SPIELBERG BEI KNITTELFELD, (Austria): Max Verstappen reeled off his third win in a row from pole in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday to consolidate his world championship lead over Lewis Hamilton who after finishing fourth said his toiling Mercedes team were "miles away from Red Bull".

Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas took second with McLaren's Lando Norris a fine third after picking up a five second time penalty.

Verstappen's latest step towards ending Hamilton's hold on the drivers' title triggered a carnival atmosphere in Formula One's first capacity crowd since the coronavirus pandemic struck with most of the 100,000 in attendance decked out in his Dutch orange colours.

"To see so much orange in the stands is incredible, it's an extra motivation, thank you" he told his cheering congregation at the Red Bull-owned Spielberg circuit.

"The car was unreal," added the 21-year-old threat to Hamilton's bid for an unprecedented eighth world crown who was following up his win at the track last week.

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