Styrian Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has claimed a comfortable win at Red Bull’s home race in Austria.
It was a harrowing tale for Mercedes as the Dutchman went unchallenged and led every lap to claim his 14th career win, and extend his points’ advantage to Lewis Hamilton by 40 points.
Hamilton finished in second place for Mercedes with teammate Valtteri Bottas seeing off a late charge from Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull to finish in third.
Verstappen got off the line well and held the lead into Turn 1 ahead of his championship rival Hamilton. Once ahead, the Red Bull driver worked on building a gap to the seven-time World Champion behind. With Hamilton having no answer for Verstappen’s pace, he was free to pull out a gap of over four seconds.
When the pitstop windows opened, it was Perez who blinked first and came in to switch compounds on Lap 27, however, a slow stop with an issue taking off the left rear allowed Bottas to come out ahead of the Mexican a lap later.
With Bottas sitting in third ahead of Perez, Hamilton came into the pits on Lap 29, but couldn’t get an undercut and came out behind Verstappen once the Red Bull driver made his stop a lap later.
The race then settled into a rhythm with Verstappen slowly pulling away from Hamilton to claim a decisive victory and Red Bull’s fourth consecutive win.
With the leading pair so far ahead, it was up to Bottas and Perez to battle for the final podium spot. Perez switched to a two-stop strategy on Lap 55 to try and catch the Mercedes at the end of the race. Bottas elected to remain on his hard tyres allowing Perez to carve into the gap to the Finnish driver.
However, Perez couldn’t quite catch Bottas in time and finished in fourth place, behind the Mercedes. Hamilton came into the pits for soft tyres on Lap 69 to gain fastest lap and a valuable point.
McLaren’s Lando Norris, who started up in third place, finished a distant fifth place and a lap down on the leader. Norris looked comfortable in third at the start of the race, but was overtaken by Bottas and Perez on Lap 11.
Carlos Sainz finished in a strong sixth place ahead of Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc who had to recover from an early pitstop following a clash with Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman had to retire from the race with a left rear puncture which resulted in heavy suspension damage. Leclerc was able to carry on with some front wing repairs.
Lance Stroll came home in eighth place after a quiet race for the Aston Martin driver, with Fernando Alonso just behind in the Alpine. Just a second separated them at the end of the race. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10.
Kimi Raikkonen finished in 11th for Alfa Romeo after a strong race starting on the hard tyres with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel just behind in 12th.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in 13th and ran well into the points on the early part of the race, but some power issues with his car meant he fell down the field.
Esteban Ocon finished in 14th for Alpine with Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo 15th having to recover from a spin on the first lap.
Mick Schumacher finished in 16th for Haas ahead of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi. Nikita Mazepin in the other Haas car finished last of the classified runners in 18th.
Williams’ George Russell had to required due to an issue with his power unit having been up in the points early in the race.