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Max Verstappen wins Austrian GP dominantly: 'Incredible'

Published on 04 July 2021 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen dominantly won the Austrian Grand Prix. At no point was the win for the Dutchman at risk, he was in the lead for the whole race and took his third victory in a row, under watchful eyes of tens of thousands of ecstatic Dutch fans on the grand stands. As icing on the cake Max also took the extra point for the fastest lap. Valtteri Bottas finished eighteen seconds behind Verstappen in second position, while Lando Norris finished third.

After the race Max says to the cheers of his fans: “Incredible. The car was on rails. With every tyre we put on the car it was really enjoyable to drive. Pretty insane. I am a bit amazed myself, I did not expect it to be like this. Everyone did an incredible job to deliver something like this. When we went into the weekend everyone saw us as favourite, but it is never easy to actually deliver what we did today. It was a great effort by the whole team and also Honda. I think the whole package these two weeks has been incredible.”

After three wins in a row, Max has a lead of no less than 32 points in the championship to runner up Lewis Hamilton. But Max is not convinced that he will be again the favourite at Silverstone: “Silverstone is a different circuit. We were competitive here, we will have to see again for Silverstone. Of course we have a very good car, but you will always have to retrieve that potential. It is very close, also in qualifying. We have to make sure we are there, I have a good feeling and I am confident, so hopefully it will be the same at Silverstone.”

Finally Max has some words of praise for the ‘orange army’ who were in Austria at full force: “It was great to see all the fans here today. It is incredible to see so much orange. It was a great motivation, especially during the last lap there was a lot of orange all over the track. Thank you so much for coming”, concludes a overjoyed Max.

Under a watchful eye of many tens of thousands of Max fans the Austrian Grand Prix on the Red Bull Ring gets underway. Max has a good start from pole position and is in the lead when entering the first corner. Lando Norris, who started next to Verstappen in P2, follows while Sergio Perez holds off Lewis Hamilton to stay in third position. Further behind Esteban Ocon is squeezed and bumps into Antonio Giovinazzi and breaks his right front suspension. Occon is forced to park his car next to the track in turn three and is the first to drop out of the race. The safety car comes out on track.

In lap four the field is released again. After the restart Max increases the gap to Norris, who is under pressure from Perez. When they go side by side into turn four, Perez ends in the gravel. The Mexican gets back on track in tenth position. Meanwhile Verstappen continues to increase his lead to Norris. Hamilton increases the pressure to Norris and overtakes his fellow countryman in turn four. At the same time Norris is told that he receives a five second time penalty for the incident with Perez.

In lap 31 Lando Norris makes his first pitstop from P3 and also takes his five seconds time penalty. Bottas, who stops at the same time, takes over third position from Norris. Hamilton stops one lap later, while Verstappen comes in for his first stop to the Red Bull Racing pit box in lap 33. In a faultless stop Max changes from medium compound tyres to a fresh set of hard tyres. Max comes back out on track in the lead with more than twelve seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Meanwhile Perez is in a battle with Charles Leclerc for P8. The Monegasque tries to overtake the Red Bull Racing driver in the outside of turn four, but is forced wide by Perez. For that the Mexican receives a five seconds time penalty, just like Norris. A couple of laps later Leclerc tries to overtake Perez again. This time on the outside of turn six, and again Perez forces him wide, the Mexican receives another five seconds time penalty for that too.

Hamilton reports over the radio that he damaged the left rear of his Mercedes, causing teammate Bottas to catch up. In lap 52 Hamilton lets his teammate pass for second position. One lap later Norris also overtakes Hamilton in turn six for third place. Hamilton decides to come into the pits for a fresh set of hard tyres. The Brit comes back out on track 20 seconds behind Norris. Meanwhile Verstappen sets fastest lap after fastest lap and increases his lead to Bottas to 25 seconds.

Max decides in lap 61 to come in for a second stop. He changes to a new set of hard tyres and stays in the lead with a gap of seven seconds to Bottas. On his new tyres Max immediately sets the fastest lap by far. In the final phase of the race Max continues to increase the gap to Bottas and eventually wins the race eighteen seconds ahead. That is the third victory in a row for the Dutchman, increasing the lead in the championship to no less than 32 points ahead of Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas finishes second and Lando Norris takes third place, his third podium of the season. Lewis Hamilton finishes fourth, while Perez comes over the line in fifth position he ends in sixth because of his ten seconds time penalty, with Carlos Sainz in fifth. Daniel Ricciardo finishes seventh and Charles Leclerc in P8. Pierre Gasly takes ninth place, while Fernando Alonso overtakes George Russell in the final phase of the race for tenth position. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel hit each other in the last lap. Both cars go off track in high speed but luckily do not end up in the barriers.

Results Grand Prix Austria:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda711:23:54.54326
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes71+17.973s18
3Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes71+20.019s15
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes71+46.452s12
5Carlos SainzSAIFerrari71+57.144s10
6Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda71+57.915s8
7Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes71+60.395s6
8Charles LeclercLECFerrari71+61.195s4
9Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda71+61.844s2
10Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault70+1 lap1
11George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes70+1 lap0
12Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda70+1 lap0
13Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes70+1 lap0
14Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari70+1 lap0
15Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes70+1 lap0
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari70+1 lap0
17Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes69DNF0
18Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari69+2 laps0
19Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari69+2 laps0
0Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault0DNF0