Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has taken advantage of the local ‘factor’ and has imposed his law at the Styrian Grand Prix, the first of the two rounds on the calendar at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The Dutch driver, who has already won in this scenario, owned by the energy drink company, in 2018 and 2018, has won his fourth victory of the season, second in a row, increasing his income in front of the World Championship to 18 points compared to Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
The intense pulse between Verstappen and Hamilton this year has been less spectacular this time, as the Red Bull leader has been relentless from start to finish and has not given the slightest option to Hamilton, who finished second, to 35.743 seconds, with Bottas completing the podium for Mercedes.
Verstappen, who started on pole for the third time this season, has held his position despite Lewis’s attack, quicker in his reaction but blocked by the Dutchman. Pérez has been paired with Norris, alternating in third position and Alonso has gained a position after the incident in the middle zone between Gasly and Leclerc, which has prematurely ended the career of the Frenchman from Alpha Tauri and has sent the Monegasque to the box to repair the damage to the Ferrari. Sainz, meanwhile, went up three places to place himself in the points zone.
Only the Mercedes and Verstappen managed to pass Q2 with mediums, so they were the only ones who started with the Pirelli yellows, while the other seven Q3 drivers did so with the soft compound. The strategy of stops left some doubts, unlike the weather, with little chance of rain.
When the ‘squires’ of Red Bull and Mercedes, Pérez and Bottas, have left Norris (McLaren) behind, the Mexican has imposed his best rhythm compared to the Finn, while ahead, Verstappen progressively expanded his advantage over Hamilton (4.5 seconds ). Both began to show slight degradation problems after 20 laps, but seeing the good performance of the soft tire, they could squeeze the media without restrictions. Lewis had a first scare when he lost the rear of his W12 graveling the gravel.
Bottas and Mercedes hit
Red Bull has opened the ‘fire’ of the stops (v.27) by making ‘Checo’ enter, but faced with an extremely slow ‘pit stop’, Mercedes has launched a successful ‘undercut’ with Bottas, who has returned to the track for in front of the Mexican. The next to stop was Hamilton, without any option against Max, who replied with a very fast stop and kept his advantage, exceeding 4 seconds. All the favorites have ridden the hard Pirelli with the intention of continuing to the end, with 40 laps ahead.
As Leclerc attempted the comeback from his opening touch with Gasly, Carlos Sainz has also progressed brilliantly from thirteenth on the grid to sixth after the save dance. Fernando Alonso, who started eighth, was unable to stop Leclerc’s advance and took ninth place in the final, leaving him for the third consecutive race in points with the Alpine.
Verstappen crossed the finish line with a comfortable distance over Hamilton, who stopped at the end to score the point for the fastest lap, while Valtteri Bottas, in his best performance since the Spanish GP, held on May 9 in Barcelona, has completed a podium that restores the rarefied atmosphere in Mercedes. All in all, Red Bull continues to lead both drivers ‘and teams’ championships and next weekend it will have a new opportunity at the home circuit, home to the Austrian GP.
So far the Styrian GP of Formula 1 live. The next event in the World Championship will be on July 4 at this same circuit on the occasion of the Austrian GP. It will be until then, greetings.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.