Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen returned to Red Bull's home track in Spielberg to claim another dominant victory AFP / JOE KLAMAR

The Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday ended in yet another dominant victory for home hero Max Verstappen. The sea of orange in the stands celebrated the Red Bull driver's victory, but the results of the race were tainted significantly after the FIA handed out a complete deluge of penalties both during and after the race.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez joined him on the podium, and it turns out that they were perhaps the only three drivers who were not affected by a slew of retroactive time penalties.

Aston Martin's protest leads to a Pandora's Box

The race itself saw several drivers being shown black and white flags, with five-second penalties following shortly afterwards. However, Aston Martin did not think that the stewards were able to properly able to keep track of all breaches of track limits. The track has been notorious all weekend for catching drivers with all four wheels outside the white line particularly on turns 9 and 10.

Drivers were constantly being warned by their engineers over the team radio, and the frustration was evident as nearly half the grid received penalties during the race. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in particular, had to be reeled in by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff after he let loose on the radio about his frustrations.

Several other drivers started complaining about the cars in front of them, particularly after seeing their competitors going off the track in front of them.

Following the conclusion of the race, the FIA admitted that there were over a thousand violations reported that were not reviewed properly. Over the course of the 71-lap race, even though many drivers were already penalised, those were only a fraction of the actual infringements.

The stewards had their work cut out for them

Due to the number of complaints and the sheer volume of breaches, the race stewards had to find a way to review and hand out penalties as fairly as possible. As a result, they had to review a list of deleted lap times per driver, in order to determine how many times each individual exceeded track limits.

After a thorough review, the stewards have decided to hand out another 12 retroactive time penalties. Needless to say, nearly the entire grid save for the podium had to be rearranged after the dust settled over the penalised drivers.

Who were the worst hit drivers?

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz was perhaps the hardest hit, losing out to Perez for the final podium spot after serving a five-second penalty during the race itself. That was made even worse after he was hit with a 10-second penalty post race. That dropped him two places down to 6th place in the final classification.

As a result of Sainz' demotion, McLaren driver Lando Norris moved up to fourth place, with Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso behind him.

Unfortunately for Lewis Hamilton, all his complaining about the other drivers going off track did result in further penalties. However, he was not counting on being one of those who were found guilty of further infringements. His initial five-second penalty was upgraded to 10 seconds, dropping him down to eighth place behind teammate George Russell.

Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon was ecstatic after an exciting battle to the line against Russell, but all that has gone down in vain. After a thorough review of his laps, the Frenchman earned himself four separate penalties which add up to a total of 30 seconds in combined penalties. As a result, he drops from 12th down to 14th place.

Pierre Gasly also received a 10-second penalty, landing him in 10th place. Further down the order, both Williams drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant also received penalties, along with AlphaTauri drivers Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda.

Red Bull Ring management has come under fire for failing to add a gravel trap along turns 9 and 10, resulting in the cars ending up outside the white line on numerous occasions as they struggle turn into the next corners.

The full list of penalties has been posted on the Formula 1 website:

  • Carlos Sainz – 10-second time penalty
  • Lewis Hamilton – 10-second time penalty
  • Pierre Gasly – 10-second time penalty
  • Alex Albon – 10-second time penalty
  • Esteban Ocon – 5-second time penalty
  • Esteban Ocon – 10-second time penalty
  • Esteban Ocon – 5-second time penalty
  • Esteban Ocon – 10-second time penalty (30 seconds in total for Ocon)
  • Logan Sargeant – 10-second time penalty
  • Nyck de Vries – 10-second time penalty
  • Nyck de Vries – 5-second time penalty (15 seconds in total for De Vries)
  • Yuki Tsunoda – 5-second time penalty