Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had it under his control to win F1 Styrian GP from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Pole-sitter Max Verstappen made a good start in F1 Styrian GP in his Red Bull car as he led Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in Lap 1. The other Red Bull of Sergio Perez almost had McLaren’s Lando Norris, but the Brit stayed ahead of the Mexican.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas steadied in fifth as Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll climbed up to sixth from Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, with Williams’ George Russell eighth from McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in the Top 10 points position.
There was drama around the Top 5 when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the outside at Turn 3 tapped along with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. The Monegasque went off and rejoined alongside the Frenchman, when his right front wing tagged left rear of AlphaTauri.
It punctured Gasly’s car and as he slowed down, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was spun around in the right-hander, when the Italian tried to clear him on the outside. It caught out Williams’ Nicholas Latifi too, who suffered a right-rear puncture.
While Gasly was forced to retire, Leclerc and Latifi had to pit and dropped to the back. At the front, Verstappen had a comfortable lead from Hamilton, as Perez fought through Norris and passed him for third. Bottas followed him to be fourth as McLaren went to save mode.
Stroll steadied in sixth as Alonso had Russell, Tsunoda, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in a train. There was a momentary loss of power for Ricciardo, who dropped to 13th as a result.
At the back, the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin continued to fight, but the Russian pitted straight after. Up ahead, there was a small drama for Hamilton at the exit of Turn 4 but the Brit handled it well, as flurry of pit stops begun.
As Verstappen and Hamilton led the way after their stops, Norris was third while extending his stint. It was a loss of place for Perez after a slow stop due to left rear jam, which allowed Bottas to have track position over the Mexican driver and Red Bull.
There was heartbreak at Williams, when they alerted Russell about a reliability problem. They changed something on the right sidepod during his pit stop, which dropped him to the back. The Brit had to stop again, moments after his first stop.
He eventually retired from F1 Styrian GP. At the front, Verstappen led comfortably from Hamilton, with Bottas and Perez behind. Norris was a lonely fifth but a late run from Sainz helped him to be on fresher tyres and pass Stroll for a net sixth place.
The Spaniard’s deep run helped him to build a lead over Stroll, who had Alonso on his tail with Tsunoda not far behind. But they all soon had Leclerc chasing them after the Monegasque stopped the second time due to Lap 1 scrap.
Leclerc’s fightback involved another front wing tap against Raikkonen, but it didn’t deter the Monegasque, who cleared Giovinazzi, Vettel, Tsunoda, Alonso and Stroll to move up to seventh, behind teammate Sainz, in a brilliant recovery drive from the Ferrari driver.
Up ahead, Red Bull stopped Perez again to not only take away the fastest lap point, but also chase Bottas for third, who decided not to stop. It was a controlled run from Verstappen eventually, who cruised to win the F1 Styrian GP.
He slowed down on the finish line to celebrate with his team, as Hamilton was second after a late stop to take the fastest lap point away from Perez, who was fourth after ending up just half a second behind Bottas, when they crossed the chequered flag.
Everyone behind the Top 4 was lapped at least once, with Norris in fifth from Sainz, Leclerc, Stroll, where Alonso in ninth fended off a late charge from Tsunoda in the Top 10. It was Raikkonen in 11th after he passed Vettel late in the race.
Ricciardo was 13th from Ocon, with Giovinazzi in 15th from Schumacher, who passed both Latifi and Mazepin. The German ended up two laps down, while the Canadian and the Russian were three laps down to the F1 Styrian GP leaders.
#F1 #StyrianGP @Max33Verstappen continued where he left off during this triple header. From pole to finish. @LewisHamilton takes P2 with @ValtteriBottas completing the podium. Just 4 drivers finish in the same lap. #MsportXtra pic.twitter.com/Om9LfvNDVL
— #MsportXtra (@MsportXtra) June 27, 2021