Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Verstappen encouraged by strong pace on worn tyres in crushing win

2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen was encouraged by his car’s pace in the latter stages of the Styrian Grand Prix following his crushing win in the race.

The Red Bull driver led every lap of the race from pole position, pulling away steadily from Lewis Hamilton in the opening laps.

“Straight away I felt a good balance in the car and it was good to manage the tyres basically from the start,” he said. “I felt like, to the end, I also had tyres left.”

Hamilton’s pace dropped off significantly towards the end of the race. Verstappen set his fastest lap on the 68th lap of 71, at which point he was up to a second a lap quicker than his rival.

Verstappen said the team made the correct tactical choice to wait until Hamilton had pitted before responding, knowing they had sufficient margin in hand.

“Of course they pitted one lap earlier than us,” he said. “We reacted to that and then we just kept on going, trying to hit our lap times. That worked really well today.”

The biggest potential threat to Verstappen’s victory emerged in the second half of the race, when he twice complained about a brake-by-wire problem. It occurred intermittently, and the team told him to avoid it by ensuring he didn’t brake while riding the kerb at turn 10.

Verstappen said Red Bull’s pace around their home track was especially encouraging as F1 will race there again next weekend.

“That’s very positive,” he said. “But of course, we have to show it again next week, so we’ll definitely have a look what we can do better. I’m looking forward to it next week.”

His fourth win of the season puts him 18 points clear of Hamilton in the championship. Verstappen said that Red Bull’s chances were “looking really good.”

“We just have to keep on going, keep pushing really hard, and then I’m confident that we can do a very good job,” he added.

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2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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9 comments on “Verstappen encouraged by strong pace on worn tyres in crushing win”

  1. Cristiano Ferreira
    27th June 2021, 16:46

    Red Bull are on their way to have another one in the bag again in the next weekend if everything goes smoothly again.

  2. Well, the championship battle was good while it lasted. Feels kind of over already.

    1. I’m not convinced. I remember Vettel holding a healthy lead at one point. And by how much did he lose it?

      1. Indeed, 2 points here: first of all as someone who likes maths and numbers I don’t believe anyone saying the championship could be decided by 1 point, statistically it never happens with this points system.

        2nd: reliability, another of mercedes’ advantages should be that, verstappen’s retirement in baku wasn’t due to a car fault, however perez started from the back in bahrain due to a technical problem, and those things can make you lose more points in a single race, you see how hard it is to stockpile this points margin on hamilton, even when he wasn’t certainly flawless this season.

  3. The straight-line speed advantage is worth so much. Gives a strategy advantage and builds confidence all round. No need to push the tyres at inopportune moments when you know you can still withstand any offences, and that just snowballs.

    1. The straight-line speed advantage is worth so much. Gives a strategy advantage and builds confidence all round. No need to push the tires at inopportune moments when you know you can still withstand any offenses, and that just snowballs.
      —– Mercedes, 2014 – 2020

  4. I’d say this was a great performance by the red bull CAR (not pit wall since perez ended up 4th due to a slow pit stop), this is the first time where I can confidently say the red bull was the fastest car this year in race pace on a non-street track.

    So as far as I can tell, it’s the 3rd time red bull is fastest in race pace, after monaco and baku; I consider bahrain as fast as merc and rest slower; in qualifying red bull has the clear edge so far across the races.

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