizeable gap of twenty points on the leaders board between himself and his arch-rival Sebastien Vettel and Hamilton has much work to do in front of his home crowd in Silverstone next weekend.

Many of the drivers became early casualties of the seventy-one laps set across 190 miles at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday. The Dutch teenager Max Verstappen had a terrible start and was unfortunately out before the first corner much to the dismay of his sea of orange clad fans willing him on in the crowd. Having just overtaken his Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso hit the back of Fernando Alonso's car after not braking quickly enough on the approach to Turn One which in turn sent Alonso smashing in to Verstappen. Alonso had started in thirteenth on the grid and looked to have a fantastic start but it was not long before he was sent flying in to the gravel and the damage sustained to his car was too great for him to continue. With the finish line almost in sight and a points finish looking highly likely, Kevin Magnussen was forced to retire in his Haas after his cars hydraulics failed and his steering had completely gone. Similarly, Carlos Sainz of Red Bull sadly experienced issues with his car and was also unable to finish.

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull showed off his honed driving talents yet again and finished a very respectful third on the podium, his fifth consecutive podium in a row and with only six seconds between him and the race winner, there is clear proof that he is more than capable of challenging for the championship. Kimi Raikkonen also drove an impressive and steady race finishing in fifth place in his Ferrari just ahead of Grosjean in sixth and the two Force India drivers Perez and Ocon in seventh and eighth. Felipe Massa and the rookie Lance Stroll just managed to finish in the points in ninth and tenth place.

A giant and foreboding statue of a red bull takes centre stage in the middle of the Red Bull circuit in Spielberg perhaps serving as a reminder of the unpredictable wildlife that have been known to wander on to the track in days gone by. Fortunately there were no mishaps with local wildlife to report during the last weekend of racing in Austria but way back in 1987 when the Austrian Grand Prix was held at the classic Osterreichring, the Swedish driver Stefan Johansson had experienced a terrifying confrontation with a deer whilst travelling at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour. Thankfully Johansson was uninjured but the deer was killed on impact and damaged the entire left-hand side of his McLaren car.

Bottas is now only fifteen points behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton and will be hot on his heels at Silverstone when the prestigious British Grand Prix takes place next Sunday. With the tension and rivalry ever-growing between the Ferrari and Mercedes teams and their two top drivers Vettel and Hamilton, the build up to race number ten on the Formula One calendar will be a fascinating one. Undoubtedly Hamilton knows and loves his home turf circuit so well and after a win on the infamous British track last year will be going 'all out' to impress and restore his fan's faith. With an extension to a four day weekend at Silverstone to include track action on Thursday as well as the usual Friday through to Sunday, we eagerly await what promises to be an enthralling extravaganza of motor racing at it's best.