Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen extended his lead in the championship after taking victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday coming home ahead of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris. Speaking following the race, Verstappen said:
“To win again at home at the Red Bull Ring is just incredible. I expected it to be good, but not this good, and the car was on rails. It was really nice to drive and the pace was incredible on both tyre compounds. I could push and also look after the tyres which is exactly how you want it to be and I could extend my gap lap after lap. Just like everyone else we learnt from last weekend and we optimised the car even more by improving the set-up. It’s actually hard to put into words because it was so enjoyable to drive and the weekend was the best it could be, so let’s hope we can carry on in the same way. It’s a great reward for everyone in the Team and it was also very nice to have Honda represented on the podium by Tanabe. The fans were also incredible all weekend, so much orange in the grandstands and it’s just great to see people back and enjoying Formula One at the track. There are of course a lot of difficult races coming up and Silverstone will be interesting with the Sprint Race to mix things up. But for now, I’m really happy with the way the whole race went and you don’t often get this type of race, so we all have to enjoy it.”
Valtteri Bottas commented on his second-place finish saying:
For me personally, P2 one place better than last week and I started from fifth so not a bad afternoon. I think as a team we got some decent points considering the gap we have to Red Bull in terms of pure pace. For me it’s nice to be on the podium again in second place and I think we really maximised what we could get today. The tyres held on pretty well today which was a surprise. Next two weeks of hardwork and learning then Silverstone, it will be great to see the fans there and I hope we can pick up our pace to give it a real fight there.
Defending Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton commented on his day saying:
It’s not the result I wanted but it’s still some decent points. I sustained some damage just before I overtook Lando – the rear of the car started to feel strange and it just got worse throughout the race. Otherwise it would have been a straightforward second place for me. Max is clear out front at the moment so we need improve our car and start performing better each weekend. The team are working incredibly hard and we need continue that so we can find performance.
Verstappen has now extended his championship lead by 32 points over Lewis Hamilton heading to the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit in just under two week’s time. Lewis Hamilton finished the race in fourth place just ahead of Carlos Sainz in his Ferrari. Speaking following the race, Lando Norris commented saying:
“I’m extremely happy with today’s result. Another podium and a lot of points for us as a team. A very good day. The only thing that’s disappointing is the fact we could’ve been P2, but at the same time that’s also a big positive. Our pace today was extremely strong, especially in the second stint against very fast cars and against Mercedes. A lot of positives and altogether a very good day – a huge thank you to the whole team for their hard work and giving me such a great car. We’ll keep pushing to take this momentum into our home race at Silverstone in a couple of weeks.”
Sergio Perez was handed two penalties of 5s each and ended the race in sixth place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
“I’m obviously not very happy with my race today. On the fourth lap I had the position and I out-braked Lando but he pushed me off the track which pretty much ended my race. As for the other incidents with Charles, I still have to review the situations and look at the incidents because I thought that I was ahead in both of them, especially the second one but it’s hard to say right now. I braked as late as possible, we were in dirty air and we had very old tyres so I lost the rear on the second one into Turn 6. I’m very sorry for Charles and how I affected his race because that’s not the way I like to race. I don’t feel happy with myself for compromising the race for another driver. But I am very happy for Max and the rest of the Team, it was great that we could get more points today at our home race at the Red Bull Ring. We move on and I’m looking forward to the next race at Silverstone.”
McLaren Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo came home in seventh place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
“It was a nice day for the team with a podium for Lando and getting into the points for me. That was good. I just had a pretty fun race. It was busy, trying to attack and defend. It’s one I could enjoy and take some fulfilment from. The defence was tough. I was trying everything I could, every trick in the book to stay ahead. I think I held on as long as I could and Sainz was just a bit quick at the end with a fresher tyre – but I can’t complain with the race and the result. A better day. Happy to have finished the first triple-header of the season. As fun as the triple-headers are, they’re tiring. Everyone can enjoy a break now. We’ll look forward to Silverstone and the new format there. It should be interesting!”
Charles Leclerc ended the race in eighth place for Ferrari just ahead of Pierre Gasly while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top ten for the Alpine F1 Team. Speaking following the race, the Spaniard said;
It was difficult to score points today and we knew this starting from so far back. We are happy with the point, although we know we deserved more this weekend, but it’s better than nothing. It was a tense and a good battle with George [Russell] on-track this afternoon and in the end, we had better tyres and managed to accomplish the overtake. On a positive, we saw some good improvements from the team this weekend and the car felt good across all three days here. I feel more confident now going into Silverstone for the next race with the car and the tyres and I’m enjoying being more competitive.
Williams Racing’s George Russell just missed out on scoring his first Formula One world championship point coming home in eleventh place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
Today was so close, yet so far. I got off the line well at the start, but then Tsunoda had quite a big lock up and cut in front of me to avoid going into his teammate, so I had to get on the brakes and lost a couple of places. That didn’t really change the outcome of our race as there were faster cars that were always going to finish ahead of us. That P10 point would feel like a race victory for us, so I was fighting with everything I had. Of all the drivers to have behind you in this situation, Fernando wouldn’t be who you’d choose; he was flying and holding him off just wasn’t possible on my tyres. We’re all disappointed to miss out by such a small margin, but we’re making real progress and we’ll take the positives on to Silverstone.
Yuki Tsunoda ended the race in 12th place for Alpha Tauri and speaking following the action, the Japanese driver commented saying:
“It’s been a difficult day for me. I struggled with pace during the race and tyre management was really tricky. My Qualifying was good yesterday so it’s frustrating, but we need to go away and review the issues from today, so we don’t make the same mistakes again next time out in Silverstone.”
Lance Stroll came home in 13th place for the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team and speaking following the race he said:
“It was not the race we were hoping for today. I think it is clear, with hindsight, that starting on the Softs was not ideal, although we managed to keep ourselves in the fight for points during the first phase of the race. When we made our first stop to get onto a set of new Hards, we came out in quite a bit of traffic. With cars on different strategies and tyres, it meant we lost time and did not take advantage of the peak of the tyre early in the second stint, which impacted our race. It is a disappointing end to the triple-header, but I am excited to get going for our home race at Silverstone in a couple of weeks. It is a very different circuit and we also have a new weekend format, so it is a clean slate and a chance to bounce back.”
Antonio Giovinazzi came home in 14th place just ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Kimi Raikkonen who was penalized for tangling with Sebastian Vettel at the end of the race. Speaking following the race Vettel said:
“It was not an easy race today, which ended with a trip through the gravel because of the misunderstanding with Kimi [Räikkönen]. I guess he just did not see me in front of him. The first I knew about it was the contact I felt on the left rear. I had made a good exit out of Turn Four and was pulling ahead of Kimi on the right as we approached Turn Five. I do not think there was any intention from Kimi. Even before that, we did not have the speed to fight for points today. The balance inside the car felt alright, but the cars on the Medium tyres had better performance in the opening stint when I was stuck in traffic without any clean air. It is disappointing not to score points, but we will work hard to understand where we can improve before we get to the next race at Silverstone.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal said:
“A number of factors combined to prevent us from scoring points today, despite both our drivers having done so well to get through to Q3 yesterday. That strong performance showed the underlying pace of our car, but it is possible that other teams that did not get through to Q3 were actually advantaged by that failure, since our drivers were both forced to make their first pit stops early as a result of having started the race on the Softs on which they qualified in Q3. We will have to analyse that issue carefully. Additionally, through no fault of his own, Lance was very unlucky to be slowed by debris that lodged itself in a brake duct, while Sebastian was nerfed off the track in the closing stages by [Kimi] Räikkönen. Looking on the bright side, next up is our home race, the British Grand Prix, and we will now start working through today’s data to learn from and build on the positives, in order to put on as good a show as we possibly can in front of the famously passionate Silverstone crowd.”
Mick Schumacher was 18th just ahead of his teammate Nikita Mazepin while Esteban Ocon retired from the race and speaking following the event the Frenchman said:
It was unfortunate for our race to end early today. There wasn’t much I could have done as I was sandwiched between Mick [Schumacher] and Antonio [Giovinazzi] at Turn 3 in a racing incident. It’s one of those things and a consequence of starting the race at the back. There’s always a chance for fights and contact and it’s easier to be caught up in trouble there. The team and I can’t seem to catch a break at the moment. We’ll reset, restart from zero and prepare for Silverstone. The only way we can go is forwards.
Considering the circumstances, finishing in tenth place is a decent result as it was always going be a challenge to score points from fourteenth and seventeenth on the grid. Esteban got sandwiched at Turn 3 on the first lap and was forced to retire with a broken suspension. We executed the one-stop strategy really well with a perfectly timed pit-stop and two good stints from Fernando. His pace was strong and it’s frustrating not to be able to capitalise on that today due to the outcome of yesterday’s qualifying. We’re looking forward to racing in Silverstone, our second home race, and returning to where we should be with both cars.