However, Vettel ultimately ran out of laps as the Finn crossed the line after 71 laps to secure his second F1 victory, winning by just six-tenths of a second. Red Bull was best of the rest behind the lead two teams, with Daniel Ricciardo edging teammate Max Verstappen by 0.1s at the team's home circuit.
"I got the start of my life".
Bottas, who led from pole, was cleared of making a jump start in a stewards' investigation and took the chequered flag just ahead of German Vettel.
Underperforming ultrasoft tyres would cause a significant twist for the race - each team is able to choose how many soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres comprise its 13-set allocations for the weekend, and all teams have stocked up on ultrasofts, with most drivers holding fewer than five sets of any other compound, some of which were used during practice. Mercedes have won every year since Austria returned to the calendar in 2014, after being absent for a decade, with Hamilton triumphant in 2016.
With ambient temperatures hovering at around 30°C and with the increased downforce generated by the 2017 regulations allowing for faster speeds at this circuit, the ultrasoft tyre appeared too delicate to sustain competitive pace over a useful number of laps.
Despite reverting to a lower-spec engine the Spaniard finished in 12th, 0.15s up on teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who kept the upgraded unit in his car.
"It is only the second win in my career, a massive thank you to the team". Both Ferrari drivers spun, Sauber's Marcus Ericsson did so twice, Alonso had a rare off-track moment and spin in Turn Six, and a number of drivers ran wide as they explored the limits of the cars on the slippery track.
Behind the top six, Grosjean maintained seventh with 1m 05,480s from the Force Indias of Perez and Ocon on1m 05.605s and 1m 05.674s, as Sainz rounded out the top 10 on 1m 05.726s.
However, the pair do still maintain a mutual respect it seems, with footage posted to Twitter showing Vettel and Hamilton shaking hands immediately after the final qualifying session in Spielberg. "I really wanted to win, so not entirely happy".
"I don't think there's a call for me to do anything else than I'm already doing", he said. Instead, the team suffered a double elimination just one race after Stroll claimed the team's first podium of the season.