Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas went from pole to a win and never dropped from the front of the field but behind the Fin was utter chaos as nine drivers didn't finish a hectic Austrian Grand Prix.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo predicted that it could be "some form of chaos" but he had no idea.

Mercedes crossed the line 1-2 but Lewis Hamilton was knocked down to fourth after a five second penalty late in the race. At the time, Red Bull's Alexander Albon had made it around the outside but Hamilton clipped his wheel, spinning the youngster.

It knocked Albon from a certain podium out of the race but opened the door for a tremendous drive from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to snatch second and McLaren youngster Lando Norris to claim his first podium, the third youngest in F1 history.

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Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas went from pole to a win and never dropped from the front of the field but behind the Fin was utter chaos as nine drivers didn't finish a hectic Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes crossed the line 1-2 but Lewis Hamilton was knocked down to fourth after a five second penalty late in the race. At the time, Red Bull's Alexander Albon had made it around the outside but Hamilton clipped his wheel, spinning the youngster.

It knocked Albon from a certain podium out of the race but opened the door for a tremendous drive from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to snatch second and McLaren youngster Lando Norris to claim his first podium, the third youngest in F1 history.

"I did not expect [the podium] it's a huge surprise but a good one, we had a bit of luck with some crashes here and there but that was the goal – to take every opportunity even though we didn't have the pace," Leclerc said. "We are not where we want to be but anything is possible."

Norris said: "I'm speechless. I felt I had fudged it up quite a bit, but I didn't give up, I managed to get back past (Sergio) Perez and I ended up on the podium. The last lap… you can tell I'm a bit out of breath. The last few laps, the Lewis penalty – I turned it up a little bit."

Norris also got the extra point for the fastest lap.

But the carnage started from the early laps with Red Bull's Max Verstappen having engine failure.

Kimi Raikkonen loses a wheel. Photo / news.com.au
Kimi Raikkonen loses a wheel. Photo / news.com.au

He was soon joined by Daniel Ricciardo with overheating issues, Racing Point's Lance Stroll, Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, Williams' George Russell and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen (lost wheel) who all needed to be retired in what turned out to be complete madness on the track.

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"This is unbelievable," Sky Sports' David Croft said. "Chaos and carnage at times but Valtteri Bottas has won the season opener."

He was definitely right about that.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and the man he is replacing in Sebastian Vettel also came together in a clash with Vettel being spun around.

"I'm sorry but Sebastian Vettel put his nose in a place it should not be," Brundle said. "Sainz is entitled to turn in. Seb's all locked up, Seb's half-spun before he even gets to the side. That was a clumsy move there," Brundle said.

"There was no point throwing that up there from Vettel."

Vettel tried a crazy move on Sainz and finished 10th. Photo / news.com.au
Vettel tried a crazy move on Sainz and finished 10th. Photo / news.com.au

Croft added: "Some will look at that as evidence that Ferrari have made the right decision."

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Hamilton copped a five second penalty for his role in taking out Red Bull's Albon, who went from third to last and resigned Red Bull to zero points for the weekend.

After the incident, Albon was forced to retire before Daniil Kvyat lost his rear wheel on the penultimate lap.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is hoping for an apology after the pair had an incident last year in Brazil.

"It's been one of those days, this sport can be pretty brutal sometimes and it feels like today has been one of those days," he told Sky F1. "Alex drove a good race, he didn't deserve that, five seconds doesn't do anything for him.

"He could have won that race, strategically we had made the right call to have gone on to the soft tyres, he was in a strong position. Twice in three races, you'd start to think he (Hamilton) has got something in for him."

But it doesn't appear like an apology will be forthcoming with Hamilton denying he was in the wrong.

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"I can't believe we have come together again but it really felt like a racing incident," he said. "But, I'll take whatever penalty they feel like I deserve and move forward."

AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS

1: Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
2: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3: Lando Norris, McLaren
4: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
5: Carlos Sainz, McLaren
6: Sergio Perez, Racing Point
7: Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
8: Esteban Ocon, Renault
9: Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
10: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari