Sparks fly as Lewis Hamilton wins in Austria after Nico Rosberg crash

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton elebrates his victory with head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports Toto Wolff

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton elebrates his victory with head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports Toto Wolff

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Lewis Hamilton won the Austrian Grand Prix after a dramatic last-lap collision with championship rival Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg appeared on course to claim his sixth victory of the season, but crashed into Hamilton as the Briton attempted to pass his Mercedes team-mate around the outside of turn two.

Rosberg sustained damage to his front wing in the incident, allowing Hamilton to assume the lead and subsequent victory, while he could limp home only in fourth.

The collision between the championship protagonists enabled Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to claim second with Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen taking the last spot on the podium.

Hamilton, who was behind Rosberg courtesy of a curious strategy by his Mercedes team, was closing in on his team-mate in the final stages of the race.

And, on the last lap, he sensed his opportunity on the long run down to turn two. As Hamilton took to the outside, and appeared to move ahead of Rosberg, the German appeared to lose control of his car under braking and slide into his championship rival.

Hamilton was forced off the track, and re-joined temporarily behind Rosberg, but the force of the coming together - the third time the pair have collided this season - saw the German sustain damage to his front wing.

The live feed cut to a furious Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who thumped his fist on the table as he watched the incident unfold.

Rosberg, now just 11 points ahead of Hamilton in the championship, limped over the line in fourth place.

Wolff described the collision as “brainless”.

“It could have been a double DNF,” he told Sky Sports 1. “At the moment I do not know what I will say (to Hamilton and Rosberg).”

Wolff and Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda both said Rosberg had suffered a brake problem.

“It was not funny to watch it,” said Lauda. “I know that Nico had a brake problem.”

Rosberg appeared to point the finger at Hamilton for causing the collision.

“I’m absolutely gutted,” he told Sky Sports 1. “It’s unbelievable.

“We were battling and I was struggling a little bit with my brakes.

“I gave Lewis a chance. I had the inside position and I went a bit deep in the corner and I was very surprised that Lewis turned in and that caused the collision.

“I am very disappointed but these things happen in racing and we just have to get on with it. It was not the end of the race that I was hoping for,” he added.

Hamilton, who celebrated the 250th victory by a British driver, was booed on the podium.

“I don’t know why [they’re booing],” Hamilton said. “It’s not my problem, it’s their problem. I just did what I had to do.”

Rosberg has been hauled before the stewards for “causing a collision and failing to stop with a seriously damaged car”.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in fifth while Button recorded his best result of the season with a sixth-placed finish. British rookie Jolyon Palmer was 12th for Renault.