Max Verstappen asserted his abilities as he marched to a home-team win at the Red Bull Ring, finishing ahead of the Mercedes-AMG F1 duo.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull proved to be the dominant force in today’s Styrian GP. The Dutchman converted his pole position into a win with a faultless drive to open up his championship advantage to 18 points over Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen seldom got troubled by the chasing pack; he cantered over the line with a ten-second lead over the reigning champion. It is the first time Red Bull has won four races in a row in the turbo-hybrid era. They are the dominant package in F1.
Hamilton couldn’t live with Verstappen’s pace at any point in the race. The Brit eventually held a terse radio exchange with engineer Peter Bonnington as the message from the pit wall sounded the white flag for Mercedes’ charge.
A sloppy first stop from Red Bull on Sergio Perez’s car handed the initiative to Valtteri Bottas in their race-long battle. However, the Red Bull team did pit the Mexican in an attempt to re-pass Bottas on fresher tyres; Perez ran out of laps to return the favour and Bottas held on for a third place.
After running in third place at the start, Lando Norris enjoyed a quiet race as he came home in fifth place. That was a fabulous result for McLaren as their direct rivals Ferrari endured a wildly eventful day. Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly came to blows on the first lap; the resulting damage finished Gasly’s race, while Leclerc needed to pit at the end of lap one.
Leclerc bolted the hard tyre’s on and charged his way through the field. He leapfrogged several cars that got stuck in a DRS train and then snagged a seventh-place finish on the medium tyre. Carlos Sainz ran long in his first stint to jump several midfield runners to come home in sixth place.
Daniel Ricciardo ended his miserable weekend with a pointless finish. The Australian gained places in the melee of lap one; however, he dropped back down due to an engine issue.
Disaster also befell George Russell. The Williams man started in the top ten and was running in eighth place in the first stint.
When Russell came in for his second stop, the team needed to top up his pneumatic pressure. Although reliability concerns did get relayed to Russell over team radio, ultimately, they couldn’t solve the issue and needed to retire from the race.
Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll enjoyed tidy drives to take home some points for their respective teams.
In the end, the day went to Red Bull and Verstappen. A clinical, decisive win and the Verstappen/Red Bull combination seem to be getting stronger and stronger.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|4||Sergio Perez||Red Bull|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari|
|8||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo|