2021 Styrian GP - Max Verstappen takes the win in the Austrian hills

It would be back-to-back wins for Max Verstappen as the Red Bull man crossed the line to take the win at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Lewis Hamilton would be second best throughout the race, with teammate Valtteri Bottas coming across the line in third, despite a late charge from the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez

A large portion of the action would take place in the opening few laps, with multiple drivers having their races impacted from lap one onwards.

Chaotic Start

The race got off to a  start, with three drivers falling victim to contact in the first two laps. Charles Leclerc made contact with the rear left of Pierre Gasly, giving the Frenchman a puncture and resulting in a broken suspension. After falling down the grid Gasly would also make contact with Nicholas Latifi, giving the Canadian a puncture also. The contact would see Gasly retire from the race, whilst Latifi and Leclerc would continue well down the order.

A catastrophic weekend for Daniel Ricciardo would continue in the race, despite making up places on the start, seeing him rise to 8th on track. On lap 8 the Aussie would complain of low power, seeing him lose multiple positions and fall to 13th position, where he started the race.

The race relaxed in the following laps, with all drivers settling into the developing track. The main battle surrounded the seventh position, with a number of cars all battling. One man who was a part of this was George Russell, who was putting in a valiant effort in 8th position, managing to stay within a second of two times World Champion Fernando Alonso.

Trip to the pits

As the race hit the 25 lap mark, drivers began to dip into the pits, swapping onto the hard compound of tires, drivers such as Leclerc would be looking to make the end of the race on the white wall tires. Russell would have to have an extended stop in order to help fix hydraulics on his car, something that he would do twice, coming in the lap afterward too. As a result, Russell would find himself in 18th, 30 seconds behind the Haas of Nikita Mazepin

Following the stops, the top three remained the same, with Verstappen and Hamilton remaining 1-2, with Lando Norris dipping into the pits on lap 32, having done a long stint on the soft tires, giving McLaren the track advantage. Hamilton however began to demonstrate his pace, with the laps following the stop, the Mercedes boasted a lap time 0.6s quicker than the charging Red Bull.

As the race went on the battle for the final podium position heated up, mainly between Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez. Following the stops, Perez looked to have gained some pace, with the Mexican closing in on the Finn ahead. Around the same time, Russell would bow out of the race after the issues with the Williams were deemed terminal, forcing a promising weekend to come to an end for the young Brit.

Fighting back 

After the chaotic start that Leclerc had the Monegasque man was making a run of it further down the grid. After a poor weekend last time out at Paul Ricard, Leclerc was donning the yellow wall medium tires, in a sea of others on the hard compound, allowing the Ferrari to move freely up the standings. The charge would continue for Leclerc, as he passed the remaining Alpha Tauri of Yuki Tsunoda on lap 54 and the Alpine of Alonso on lap 56. Leclerc wasn't done just yet, with one more move happening on lap 61, as he passed the hapless Aston Martin of Lance Stroll for seventh place.

As the race hit lap 63, the attention turned away from the race, and to the skies, as black clouds began to descend on the Steiermark hills of Austria, with hopes that the end of the race would be made a little more exciting. However, nothing was reported on the team's weather systems, resulting in the racing becoming the main focus again, in particular the battle for 11th place between Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, and Kimi Raikonnen, with the charging Ricciardo looking to make his way towards the top 10.

Ultimately the race would end in an anti-climatic fashion, with Verstappen cheekily doing a burnout as he crossed the line. The drivers will all be looking forward to the next race on the calendar, where they return to the Red Bull ring.

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