By Myanna Wedes
The news golden once again for Red Bull with Max Verstappen winning the Red Bull Ring Round 2 and taking home the glory after a quality race at the Austrian Grand Prix. It was a dominant race win. Verstappen led the entire race from start to finish and did not come under any pressure that could enforce a mistake. The pressure that was meant to be added on by the rest of the field never came and as a result, Verstappen had enough of a buffer to pit for fresh tyres and secure the fastest lap.
The dominant win is setting up the 2021 season to be a Red Bull one. Fans are smiling with orange as they support the talented young driver regardless of his controversial moves. This weekend was a clear reminder that if you have the right car, driver and odds in your favour, you can cruise to victory whilst other events can be troublesome and leave drivers on the back foot. At the moment, most teams are miles away from Red Bull and that is troubling for those wanting to compete with them. Right now, the chances are low unless you are Mercedes or McLaren. The upgrades provided by Red Bull have worked a treat and Verstappen is the one smiling ear to ear!
With that said, winning in this style can set you up to be a target. Verstappen has the bullseye on his back. This is what motivates the rest of the grid to come for him and at least try to shake things up. This is the brutal reality of going up against a dominant car like the Red Bull. In fact, Lando Norris wanted more and felt he was disadvantaged after suffering from a penalty due to his collision with Sergio Perez. The McLaren driver had some serious pace and was not able to let it rip. Norris wanted more and he 100% can do the job.
In comparison, it was a challenging race for Lewis Hamilton who picked up some aerodynamic damage by running over the exit of the kerbs which made it more work for the multi-World Champion throughout the race. It was unfortunate for Hamilton that teammate Bottas and rival Lando Norris were able to go past him. The damage caused a serious dent to Hamilton’s lap times and he was like a sitting duck. The loss of performance also caused the tyres to be overworked and they were under some serious pressure. As he accelerated, the tyre degradation increased as a result of changing the dynamics of the car. This is not something you would normally see from a multi-World Champion, however, we do know that the curbs can be your best friend and worst enemy! The rear axle of Hamilton’s car had a lot of oversteer and most of the race remaining was spent trying to correct the car.
It was once again a solid result from Carlos Sainz who drove a superb race to secure a solid P5 finish with a quality pit stop, fresh rubber and pushing to get ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc and rival Daniel Ricciardo. Sainz has certainly found his feet, proving his worth after learning the ropes with McLaren. The Ferrari driver is “Mr Consistent” and this is important because a solid 2021 season could set up a dominant 2022 season with the right ingredients. We must say that out of most drivers starting at new teams, Sainz did find his comfort levels quite early on and this will help other drivers to realise that they can make a transition if they pick the right team.
The rest of the field had mixed results. The Aston Martin Mercedes team still appear to be struggling with overall pace, performance and comfort. Both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll are trying for more as Papa Stroll demands results and wants to be challenging the front runners. His goal is clear and he wants to try and finish off 2021 with quality results in order to set up a more superior 2022 season. We keep waiting to see the Aston Martin Mercedes at the front, although their speed in development has been behind the eight ball. Time is what is required as well as track time to build a car that is worthy of challenging the front runners.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||71||1:23:54.543||26|
|3||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||71||+20.019s||15|
|6||11||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA||71||+57.915s||8|
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||MCLAREN MERCEDES||71||+60.395s||6|
|9||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI HONDA||71||+61.844s||2|
|10||14||Fernando Alonso||ALPINE RENAULT||70||+1 lap||1|
|11||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||0|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA||70||+1 lap||0|
|13||18||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||0|
|14||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||70||+1 lap||0|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||70||+1 lap||0|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||70||+1 lap||0|
|17||5||Sebastian Vettel||ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES||69||DNF||0|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||HAAS FERRARI||69||+2 laps||0|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||HAAS FERRARI||69||+2 laps||0|
|NC||31||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||0||DNF||0|
“It’s incredible to be honest. The car was on rails. I mean on every tyre set we put on, it was really enjoyable to drive. I’m a bit amazed myself how today went; I didn’t expect it to be like this. Incredible job by everyone to deliver something like this. Of course, when you go into the weekend everybody sees you as the favourite, but it’s never easy to actually always deliver what we did today.”
“For me personally, P2 one place better than last week and I started from fifth so not a bad afternoon. I think as a team we got some decent points considering the gap we have to Red Bull in terms of pure pace. For me it’s nice to be on the podium again in second place and I think we really maximised what we could get today. The tyres held on pretty well today which was a surprise. Next two weeks of hardwork and learning then Silverstone, it will be great to see the fans there and I hope we can pick up our pace to give it a real fight there.”
“I’m extremely happy with today’s result. Another podium and a lot of points for us as a team. A very good day. The only thing that’s disappointing is the fact we could’ve been P2, but at the same time that’s also a big positive. Our pace today was extremely strong, especially in the second stint against very fast cars and against Mercedes. A lot of positives and altogether a very good day – a huge thank you to the whole team for their hard work and giving me such a great car. We’ll keep pushing to take this momentum into our home race at Silverstone in a couple of weeks.”
“It’s not the result I wanted but it’s still some decent points. I sustained some damage just before I overtook Lando – the rear of the car started to feel strange and it just got worse throughout the race. Otherwise it would have been a straightforward second place for me. Max is clear out front at the moment so we need improve our car and start performing better each weekend. The team are working incredibly hard and we need continue that so we can find performance.”