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Valtteri Bottas opens up F1 title race but start in Austria raises questions

The Finn ensures a three-way battle is on; more frustration as drivers suffer because of technical failures and Sebastian Vettel is on a final warning

Valtteri Bottas’s second win, achieved just like his first, pressured to the end by Sebastian Vettel was another fine drive. Lewis Hamilton acknowledged it as such and that his Mercedes team-mate was categorically a challenger for the world championship. He is 15 points behind Hamilton, who in turn is 20 behind Vettel. Bottas has been viewed as an outlier at best for the title until this win and while he may yet to be able to match either of his rivals for pace, that alone may not decide the championship. Hamilton pointed out on Sunday that Bottas has already suffered one DNF this season – perhaps then he has taken his hit early, something Hamilton and Vettel have still to come. “You go on to the next race and something bad happens or you have a DNF, which is inevitable for many of us,” Hamilton warned. “I’m sure Sebastian will have something. I’m sure Kimi will eventually. Something may happen on my side also as I have not had it yet. Generally you get one a year.” Bottas was third in Barcelona when he suffered a turbo failure on his Mercedes, an unusual event in itself, which he might consider very much counts as his allocation of bad luck for the season well and truly used up. A 25-point swing in his favour could make that 35-point spread diminish in no short order.

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