Max Verstappen claimed a second win in seven days with victory at the Styrian Grand Prix, 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 the 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.
But at the start of a double header of Austrian races, it was Verstappen and Red Bull who fired another shot across Mercedes bows with their fourth consecutive race win.
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 1st, Start Position: 1st
“I am super happy to win here and doing it at home at the Red Bull Ring is always so special. I had a really enjoyable race, the car was working well and I always enjoy driving on this track. I just focused on my own race, concentrating on hitting the apexes in the places I wanted to, looking after the tyres and it worked out well. You never know how competitive or how close it’s going to be on a Sunday and to be honest I really wasn’t expecting it to be like it was today as the long run pace between the two teams was very closely matched all weekend. Overall, we’ve had a really positive weekend and of course it’s not going to be completely the same next week. Everyone else will also learn from this race so we will of course try and do even better and keep improving ourselves so we can stay ahead. It’s a whole Team effort so thank you very much to everyone here and back at the factory for another great win today.”
SERGIO PEREZ, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 4th
“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out today and it’s a shame to miss out on the double podium. We just needed one more lap and we could have done it, that’s all it would have taken. I think the soft tyre was slightly worse than expected this race and that hurt us towards the end of the first stint, we also had a slow stop that impacted the race as we gave the position to Bottas. The Team tried something different with the two-stop strategy but we got caught out by traffic, but that’s how it is sometimes and we had to try something. I’m really happy for the Team today though because Max won, he did a great job and I know we have a strong package. I look forward to next weekend where we will try again to step up on the podium together.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal
“It’s been a great day and to win at our home track, secure four back-to-back wins and a 10th victory with Honda is a real achievement. It was a clinical drive from Max who managed the race out front so well. I believe it has been our strongest race of the season so far and for the first time this year Max managed to open out a bit of a gap to Lewis and put some fresh air between them. It was a real shame for Checo as he deserved a podium today but losing a small amount of time in the pit stop unfortunately put him out just behind Bottas. We pulled the trigger on a two-stop and Checo did a great job to hunt Valtteri down in the closing stages but needed just one more lap to finish the job. The motivation is sky high in Milton Keynes and the Team is performing at an incredible level, particularly given the difficulties everyone has faced during the pandemic. We are now seeing the culmination of that hard work on the chassis and power unit side and the great harmony we have within the Team and our driver pairing.”
25-27 Jun 2021, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg
|1||33||RED BULL RACING HONDA||71||1:22:18.925||25|
|4||11||RED BULL RACING HONDA||71||+47.434s||12|
|5||4||MCLAREN MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||10|
|8||18||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||4|
|9||14||ALPINE RENAULT||70||+1 lap||2|
|10||22||ALPHATAURI HONDA||70||+1 lap||1|
|11||7||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||70||+1 lap||0|
|12||5||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||0|
|13||3||MCLAREN MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||0|
|14||31||ALPINE RENAULT||70||+1 lap||0|
|15||99||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||70||+1 lap||0|
|16||47||HAAS FERRARI||69||+2 laps||0|
|17||6||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||68||+3 laps||0|
|18||9||HAAS FERRARI||68||+3 laps||0|
Note – Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.
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