Max Verstappen wins the Driver of the Day Award as voted by fans for his outstanding comeback drive to victory at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Dutch driver captured his first victory of the 2019 Formula 1 season in Austria, winning Red Bull Racing’s home race two years in a row at the Red Bull Ring. The win also saw Honda‘s first victory in F1 since 2006 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, their first in the V6 Hybrid era.
Verstappen’s brilliant drive saw him start the race from second, but a poor start with his car falling into anti-stall left him down in ninth place. But the Dutchman with the support of the orange grandstands clawed his way back to the front, eventually passing then race leader Charles Leclerc on Lap 69, with a controversial move that saw the stewards investigate the matter after the race. Verstappen won the race and after the stewards’ review over the pass on the Monegasque driver was deemed as a racing incident, kept his victory.
On Sunday hours after the race, a technical glitch saw the Driver of the Day award handed to Williams Racing‘s Robert Kubica as he was incorrectly allocated a number of votes. The Polish driver finished the race twentieth, last overall.
The award handed to Kubica was noted after the race by fans, and after verification by F1, the award was changed and handed it to Verstappen with 74% of the public vote. Second place driver and pole sitter in the race Leclerc reeled in second with 11% of the vote, whilst McLaren F1 Team‘s Carlos Sainz Jr. won 7% for his comeback drive from nineteenth place to a points finish with eighth.
This isn’t the first time a technical glitch has occurred over the DOTD award. When the voting system was first introduced in 2016, the Australian Grand Prix saw majority of the voting went to Manor Racing‘s Rio Haryanto, who retired from his debut race.
After an investigation, F1 found that numerous of duplicate votes were conducted which hindered the overall result. The result was changed and was handed to Haas F1 Team‘s Romain Grosjean. The system has since then been changed to ensure fairer voting.