Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Verstappen dominates Styrian GP to extend points lead over Hamilton

2021 Styrian Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen led every lap of the Styrian Grand Prix to take his fourth win of the season ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen pulled steadily away from his championship rival in the second half of the race to take a comfortable victory to extend his lead further in the drivers’ championship.

Valtteri Bottas took the final podium position in third after holding off a late charge from Sergio Perez in fourth.

At the start, Verstappen held the lead from Hamilton while Sergio Perez and Lando Norris battled over third place. Behind, Charles Leclerc ran into the back of Pierre Gasly, causing a left-rear puncture on the AlphaTauri and breaking the Ferrari’s front wing.

With Gasly struggling to slow down for turn three, he was unable to avoid Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo, sending him into a spin. Nicholas Latifi was also involved in the melee. Leclerc was able to replace his front wing and rejoin the race, while Gasly was forced into retirement.

As Verstappen and Hamilton pulled away out front, Perez dived past Norris into turn three to take third place, closely followed by Bottas who demoted Norris to fifth

Perez was the first of the front-runners to pit, but a slow stop saw him lose third place to Bottas after the Mercedes driver made his first stop.

Hamilton was brought in to try and undercut the race leader, but Verstappen’s gap was more than comfortable enough for Red Bull to bring him in and resume the lead. Verstappen began to gradually pull away from the chasing Mercedes as Hamilton struggled with graining on his medium tyres.

Perez was brought in for a second stop in a bid to try and chase down Bottas with fresher tyres, but despite rapidly closing the gap to the Mercedes driver, was unable to catch him in time.

Verstappen cruised to the chequered flag to win his fourth race of the season and extend his advantage to 18 points in the championship. Hamilton finished second after pitting on the penultimate lap to claim the additional bonus point for fastest lap

Norris finished fifth for McLaren ahead of the two Ferraris of Carlos Sainz Jnr and Leclerc. Lance Stroll finished eighth for Aston Martin, with Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda rounding out the top ten.

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2021 Styrian Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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92 comments on “Verstappen dominates Styrian GP to extend points lead over Hamilton”

  1. Redbull will get every pole and win from now on baring any mistakes or unlucky situations. That Redbull is so stable, so dominant. Max could have pulled even bigger gap if he wanted.
    Game and party over for Mercedes.

    1. Agreed, championship over as far as I am concerned.

      1. Never underestimate the MIA

    2. Don’t worry, new Pirelli tyres will make mercedes the best car again

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised. Also the new pit stop rule might give some penalties and we’re all back to square one.

    3. It’s funny, I recall seeing an almost identical comment about Lewis after his Portugal win. This is the great thing about a championship. We just don’t know. Try to enjoy it!

  2. Or we could just look at two drivers pushing each other to the maximum and congratulate Max on a dominate performance.

    These comments being toxic to either driver/team are just tiresome. Just enjoy the championship and stop being so negative.

    1. Yes, go Robert!

    2. Para de falar bobagem seu burro.

    3. Yeah, well said there @rib8k, let’s look forward to having a couple of really great racers pushing each other week after week!

  3. Botta’s penalty and Norris’ great qualifying performance spoiled this race. It would have been better with Perez and Bottas on the second row. Let’s hope we see that next week.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      27th June 2021, 23:34

      Perez and Bottas being on the second row would have made zero difference to the race result.

    2. Without his penalty Bottas would have been on the front row…

  4. Here we go again…as expected.

  5. Guys, what is the most wins record for a single season? I got a feel Verstappen can be bagging 15 wins this season, no competition from his teammate.

    1. 15 by Vettel

      1. Sorry that was poles. 13 by Vettel

        1. And Schumacher if i am not mistaken

        2. 13 by Schumacher out of 18 races in 2004 (better win percentage than Vettel).

          1. 6 of 8 by Nino Farina, 1952, slightly better

          2. Ascari!!

          3. Melanos, the win percentage here acts as a tie breaker, not a measure in itself.

          4. Ok, the question was about most wins, so 6 < 13. Anyway the 75% wins of Alberto Ascari stands as the % record. I was surprised that the best percentage was not Fangios. But anyway, el Chueco used to be thrifty with his victories (winning as slow as possible).

    2. 15 in 19 races. %age record held by MS though. 72.22%

      1. Opps 13 in 19 for for Seb. 13 in 18 for MS

      2. 2004 had 18 races: AUS, MAL, BHR, SMR, ESP, MON, EUR, CAN, USA, FRA, GBR, GER, HUN, BEL, ITA, CHN, JPN, BRA

      3. 75% Farina 1952

        1. SORRY that was Alberto Ascari

        2. One of the few % records not held by El Chueco

    3. I don’t really think verstappen can win 15 races this season, I think he can win the title if reliability and car pace is ok but not certainly in such a dominant fashion, however as of this race he finally got the personal win record in a season, previous was 3.

  6. Probably set by the Red Bull/ Vettel team

  7. Mercedes better get their game on and switch back to bringing developments to this year’s car. I expecr Verstappen to get pole and win every race from this point now on. They can no longer rely on Hamilton and Bottas’ driving ability.

    1. They ruled that out quite a few races ago. The decision was made that the 22 car was the priority. They were always prepared to take a risk this year.

  8. Comments like this are what makes me stop subscription for this site. The commentators here are really toxic. Seeing that nothing gets done, i’m better somewhere else really, rather than reading crap like this all the time.

    1. Absolutely +10000

    2. I understand that.

    3. I’m cancelling too

  9. The past few years, most of the races RedBull won were super tight or steals ( down to some bad luck for Mercedes or strategy errors). But this race was proper dominance, like Merc used to do so often.

    I dont recall ever hearing Lewis ask “what should we do” and getting no real answer from Bono in regards to having a chance to win a straight-fought GP.

    1. TBF to Ham, he did say after the ‘Merc/Ham Dominating’ nonsense at Spain that we are leading because of RB errors.
      The RB/Max package is the pace setter now.

      1. You are right. But Mercedes has so many times sold the take of “we are the underdogs” that now they might start becoming the 2nd team for real, almost nobody believes them.

        1. Who cares if no one believes them or not? What does it change?

  10. Unlike last week, RB seemed to actually be the faster car on Sunday as well, which is scary for the Mercs. Pretty straightforward race. Well-managed from Max, nice save on the gravel from Lewis, and impressive recovery from Charles.

    1. @j-l

      Unlike last week, RB seemed to actually be the faster car on Sunday as well

      ..unlike the whole season really. Still not convinced this is a watershed moment though.

      1. @balue Yeah I agree, albeit with the caveat “on classic tracks”. They were clearly faster in Baku and in Monaco. It’s been fairly even so far, despite what some people would have you believe.

        But I have to say I was wrong, I thought that Mercedes would keep their Sunday advantage on classic tracks, and it hasn’t happened. This trajectory is encouraging for RB.

      2. @balue Do you genuinely believe the Red Bull was the faster race car in Portimao and Spain? Imola wasn’t even a straight fight, so that can’t be counted.

        1. Indeed, I’m pretty sure mercedes was fastest at least in the race in portugal and spain, probably equal in bahrain and in imola hamilton looked faster till the mistake, france also mercedes faster.

          You see the difference in austria, verstappen pulled away a few sec immediately, he couldn’t do that in france when he was ahead, in fact hamilton did that at start when he was ahead.

  11. At this rate, Max will run away in the WDC battle, although still a small gap and many races remaining.

  12. Needless rant but LOL the “GOAT simulator”, i’d prefer the goat simulator, noncaps

  13. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    27th June 2021, 16:19

    Surprised Leclerc was given driver of the day and wasn’t even investigated for what happened with Gasly. That was totally his fault.

    1. Agree, almost bizarre to get DOT after such an amateur race-ending move. The recovery was good, but still.

    2. Leclerc drove very good today. I think he was angry to Gasly as he (Gasly) tried a kamikaze dive before the incident between two.

  14. Well done both Lewis and Max, except Lewis’ wining over RB’s straight speed. Decrease your rear wing Lewis or get over it.

  15. Let’s hope reliability will not be an issue this season.

    1. I think that’s wishful thinking with so many races, that’s another problem red bull might have, perez already lost points in the first race because of it.

  16. Dominant win from Max. Both RBR and Merc are in a different league in the hands of their A drivers. But unless it happens what Ham said (serious upgrade) his chances are SO limited. This is probably Max’s and RBR’s year.

  17. Bravo Max! Dominance! Feels good doesn’t it Max fans. Enjoy 👍

    1. Mixed feeling here. Today this was not a battle. It was a landslide. Considering the WDC, yeah I enjoyed the final result. But let’s hope Mercedes gives Red Bull a run for their money, as 4 wins in a row for Red Bull start to make the “most expected battle of the last 3 seasons” a one-sided event, although with a different leading team now.

      1. You’re a Vettel fan that jumped ship so wasnt really aimed at you.

      2. Tommy Scragend
        27th June 2021, 23:38

        One team taking a number of wins in a row doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a battle. Today’s race wasn’t a battle, Verstappen cruised it. But last week he only took the lead on the penultimate lap, so that was an enthralling race to watch. Baku was, let’s say, an unexpected turn of events.

        Red Bull still need to be on the ball if they are going to keep their advantage. They’re by no means walking away with it like Mercedes have been at various times in recent years.

  18. Was interesting how both Red Bull and Mercedes was managing the hards by prepping them early. ‘These are the critical laps’ -talk for example, or Bottas annoyed at being given the wrong advice and ‘cooking’ his.

    Seemed Mercedes’ whole ploy was to wait for Red Bull to have deg and then pounce, but never happened. Even when Bono said strategy had changed and asked Hamilton to go for it, Red Bull could match that too. I guess that’s what happens when overtaking is out of the question with a superior straight line speed. Red Bull gets to relax, and Mercedes’ strategy options are seriously limited.

  19. I can’t believe some of the people on here.

    I swear that if Marzipan was leading the championship there would be people on here moaning that F1 is boring and unfair.

    Then again I have never understood the “Blinkered Fanatic” types who want to see their favourite driver win every single race without any challenge at all so that they can screech about how great he is.

    1. It’s absolutely bizarre. For the first time in 7/8 years a different car looks quicker and they seem to have instantly lost interest in the sport.

    2. I can understand the blinkered fanatic in any sport, and have more time for them. They invest in the sportsman or team. They put themselves up to be shot down on forums and elsewhere when their side make a mess of things. They care.
      Unlike the group who sit on the sidelines, sniping at anyone or anything worthy of their ridicule. Hiding behind their protestations that they are being reasonable and fair whilst spouting some derogatory nickname for their latest target. I thought we would lose this type of follower when MS left, but they just moved on to Seb then Ham. I wonder which of the next generation will end up in sights?

      1. Obviously I totally disagree.

        People who worship a sports-person to the point of buying all the merchandise to prove that they are a follower and walk out of an event if their chosen hero falls out of the event early do not care about the sport.
        They are mindless drones who just want to be on the winning side.

        and I am not hiding behind anything Deary
        I referred to Gasly as “Ghastly” when he was.
        I’ve called Bottas “Botty Boy” for being the team tool.
        I have no “latest target”. Every single one of these drivers is open to insult.

        Why did you think true fans of the sport would leave after Micks dad stopped racing?

        I respect every single driver on the grid.
        That doesn’t mean I have to mindlessly worship them.

        Why did you think

        1. Tommy Scragend
          27th June 2021, 23:39

          You respect every single driver on the grid? By giving them childish nicknames like “Botty Boy”?

      2. @ian dearing You understand them because you are obviously one of them, but I simply can’t understand you. Not really interested in the sport at all, just hero-worshipping a person and going after everyone who don’t sing his praises. I find it bizarre and unhealthy, dragging the sport down.

        1. And out of the woodwork comes the poster who spends more time attacking other posters than he does commenting on F1. You post more about Ham fans then they do about Hamilton.
          Anyway, I’ll let you get back to the gutter where you are most comfortable.

          1. Personal attack, false accusation and double-speak. How totally predictably. But that’s the way of the blinkered fanatic that you so admire.

            The reality is that I’m actually interested in F1 unlike you who are all about attacking other posters in your defence of Hamilton in practically every single comment you make.

            Just a few more years now and you’ll all be gone.

  20. Redbulls amd verstappen are on d ball. Merc need to decide whether sacrificing this yr for next is worth losing this yr. But as it stands redbull r bringing good upgrades amd mercs hav stopped with their upgrades. So its not an actual fight but a calculated decision for the next era by the mercs.

  21. Pretty much game-over for both Lewis & Mercedes now

    1. Well… they are well ahead now but this isnt done. Far from it.
      Max is looking very good though

      1. After Silverstone and Monza we will now more about the rest of the championship I expect MB much closer to RBR as this and probably next race

    2. This is a possibility, @the-edge. But I’m not seeing anything to indicate that yet. Hamilton has come back from larger deficits than 18pts multiple times.

      If RBH keep their advantage, if they are reliable, and if Max avoids mistakes, it could be a runaway. But I suspect it will get closer rather than farther apart. We’ll see. Nice to have some competition though.

  22. The real difference is max, #2 drivers of both teams are closely matched. I cant see a dominant car difference like mercedes drivers enjoyed past few years.

    1. Davethechicken
      27th June 2021, 21:10

      Perez was sacked by RP for Vettel. He was on the way out of F1 when RBR gave him the drive.
      He was hired to disrupt the Mercs but not beat Max. They did not want in fighting.
      Bottas was hired on the back of very strong performances for Williams. He has frequently put his car on pole, beating a Hamilton not infrequently.
      I disagree with you that they are a barometer for their respective cars.

      1. Feel like you mentioned a lot of negative about Perez and positive about Bottas. Let’s look into that, shall we?

        Perez was on his way out because the boss’s son is in one of the cars at RP. In any normal situation, Stroll would have been shown the door. Perez had 10 podiums and a win prior to coming to RBH.

        Bottas got the Merc seat because Rosberg retired last minute and basically every other driver was on contract and in addition to Williams being a Merc partner, Toto Wolff was Bottas’ manager at the time. Will you look at that? Bottas also brought 10 podiums with him when he moved to Merc, though no prior wins.

        Bottas had amassed his points and podiums faster than Perez, but recall that all of Bottas podiums and all but 4 of his points at Williams were during the 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons–an unusual high-point for the team at the start of the hybrid era when the Merc teams dominated–particularly Williams. The team was 3rd, 3rd, and 5th those years.

        And while Bottas seems like a good guy, is a good driver, and helps keep harmony in the team, he is not a great driver and he does not threaten Hamilton over a season. Hamilton wants him to stay. If Bottas was a threat to Hamilton, Lewis would not be trying to keep him. I am not saying Hamilton would want him gone, but I highly doubt Hamilton would bring up Bottas staying during contract negotiations if he was a threat.

        In their first 8 races in their first season at their respective top teams—both Bottas and Perez were 3rd in the title hunt and with 1 win. Bottas was closer to his teammate then than Perez is now, but we’ll see how it shakes out.

        In any case 8 races into his first season at RBH seems a bit early to dismiss Perez. I don’t expect him to threaten Verstappen, but let’s not pretend like Bottas is a threat either.

        1. Rodric Ewulf
          29th June 2021, 4:02

          Additionally, Hamilton had some off pace weekends in the beginning of 2017, whilst Verstappen this season is always performing stronlgy with fewer mistakes (specially very costly ones) so you have to consider that when you compare Bottas and Perez on their debut seasons in a top team.

  23. First time there is no real question about which was the faster car on points-day. Hamilton could not sit behind Verstappen like he did in other races where he was behind, and Verstappen pounced around the track with merciless pace. I am sure the margins for next race will actually be quite a lot closer, as the teams will take with them a lot of relevant data for next week. I do hope this is the last season ever that we do the same circuit/country twice. It really takes the shine off a Grand Prix.
    I am sure FIA will ensure with their technical directives that the Red Bull wings will be clipped further, so I don’t consider the championship to be over at all.

    1. Davethechicken
      27th June 2021, 21:24

      Not the first time at all. RBR fastest in preseason testing and all season so far.
      Max/RBR has had the pace to win all the races this year, with mistakes, pit tactics and tyre failure costing the other poles and wins.
      He really could and arguably should have a much bigger lead in the WDC than he does.

      1. Headless chicken, I presume?

        1. Davethechicken
          27th June 2021, 22:13

          Insults? How mature of you!
          Suppose you will be checking my spelling again?

          1. I didn’t spell-check you. I pointed out last time that your lack of spell checking shows how they are thoughtless, throwaway comments. This point still stands. Find your Twitter account password and just stay there where you belong.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            27th June 2021, 23:25

            You should have a hyphen between “pre” and “season” – pre-season.

      2. Absolutely wrong, there’s only 3 races where red bull was clearly faster: this one + street tracks.

        In qualifying they were faster more often than mercedes though, including a mercedes pole like imola.

    2. Yet, the Mercedesses have no issues with Perez. Which leads me to still believe the Mercedes is the best car, but Verstappen is the better driver than both Mercedes drivers.

      1. If you take a look for example at this race, perez and bottas were really close, you’d tend to think the cars were equal, however bottas is also notoriously strong in austria, one of the few tracks where he can outperform hamilton, so I guess red bull faster works well here, and in any case bottas did his job (competing with perez), hamilton didn’t do his (competing with verstappen), this can’t be blamed on the car.

  24. The better Red Bull does, the more interested I am in how they will do next year. It seems the team and Honda are really going all in on this year, which was always going to be a big chance for them with Mercedes being hit hard by the floor changes and most teams simply carrying over the 2020 car to a large degree and investing their time and (now limited) money in the 2022 regulation overhaul. I wonder how much this limits their ability to build something impressive for 2022.

    Anyway, despite the relative ease with which Verstappen won this race he still only gained 6 points over Hamilton. Not exactly the way to build big gaps. Hamilton’s numerous small errors will please Red Bull though; it’s clear they are really having to push their equipment and it is predictably leading to a much harder time on track, with a botched qualifying lap and nearly a(nother) off in the race.

    1. Indeed, it’s very hard to gain points like this: you need 4 wins with your opponent taking 2nd and fastest lap to build a 24 points margin, and if you have a reliability problem and your opponent wins it’s all gone in a race.

  25. I love how the assumption is that Max is now winning because he has the best car, Maybe it is a case of the RB/Max combo is the fastest combo at the moment!
    I am definitely not a Lewis fan, but I think it foolish to write him off like this, he could find a bit more form and then the Merc/Lewis combo could be fastest.
    The situation at the moment has in no way confirmed that the RB is better than the Merc, these things are influenced by the driver as well and right now just maybe Lewis and Valterri are not getting 100% out of it, just like Sergio is not getting 100% out of the RB. But that can all change.

  26. Very strong win by Max and Red Bull! Im hoping Mercedes haven’t stopped adding developments to their car, it would be a great shame to rob the fans of a great year

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