Saturday, July 20, 2024

Verstappen Dominates Austrian Grand Prix to Take Fifth Consecutive Victory

Max Verstappen dominated the Austrian Grand Prix to take his fifth consecutive victory for Oracle Red Bull Racing as he extends his Drivers’ Championship lead over Sergio Pérez, who returned to the podium with an excellent drive after starting fifteenth on the grid.

Charles Leclerc also returned to the podium for the first time this season for Scuderia Ferrari in second place, just over five seconds behind Verstappen, although the gap would’ve been higher if the Dutchman hadn’t stopped late on to secure the fastest lap.

What Happened in the Race?

Lap one was full of excitement, much like the Sprint Race on Saturday, this time it was the Ferraris that were challenging Verstappen for the lead. Although Verstappen got the better start, Leclerc was all over the Dutchman on the run into Turn Three but as ever Verstappen managed to keep his lead.

Before Verstappen was able to race into the lead though, the Safety Car was brought out. Yuki Tsunoda tapped the rear of Esteban Ocon and damaged his front wing before skating through the gravel at Turn Four, and the stewards were needed to clear up the debris.

Later, on lap fourteen, the Virtual Safety Car was brought in as Nico Hülkenberg had to retire due to a severe problem. While some drivers decided to make a pit stop including both Ferrari drivers, the race leader Verstappen chose to remain on the track. This strategic choice resulted in Sainz losing positions to Pérez, who also stayed out without pitting, as well as Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris. Carlos Sainz Jr. expressed his frustration over team radio, as he had shown impressive speed behind Leclerc prior to the pit stop, but wasn’t allowed to challenge his teammate for the position.

Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

However, Sainz wasted no time in making his way through the traffic and regained the third position by lap twenty. Time penalties emerged as a significant issue during the race, starting with Hamilton receiving a five-second penalty for going beyond the track limits, the Briton was not happy with his car performance, as well as the penalty and at one point team boss Toto Wolff had to calm down the seven-time World Champion over the radio. Hamilton wasn’t the only one with penalties also issued to several other drivers.

On lap twenty-five, Red Bull called Verstappen into the pit lane for a tire change, causing him to fall behind both Ferrari cars. However, with the advantage of fresher tires and a much quicker car, Verstappen caught up to the Ferrari pair and reclaimed the lead.

While chasing the Ferrari drivers, Sainz himself received a five-second time penalty for exceeding the track limits. Esteban Ocon also received a penalty for an unsafe release during his pit stop. Further down the field, Pérez continued his recovery after a challenging qualifying session, overtaking George Russell to secure eighth place.

A close battle unfolded between Nyck de Vries and Kevin Magnussen, who were fighting outside the points. De Vries received a five-second penalty for forcing Magnussen wide at turn six, and unlike Hamilton, there wasn’t much De Vries could argue against on this one.

Norris made his second pit stop, and Pérez continued his impressive performance, climbing into the top five by lap forty-two. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon fell victim to track limit violations. Sainz’s final pit stop on lap forty-six caused him to drop behind Norris, but he quickly regained his position by overtaking his former teammate.

Verstappen and Pérez were the last among the leading drivers to pit. Verstappen held onto his lead, while Perez secured fifth place. Pérez showcased remarkable pace, overtaking Norris to claim fourth and then setting his sights on Sainz for the final podium position. After several laps of attacking the Ferrari driver, Pérez successfully secured the position, although Sainz accused the Mexican of intimidating him when trying to overtake him.

Tsunoda received a 10-second time penalty for another track limit violation, and late penalties were also given to Logan Sargeant and Magnussen.

With Sainz settling for fourth place, Norris achieved McLaren F1 Team’s best result of the year in fifth, followed by Fernando Alonso in the leading Aston Martin Armaco Cognizant F1 Team car.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team duo of Hamilton and Russell finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively, while Pierre Gasly earned points for Alpine in ninth. Lance Stroll rounded off the top 10, making a late pass on Albon to secure the final available point. It was also an impressive race for Sargeant in the Williams despite not finishing in the points.

What’s Up Next?

The British Grand Prix is up next and it’s a weekend that always brings excitement. Red Bull will be looking to take their first win at the circuit in over ten years, while Hamilton, Russell and Norris will be hoping to put on a show to one of the best crowds in the world.

POS DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 71 1:25:33.607 0
2 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 71 +5.155s 0
3 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 71 +17.188s 0
4 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 71 +21.377s 0
5 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 71 +26.327s 0
6 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 71 +30.317s 0
7 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 71 +39.196s 0
8 George Russell MERCEDES 71 +48.403s 0
9 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 71 +57.667s 0
10 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 71 +59.043s 0
11 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 71 +69.767s 0
12 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 70 +1 lap 0
13 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 70 +1 lap 0
14 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 70 +1 lap 0
15 Nyck De Vries ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 70 +1 lap 0
16 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 70 +1 lap 0
17 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 70 +1 lap 0
18 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 70 +1 lap 0
19 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 70 +1 lap 0
NC Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 12 DNF 0
\