Styrian Grand Prix: Max wins with ease at the Red Bull Ring

Max Verstappen led from pole to flag in the Styrian Grand Prix as the young Red Bull driver raced to the finishing line with ease.

Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri, became the first driver to retire from the race he made a series of contact with other drivers in the first lap.

George Russell, Williams, became the second retirement of the race as his car suffered reliability issues.

Verstappen got a good start, once the lights went out, and led into the first corner ahead of Lewis Hamilton. While Gasly made contact with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, on the exit of the first corner, as both drivers ventured out onto the run off. The Frenchman struggled to control his AT02 and, as a result, he made contact with Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and spun Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi at the third corner.

Gasly retired at the end of the first lap as he slowed his car into the pit lane. The Frenchman suffered a puncture as a result of the contact to Leclerc and seemed to have damaged his left-rear suspension.

By the 10th lap, Verstappen maintained his position in the lead of the race with, second place, Hamilton behind him by three seconds. Despite, Sergio Perez’s easy overtake on McLaren’s Lando Norris into turn three, the Mexican driver remained more than 10 seconds behind the two drivers out in front.

On the other hand, Williams’ Russell had climbed up into P8, two places ahead of where he started the race and maintained this position into lap 14.

Despite Russell’s great start, he was called into the pit on lap 27. However, the after the new hard tyres were fitted the number 63 Williams remained stationary as the mechanics worked on the side of his car. By the time he left the pit lane, the young Briton was stationary for 18.3 seconds.

Out of the front runners, Perez was told to pit on lap 27 as he swapped his soft compound tyres for the hard compounds. Unfortunately, it was a slow stop as the Mexican remained stationary for 4.8 seconds, as a result Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas reacted and managed to get out ahead of the second Red Bull.

Hamilton pitted soon after, on lap 29, and got back out onto the track after a 2.2-second stop. To avoid the unlikely undercut Verstappen answered to Mercedes’ call and pitted at the end of lap 29 with a 2-second stop.

Flawed with reliability issues, Russell made his third and final visit to the pit lane as the young Briton became the second driver to retire from the race on lap 39.

Despite Hamilton’s best efforts to decrease the gap between himself and Verstappen, the seven-time world champion sat, nearly, six-seconds behind the race leader as they trundled around the Red Bull Ring on lap 47.

With 20 laps to go, Verstappen started to complain about his brake pedal and he was advised not to use the kerbs at turns nine and 10.

While Mercedes opted out of the two stop strategy, Perez made his second stop of the race and changed his hard compound tyres for the medium compound tyres. On lap 57, the Mexican Red Bull put in a quick lap to steal the fastest lap, and additional championship point, from Hamilton with a time of 1:07.894.

HB: Bottas’ lap is a 10.5, struggling against backmarkers

SP: Do you think we’ll get him?

HB: We’re going to be on him at the end of the race

Hugh Bird, race engineer, to Sergio Perez

Although the Ferrari Monegasque had an unfortunate time at the beginning of the race, Leclerc managed work his way back into the points and he was sat in P7, behind his teammate, Carlos Sainz as the race neared its conclusion.

With three laps to go, there were calls over the radio that a few drops of rain were falling.

On lap 70, Hamilton came into the pits to swap his hard compound tyres for the softs in a bid to regain the fastest lap – which the leading Mercedes did as he secured a 1:07.058 lap.

However, a lap later, chaos ensued for Bottas as he came under pressure by Perez in the final two sectors of the Red Bull Ring, but the Finnish driver was able to hold of the charging bull to take the final podium position.

Podium:

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (Fastest Lap)
  3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s