Austrian GP 2021
JULY 4, 2021
Race Notes - Verstappen wins again in Austria
By Mark Karp
Max Verstappen took a flag-to-flag victory at the Austrian Grand Prix in his Red Bull-Honda, 17.973 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in his Mercedes GP, followed by Lando Norris (20.019s) in third place in his McLaren-Mercedes.
The win is Verstappen’s fifth win of the 2021 season.
Lewis Hamilton (47.452S) in the second Mercedes GP finished in fourth, followed by Carlos Sainz (57.144s) in the Ferrari was fifth, Sergio Perez (57.915s) in the second Red Bull was sixth, Daniel Ricciardo (1m00.395s) in the second McLaren was seventh, Charles Leclerc (1m01.195s) in the second Ferrari was eighth, Pierre Gasly (1m01.864s) in the AlphaTauri-Honda was ninth and Fernando Alonso (1 lap) in the Alpine-Renault took the final point in tenth.
Before the start it is a reversal of last week’s sunny skies, it was cloudy with spots of rain, and the weather about 15 degrees cooler. Verstappen on pole with Norris alongside on the front row, Perez and Hamilton on row two, Bottas and Gasly on row three, Tsunoda and Russell on row four and Stroll and Sainz rounding out the top ten. Vettel starting 11th after getting a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alonso during qualifying.
There is the possibility of both one-stop and two-stop strategies. The first five starting on medium tyres, the rest starting on a mix of tyres.
At the appointed time the field came around, the lights went out and the race started with Verstappen taking the lead over Norris, Perez, Hamilton and Bottas.
On the first lap Ocon makes contact with Giovinazzi - Ocon is out, Giovinazzi pits, and the safety car is out.
Behind the safety car Verstappen leads Norris, Perez, Hamilton, Bottas, Gasly, Tsunoda, Stroll, Vettel, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Russell, Sainz, Raikkonen and Alonso in 15th.
At the end of lap 3 the safety car comes in and the race resumes.
Out of the first corner Norris and Perez battling. On turn 3 the continue to battle and Perez goes wide and goes into the gravel trap and falls back. Norris is second with Hamilton and Bottas following. Perez in tenth place.
Giovanazzi is given a 5-second time penalty for overtaking during the first safety car period.
On lap 9 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m09.218s, and again the next lap at 1m09.091s.
Hamilton is challeging Norris for second place.
At lap 10 Verstappen leads Norris by 4.4 seconds followed by Hamilton (5.0s), Bottas (8.4s), Gasly (14.9s), Tsunoda (17.4s), Stroll (18.3s), Vettel (18.9s), Ricciardo (20.0s), and Perez (209s) In tenth place.
Norris asks the team about Hamilton, “I think he's quicker.”
On lap 15 Leclerc passes Perez for seventh.
On lap 15 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m09.074s, and again the next lap at 1m09.070s.
On lap 18 Ricciardo passes Vettel for fifth place.
Vettel pits for hard tyres and rejoins in 19th.
Hamilton reports that his rear tyres are starting to go off.
Norris is given a five-second penalty for his incident with Perez.
On lap 20 Hamilton passes Norris for second place.
At lap 20 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 9.6 seconds, followed by Norris (10.9s), Bottas (13.8s), Ricciardo (35.3s), Leclerc (36.8s), Perez (37.8s), Sainz (39.5s), Russell (43.6s) and Raikkonen (44.3s) in tenth place.
Tsunoda is given a 5-second time penalty for crossing the line at pit entry.
On lap 25 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m08.882s.
On lap 30 Ricciardo pits from fifth for hard tyres and rejoins in 12th.
On lap 31 Norris and Bottas both pits for hard tyres. Russell pits as well.
On lap 32 Hamilton pits for hard tyres, the next lap Verstappen pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins still in the leads. Perez and Alonso pit the next lap.
On lap 34 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m08.473s.
On lap 35 Leclerc pits.
At lap 35 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 14.3 seconds, followed by Bottas (18.8s), Norris (21.6s), Sainz (30.5s), Raikkonen (41.5s), Gasly (42.9s), Ricciardo (44.2s), Perez (46.0s) and Leclerc (47.7s) in tenth place.
On lap 38 Russell passes Stroll for 13th.
On lap 39 Raikkonene pits from sixth for medium tyres and rejoins 15th.
On lap 41 Perez and Leclerc battle and touch, Perez getting eighth place.
Sainz in fifth place is yet to pit.
Bottas is closing on Hamilton in second.
Perez is handed a five-second penalty for forcing Leclerc off the track.
At lap 45 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 18.4 seconds, followed by Bottas (19.5s), Norris (22.2s), Sainz (40.7s), Ricciardo (52.5s), Perez (53.4s), Leclerc (54.5s), Tsunoda (1m01.5s) and Vettel (1m04.6s) in tenth place.
Perez and Leclerc are battling once again, Leclerc goes off but continues.
Hamilton complains to the team that he thinks he has
On lap 49 Sainz pits from fifth for medium tyres and rejoins in ninth.
On lap 50 Sainz passes Tsunoda for eighth place.
Vettel pits for a second time.
On lap 51 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m08.439s.
On lap 52 Bottas passes Hamilton for second place.
Bottas sets fast lap at 1m08.374s.
Verstappen comes back and sets another fast lap.
On lap 53 Norris passes Hamilton for third place. Hamilton pits for another set of hard tyres and rejoins still in fourth.
On lap 55 Gasly set fast lap at 1m08.146s
Verstappen takes it back on lap 56 with a 1m08.012s. 07.992s
At lap 56 Verstappen leads Bottas by 25.3 seconds, followed by Norris (27.2s), Hamilton (46.8s), Perez (57.9s), Ricciardo (1m01.5s), Leclerc (1m02.0s), Sainz (1m06.5s), Gasly (1 lap) and Russell in tenth place.
Ricciardo and Leclerc are battling for sixth.
On lap 61 Verstappen pits from the lead for another set of hard tyres and rejoins still in the lead.
Russell and Alonso are battling for the final point..
On 62 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m06.200s.
On lap 66 Sainz passes Leclerc for seventh place.
On lap 68 Alonso passes Russell for tenth place.
Sainz is catching Ricciardo in sixth.
On lap 71 Sainz passes Ricciardo for sixth.
At the finish Verstappen wins over Bottas and Norris.