Sport Recaps

Styrian Grand Prix: Recap

Max Verstappen has further extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton with a flawless drive at the Styrian Grand Prix, giving Red Bull a fourth win in a row for the first time since 2013.

The win is Verstappen’s fourth of the season, extending his lead at the top of the championship to 18 points over Lewis Hamilton. 

The Brit finished second and Valtteri Bottas held third under immense pressure from Sergio Perez in fourth. 

Saturday qualifying

Max Verstappen managed to qualify in pole by being the only man on track to lap in the one minute threes. 

The Mercedes duo finished in second and third with Valtteri Bottas beating Lewis Hamilton by three-hundredths of a second. 

Unfortunately, Bottas started the race from fifth because of a three-place grid penalty for his pit-lane crash during Friday’s practice. 

Mclaren’s Lando Norris will start on the second row along with Sergio Perez. Also in Q3 were Yuki Tsunoda qualifying in eighth, Fernando Alonso ninth, and Lance Stroll sneaking into tenth. 

Alonso’s teammate, Esteban Ocon, had great pace in practice but made a shock exit in Q1. He started the race in 17th. Slightly ahead of him on the sixth row were ex-Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. 

Max speed ahead 

Verstappen, thanks to some good car placement, managed to stay ahead off the line which allowed him to dictate the race. At no point did it ever look like the Red Bull driver was going to be overtaken. 

Similarly, Lewis Hamilton had an uneventful race claiming that he felt “lonely” during it. In the end, Hamilton decided to pit on the penultimate lap to get the bonus point for the fastest lap. 

Early on in the race, there was a tight battle for the final place on the podium. Lando Norris took the early advantage over Perez and Bottas. 

However, he decided to change his race plan to a one-stopper. Norris slowed down to save tyres, handing over the lead to Perez on lap 10. 

A lap later, Bottas also went through, pushing Norris down to fifth. 

On lap 28, Bottas managed to undercut Perez’s Red Bull thanks to contrasting pit-stops. 

Later on, in an attempt to claim the place back, Perez pitted again and gave himself a mini mountain to climb. 

He needed to make up 20 seconds with 15 laps to go. An exciting finish was on the cards as Perez had the much faster car. In the end, Bottas held on by less than a second. 

What happened on lap one?

Pierre Gasly’s race was ended early because of a broken rear suspension after he collided with four different cars. 

At the first corner, Gasly ended up with a puncture, and Charles Leclerc damaged the right side of his car as the two drivers came together. 

Two corners later, Gasly got hit by Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicolas Latifi and Esteban Ocon, causing irreparable damage which ended the Frenchman’s race. Both Leclerc and Latifi needed to pit, too. 

Driver of the day

There were quite a few good drives, but only one outstanding one, that of Charles Leclerc. Leclerc started the race seventh on the grid, but ended up dropping to 18th after the incident with Gasly at the first corner. 

What followed was an excellent drive in which Leclerc was able to navigate his way around other drivers and get back to where he started. After the race, Leclerc labelled the drive as “one of his best”. 

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