George Russell at the Miami Grand Prix in May 2023. George Russell at the Miami Grand Prix in May 2023. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports.)

Heading into Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, it looked likely that either Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen or McLaren Racing’s Lando Norris would take the race. Verstappen, who has won seven of the last 10 races and was leading the F1 driver standings with 227 points, came in as the favorite (at -175, as per CBS’ SportsLine), but Norris (second in those standings with 156 points) had the next-shortest odds (and his shortest odds of the season) at +260.

But, late in the race, Verstappen crashed into Norris. That knocked Norris out of the race, led to a 10-second penalty for himself, and paved the way for Mercedes’ George Russell to get his second career F1 win (and the first for him and for Mercedes since 2022). Here’s that crash:

That led to Russell’s win:

British driver Russell made his F1 debut in 2019 with Williams after winning the 2018 F2 championship. He’s posted some decent results at the F1 level, especially after his switch to Mercedes in 2022; he won the São Paulo Grand Prix that year, made eight podiums, and finished fourth in the driver standings. But last year saw him drop to eighth in those standings with no wins and just two podiums, and he’d never finished on the podium in Austria before.

Thus, this was a remarkable moment for Russell. But it only came thanks to that Verstappen-Norris incident, which itself came after those two had been going back and forth all day. And there may be further developments to come from that. But it certainly worked out well for Russell and Mercedes.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.