Max Verstappen led every lap of what could prove to have been a crucial Styrian Grand Prix. His win made it Red Bull’s fourth back-to-back race win since Monaco at their home circuit. The Dutch driver stretches his lead in the Driver’s Championship to 18 points, while Red Bull extends their Constructors’ lead to 40 points. The speed of both Red Bull cars will worry Mercedes as we return next week for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Verstappen started the Styrian Grand Prix in pole position, delivering a smooth race as he led every lap with an impressive lead over his nearest competition. Even with a short racetrack, it was extraordinary to see the two lead drivers lapping almost everyone. Verstappen eased his lead over Hamilton to 10 seconds in lap 61, with 10 laps to go.
After Hamilton’s last-minute pit stop to gain the fastest lap point, Verstappen crossed the finish line almost 36 seconds before his championship rival – over 15 seconds if we factor in the pit stop. According to Hamilton, he found it “impossible” to keep up with Verstappen during the race, in what the BBC are calling a “big dose of reality”.
Bottas and Perez
Bottas started in P5 after his spin in the pit lane saw him take a three-place penalty. An unusually long 4-second pit stop saw Bottas snatch 3rd place from Perez at the first pit stops.
Verstappen beat Hamilton in the penultimate lap at the French Grand Prix after a strategic second pit stop, and history looked set to repeat itself with Perez and Bottas. The new Red Bull driver got within 0.5 seconds of Bottas by the final lap, making up around 2 seconds per lap as he hunted the Mercedes driver down. An extra lap and it could have been a double Red Bull podium.
Lando Norris repeated his 5th place result from last week, keep ahead of his Ferrari rivals as both teams battle it out for the constructors. There was relief in the Ferrari garage after Sainz and Leclerc recovered from a point-less French GP to come in 6th and 7th.
Leclerc was voted Driver of the Day after coming back from a difficult race start that saw him pitting after an incident with Pierre Gasly damaged his front wing. The Ferrari driver climbed up through the grid and back into the points.
Stroll, Alonso, and Tsunoda rounded up the point scorers. Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo found themselves outside the points in 12th and 13th with disappointing results, with Kimi Raikkonen crossing the finish line before them. Ocon and Giovinazzi took 14th and 15th, while Schumacher, Latif, and Mazepin finished the grid.
Russel and Gasly
After one of the best weekends in his F1 career, George Russell was forced to retire early due to a power unit issue. The British driver looked set to get his first championship point for Williams after qualifying in P10 due to Tsunoda’s penalty and sitting comfortably at P8 before dropping back when the power issue occurred.
Another unlucky driver was Pierre Gasly. He qualified in P6 and found himself out of the race on lap 1 after an incident with Leclerc punctured his left-rear tyre.
The drivers are remaining on the track this week ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, giving Mercedes only a few days to find a way to close the growing gap between them and Red Bull. With the competition heating up, it’s never been a better time to grab your Official Red Bull Racing 2021 Max Verstappen Cap or show your loyalty to number 44 with a Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 2021 Lewis Hamilton Driver Cap.