But in the end Leclerc was not quite an immovable force as Verstappen was an unstoppable object and the Ferrari man’s defending came up short on lap 69.
Mercedes had marked out the Austrian Grand Prix as a challenging venue and the high temperatures expected at the Red Bull Ring accentuated its cooling concerns.
Cooler conditions and a more suitable track layout should help Mercedes in Britain, but it can get quite hot in Germany and Hungary… Haas has endured a miserable season, with half of its points coming in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and just a positive run in Spain to count since then.
Red Bull took a punt on Ticktum at the back end of 2016, when the British youngster was undoubtedly damaged goods in the wake of his deliberate collision with a rival under Safety Car conditions in MSA Formula.
Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto said he was “ashamed” that Formula 1 had not reverted to its 2018 approach, but McLaren boss Andrea Seidl, perhaps because he has not spent too much time immersed in the Formula 1 bubble, was the voice of logic.
Liberty Media has been keen to introduce new initiatives at grands prix for fans and the Austrian Grand Prix was the first of six events at which the Bond in Motion exhibition will be present this year.
As it has been for the last few years the Austrian Grand Prix was more akin to a Dutch Grand Prix, given the sea of orange present courtesy of the plethora of Max Verstappen fans that passed through the gate (no