2021 Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix was great for Max Verstappen, who claimed a second win in seven days with a great victory, enjoying a dominant lights-to-flag performance at the Red Bull Ring over the Mercedes of title rival Lewis Hamilton, as Valtteri Bottas claimed third ahead of Sergio Perez.
Following on from his win in the French Grand Prix, Verstappen led away from pole position at a dry Red Bull Ring, leading every lap of the race to claim his 14th career win, and his third at his team’s Red Bull Ring home track.
The Dutchman duly stretched his lead over Hamilton to 18 points in the drivers’ standings, after the Mercedes driver was unable to offer any serious answer to Verstappen’s pace on race day, although he was at least able to limit the damage after taking the bonus point for fastest lap thanks to a late pit stop.
Having started P5 after his grid drop for spinning in the pit lane on Friday, Bottas was able to claim third, holding off a late charge by the second Red Bull of Perez for Finn’s first podium since the Spanish Grand Prix.
Behind, a fine race from McLaren’s Lando Norris saw him follow up his P5 from last year’s Styrian Grand Prix with the same result this weekend, having not been able to lap on the pace of the Red Bulls and Mercedes on Sunday. He was ahead of the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who after a nightmare, point-less French Grand Prix, had a much better race in Austria.
Lance Stroll finished eighth for Aston Martin, while Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10. Kimi Raikkonen took 11th, ahead of the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel and the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo – who’d climbed up the order on Lap 1 but fell back to his starting position after losing power briefly – while Esteban Ocon took P14.
P15 was Antonio Giovinazzi, ahead of the Haas of Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi’s Williams and the second Haas of Nikita Mazepin.
One of the early stars of the race George Russell had been cruelly forced to retire with a power unit issue, having run comfortably in P8 for the majority of the Grand Prix – while Pierre Gasly was out on Lap 1, after contact with Leclerc that damaged his left-rear, and saw him spin the Alfa Romeo of Giovinazzi at Turn 3.
Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:
The medium compound was the best one to start the race with, and that’s why it was chosen by almost all the drivers outside the top 10 on the grid; with seven of the top 10 starters obliged to begin the race on the soft. This all translated into a big split of strategies at the start, and as a consequence that variation continued throughout the race, with four different strategies used in the top five at the end.
For the second stint, the hard was the best option. Once again, the anticipated rain didn’t materialise and instead conditions were warm, with track temperatures at the 2021 Formula 1 Styrian GP up to 49 degrees, which obviously influenced tyre behaviour. Nonetheless, we saw some long stints, with more than 40 laps run on the medium and hard compounds, as well as plenty of speed on the soft compound, which allowed Hamilton to take the fastest lap right at the finish.
2021 Formula 1 Styrian GP Race Results
|1.||33||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:22:18.925||25||156|
|2.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+35.743s||19||138|
|3.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+46.907s||15||74|
|4.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||+47.434s||12||96|
|5.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+1 lap||10||86|
|6.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+1 lap||8||50|
|7.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+1 lap||6||58|
|8.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1 lap||4||14|
|9.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||2||19|
|10.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||1||9|
|11.||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||1|
|12.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1 lap||0||30|
|13.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+1 lap||0||34|
|14.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||0||12|
|15.||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Italy||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||1|
|16.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+2 laps||0||0|
|17.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+3 laps||0||0|
|18.||9||Nikita Mazepin||Russia||Haas F1 Team||+3 laps||0||0|
|12.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Williams Racing||DNF||0||0|
|7.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNF||0||37|
Here are the team-by-team highlights:
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