Race Report: Verstappen dominates Austrian GP

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RED BULL RING, AUSTRIA - JULY 04: Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 2nd position, Toyoharu Tanabe, F1 Technical Director, Honda,Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing , 1st position, and Lando Norris, McLaren, 3rd position, on the podium during the Austrian GP at Red Bull Ring on Sunday July 04, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Charles Coates / LAT Images)

After the Styrian GP, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Red Bull looked set to repeat their win on the same track a week later. That’s exactly what happened but this time, in an even more dominant fashion with Max Verstappen leading Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris home.

Win

A big win for Max Verstappen and Red Bull who crushed the opposition today finishing 17s ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull had Max’s car hooked up on both sets of Pirelli rubber and Max cruised through a sea of orange grand stands to take a commanding win and lead in the Driver’s Championship.

A win for McLaren and Lando Norris who has become the UK’s newest hero with a fantastic qualifying effort and even overcame a suspect penalty of 5s to finish on the podium ahead of Lewis Hamilton and just behind Bottas. Lando did an amazing job all weekend and Daniel Ricciardo sprang to life as well to finish 7th giving the team good points in their battle against Ferrari. Dan did well trying to hold off the Ferraris but Carlos had fresher tires in the end. Lando may have even gained a new fan in the UK in the form of Lewis Hamilton who praised him over the team radio.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. Austrian Grand Prix, Sunday 4th July 2021. Spielberg, Austria.

A win for Ferrari and Carlos Sainz who managed to get ahead of Ricciardo to try and limit some of the points damage Ferrari are suffering against McLaren. Ferrari struggled in qualifying and Charles Leclerc got mugged a few times trying to get ahead of the Perez but their race pace was better than qualifying and both drivers had a decent day.

A win for Fernando Alonso who was balked during qualifying but managed to put on a good show hauling himself up into the points. Unfortunately it was at the expense of George Russell.

A big win for George Russell who had a terrific weekend and only narrowly missed out on his first points finish for Williams finishing in a terrific 11th. He was doing a fantastic job holding off Alonso but just didn’t have the pace in the DRS zones to keep a 2-time behind him.

Also a win for Pierre Gasly who drove a quiet race into the points for a 9th place finish.

Fail

A fail for Sergio Perez who seemed intent on getting 5s penalties and while one could argue the penalties were too harsh, the stewards felt his running cars wide was too aggressive. Sergio could have put even more of a punch to Max’s nearest rival had he finished on the podium ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

A fail for Yuki Tsunoda who managed to cross the pit entry line not once but twice for two penalties. With Pierre up in 9th, Yuki may have missed out on a. Point.

A fail for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton who was struggling with some damage and were unable to mount a challenge to Red Bull. Valtteri Bottas was best positioned but still lacked pace to the Red Bull.

WTH

I’m not sure what happened to the pace of Aston Martin but both Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel were well off the pace. Vettel was punted off track by Kimi Raikkonen on the last lap which was odd.

Not quite sure what Nick Latifi is struggling with but the pace disparity between his teammate is massive and George is showing that the Williams has more pace than what Nick is showing.

I must have missed the explanation but I am not sure what damage Lewis Hamilton had to his car or if it was self-inflicted by running over the curbs.

Pirelli Key Moments:

  • Max Verstappen claimed his third consecutive win and another dominant victory at the Red Bull Ring with a two-stop strategy. The Red Bull driver started on the P Zero Yellow medium tyre before switching to the P Zero White hard for his two final stints. The other two podium finishers – Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris – stopped just once, from medium to hard.
  • The majority of drivers started the grand prix on the medium tyre, with just four drivers beginning on the P Zero Red soft tyre (both Aston Martin and both AlphaTauri) and two drivers on the hard tyre (Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen).
  • There was a mixture of one-stop and two-stop strategies seen throughout the race. Eight of the 19 classified finishers stopped twice, with two in the top four.
  • Temperatures were considerably cooler than they were yesterday, with the race starting under cloudy skies with 24 degrees centigrade ambient and 32 degrees of track temperature.

Austrian GP Results:

PosNameCarLapsLaps LedTotal TimeFastest LapPitstopsPts
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda71711h23m54.543s1m06.2s226
2Valtteri BottasMercedes710+17.973s1m08.374s118
3Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes710+20.019s1m08.471s115
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes710+46.452s1m08.126s212
5Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari710+57.144s1m07.762s110
6Sergio PérezRed Bull-Honda710+57.915s1m08.192s18
7Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes710+1m0.395s1m08.82s16
8Charles LeclercFerrari710+1m01.195s1m08.698s14
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda710+1m01.844s1m08.146s22
10Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault700+1 lap1m08.405s11
11George RussellWilliams-Mercedes700+1 lap1m08.9s10
12Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda700+1 lap1m08.455s20
13Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes700+1 lap1m08.659s20
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari700+1 lap1m09.042s20
15Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes700+1 lap1m08.874s10
16Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari700+1 lap1m08.52s10
17Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes700+1 lap1m08.42s30
18Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari690+2 laps1m09.394s10
19Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari690+2 laps1m09.757s20
Esteban OconAlpine-Renault10DNF0s00
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