As visually confusing as the Circuit Paul Rickard was for the French Grand Prix was, the Red Bull Ring, in Speilburg Austria is lush and visually magnificent for the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix
A purpose built race track, home to the Red Bull Racing Team, the circuit may be short, but track times for Formula 1 are quick
And there’s no doubt that the track suited Max Verstappen. Starting from pole, Verstappen was never headed, cruising to a comfortable victory ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
There’ll be a lot of gnashing of teeth and a deep dive into the data of the race when the Mercedes-AMG team review the results. Unless they can find some more speed, it’s going to be a long season of minor podium results for the Silver Arrows team
A double podium for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team at the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix with Lewis P2 and Valtteri P3
- Lewis drove a solid race to take home second place in Austria, extracting the maximum performance from the W12 today.
- Valtteri jumped PER in the opening round of pit stops to move up to P3 and managed his Hard tyres well for the remainder of the race, weathering a late surge from PER who had switched to a two-stop strategy.
- Lewis pitted for a fresh set of Soft tyres with three laps to go and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to earn the bonus point on offer.
- Today was the 43rd-second place finish for Lewis in F1, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for most P2 finishes in history.
- Max Verstappen (156 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 18 points from Lewis (138) and Sergio Perez in P3 (96), with Valtteri (74) in P5.
Red Bull (252 points) lead the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (212 points) by 40 points in the Constructors’ Championship
Today was a bit of a lonely race for me – I was trying to keep up with the Red Bull but with the speed they have, they have obviously made some big improvements over the last couple of races and it was impossible to keep up.
I don’t know where we are losing all the time, I think their long runs seem to be a bit better, plus on the straight, it feels like we lose a lot. It’s a serious challenge, we need to figure out what we can do to elevate the package and give us more performance but it was a really good result to get second and third.
We got good points as a team today and we have just got to keep pushing.
From where I started, I think we maximised the race – starting from fifth and finishing third was a decent result.
There was not much left in my tyres at the end, today was more like rallying in Finnish Lapland than F1 in Austria! The Red Bulls seems two-tenths quicker than us each lap at the moment, which is quite a lot. Today we managed to beat one of them which was good but we need to improve the car moving forward to compete for the win.
We need to accept that they are ahead at the moment and use it as motivation. It was a pretty clean weekend for me – other than the penalty – and P2 in qualifying and a podium finish is positive and I’m looking forward to next week.
A double podium with the second-fastest car was the best damage limitation we could do today – we fought with everything we had but it wasn’t enough.
Red Bull clearly had the quicker package this weekend, and we didn’t have the pace to apply strategic pressure to Max who could have covered every move we made; he simply controlled the race from the front. With Valtteri, we picked the pocket of Red Bull to claim P3, and he did a fantastic job to eke out the tyre life to the last corner and stay ahead of Perez.
We knew the time would come when it became tougher for us – and it’s here right now. We will need to analyse the race, see what more we could have squeezed out of the package, and keep on chipping away each weekend. We can see that Red Bull are still developing strongly, while our focus is now primarily on 2022, but that doesn’t mean the championship is over – far from it.
We will be fighting with every weapon we have, and the battle is still full-on.
Hello. I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and editor of The Car Guy. The Car Guy is an independently owned car review website. I’m currently testing cars for Mazda, Nissan, Kia, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Renault, Hyundai and Genesis.
Through Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport I’m also writing about the 2021 Formula 1 season.
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Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, driving for McLaren, finished in a lowly 13th place, after climbing to 7th. Teammate Lando Norris finished in 5th position for the second consecutive race. This shows that the McLaren cars are capable of competing and winning against the best of the rest.
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