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Verstappen Achieves Two Wins in Two Weekends in Austria

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Photo Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool




At the beginning of the 2021 Formula 1 season, it was hoped upon by many parties that Red Bull Racing would mount a consistently competitive battle with the juggernaut that is the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. Although that seemed to have been the case in the earlier grand prix events in 2021, the races since the Monaco Grand Prix has instead shown Red Bull Racing potentially rediscovering their pre-2014 form while displacing the long dominant German factory team. Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, the squad fielding drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez has been on a four-race win streak. Claiming three of the victories in Red Bull Racing’s recent tear is Verstappen who entered the second race of the season at the 4.318-kilometer Red Bull Ring course winner of the previous week’s Styrian Grand Prix.


Though Mercedes-AMG showed the potential of matching their Honda-powered rival on pace through two of the three practice sessions ahead of Saturday qualifying, neither Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas broke into the top-three after Q3. Max Verstappen took the pole position with a 1-minute, 3.720-second lap time joined on the front row by #4 McLaren Racing car driven by Lando Norris. On the second row of the grid with third place Sergio Perez was the #44 car of Lewis Hamilton.


Photo Credit: Andy Hone/Lat Images/Pirelli




As was the case with the Styrian Grand Prix that took place on the Red Bull Ring one-week prior, the #33 machine made a commanding standing start of the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix carrying that momentum into the first turn. Before completion of the race’s opening lap, the safety car was called out to recover Esteban Ocon’s wounded Alpine A521 race vehicle. The French driver’s #31 car suffered a broken right front suspension after being squeezed between Mick Schumacher and Antonio Giovinazzi battling for position. Ocon would be one of two Formula 1 drivers not to cross the finish line for the Austrian Grand Prix. The other driver not to finish was Sebastian Vettel when his Aston Martin collided with Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo on the final lap.


Maintaining second place early in the 71-lap event, Lando Norris would aggressively defend the position in a manner that attracted the ire of race stewards. Under attack from the Honda-powered #11 Red Bull RB16B of Sergio Perez entering turn four on the fourth lap, Norris crowded the Mexican driver who was attempting to make an outside pass on the McLaren. With little room to run side-by-side, Perez took his Red Bull Racing machine into the gravel trap falling to tenth place but remaining in the race. The driver of the #4 car was eventually assessed a five-second time penalty as the Brit was deemed at fault for the incident. Norris would not be the only driver to be investigated and penalized for on-track behaviour during the Austrian Grand Prix with one of the other competitors being Sergio Perez.


Photo Credit: Mark Sutton/Lat Images/Pirelli




Lando Norris’ penalty as well as the speed of the Mercedes-AMG race cars was enough to allow Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to vault into second and third after the first round of pit stops were made. As Max Verstappen maintained a solid lead in the race, Hamilton found it difficult preserving the runner-up spot. A rough ride over the turn 10 curb deeply upset the balance of his #44 vehicle resulting in Hamilton surrendering second place to a faster Bottas on lap 52. The reigning Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion would fall into the clutches of the #4 McLaren of Norris on the following lap taking the final podium spot in the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix.


Obtaining his third consecutive race win in the 2021 Formula 1 season and fourth in the past five events, Max Verstappen’s successful effort on the Red Bull Ring included pole position, leading every lap and scoring the fastest race lap of the afternoon. “Just like everyone else we learned from last weekend and we optimized the car even more by improving the set-up. It's actually hard to put into words because it was so enjoyable to drive and the weekend was the best it could be, so let's hope we can carry on in the same way.”, Verstappen said in a post-race press release.


Valtteri Bottas took second place in the Austrian Grand Prix 17.973 seconds behind the leader. The result is the Finnish driver’s best result in what has been an unlucky 2021 stint in the #77 Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 race car. Lando Norris joined Verstappen and Bottas on the podium and remains the only driver to score points in all nine Formula 1 events so far this season.


Photo Credit: LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd




Lewis Hamilton drove to a fourth place result under less than ideal circumstances in his #44 car. While Sergio Perez crossed the finish line in fifth, 10 seconds worth of penalties levied in the final results elevated the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr. to the position. Behind Perez in the running order after the 71-lap race was Daniel Ricciardo who started in 13th place on the grid but helped the McLaren team reinforce their third place spot in the ongoing constructors’ championship. The second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc finished eighth while Pierre Gasly crossed the finish line in ninth in the Austrian Grand Prix. The late stage of the grand prix featured a spirited fight as George Russell fought hard to hang to Williams Racing’s first point finish since the 2019 German Grand Prix. Unfortunately for the young British driver, Fernando Alonso in his Renault-powered Alpine overtook the #63 Williams Racing car on lap 68 for the tenth place spot.

 

After three straight weekends of Formula 1 action, the tour takes a one-week break before the season resumes at the Silverstone Circuit for the July 18th running of the British Grand Prix.


2021 Formula 1 Season
Austrian Grand Prix
Race Results
Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
5 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
6 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
8 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
8 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
10 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team Renault
11 63 George Russell Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
12 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
13 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
14 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
16 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
17 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
18 47 Mick Schumacher Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
19 9 Nikita Mazepin Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
20 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team Renault
20 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
2021 Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship Points (After Austrian Grand Prix)
Driver Total Points
1 Max Verstappen 182
2 Lewis Hamilton 150
3 Sergio Perez 104
4 Lando Norris 101
5 Valtteri Bottas 92
6 Charles Leclerc 62
7 Carlos Sainz Jr 60
8 Daniel Ricciardo 40
9 Pierre Gasly 39
10 Sebastian Vettel 30
11 Fernando Alonso 20
12 Lance Stroll 14
13 Esteban Ocon 12
14 Yuki Tsunoda 9
15 Antonio Giovinazzi 1
16 Kimi Raikkonen 1
17 George Russell 0
18 Nicholas Latifi 0
19 Mick Schumacher 0
20 Nikita Mazepin 0
2021 Formula 1 Contructors' Points (After Austrian Grand Prix)
Constructor Engine Total Points
1 Red Bull Racing Honda 286
2 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 242
3 McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 141
4 Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari 122
5 Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 48
6 Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 44
7 Alpine F1 Team Renault 32
8 Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 2
9 Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz 0
10 Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari 0

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