Battle for Bronze: Who’s on top after the Austrian Grand Prix?

05-07-2021 19:00
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Battle for Bronze: Who’s on top after the Austrian Grand Prix?

Max Verstappen continued his winning ways this season with victory at the Austrian Grand Prix. Much like last week at the Red Bull Ring, the Dutchman was able to run away to victory easily with Valtteri Bottas chasing behind. However, the ever so familiar site of both Mercedes drivers being at the front of the race wasn’t on show this weekend as Lando Norris stormed to a third-place finish. The young Brit finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fourth, but behind them, a midfield battle was evident for the majority of the race.

McLaren weren't able to extend their lead in the Constructors’ Championship over Ferrari, last week in Austria, as Daniel Ricciardo missed out on a points finish again. A sixth and seventh-place finish for Sainz and Leclerc respectively allowed the Italian team to gain four points on their British rivals. AlphaTauri had to turn to their rookie driver Yuki Tsunoda for points in the Styrian Grand Prix, as Pierre Gasly had to retire after only one lap of the race. Aston Martin’s points came from Lance Stroll, as the Canadian finished in eighth place, as his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, had one of the quietest races of the grid. Alpine struggled once again, as Esteban Ocon continued his poor run of form last week and missed out on a top ten finish for the third race in a row.

As our weekend in Austria has now ended, which team is leading the way?

McLaren

It was a weekend to remember for Norris. The 21-year-old qualified in P2, behind only Verstappen, went on to claim a podium place on Sunday and was awarded Driver of the Day. The young Brit was only 0.048 seconds off of pole position on Saturday and his race pace yesterday emphasised the talent he possesses. A third-place finish for Norris, paired with Ricciardo’s superb drive to seventh, secured McLaren 21 points and allowed the British team to extend their lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship. However, many argue it could’ve and should’ve been a second-place finish for Norris, as he was handed a five-second penalty for forcing Sergio Perez off the track in the early stages of the race. He is now only three points behind Perez in the Drivers’ Standings and sits in fourth.

Ferrari

A solid weekend for Ferrari was overshadowed by the success of Norris and McLaren. The Italian team scored the same amount of points as they did last weekend, as Sainz and Leclerc finished in fifth and eighth respectively. The Spaniard struggled at the start of the race, dropping down to as low as 14th but was able to utilise a one-stop strategy to his advantage. This saw him end the race on medium tyres and allowed him to move up the grid in the final stages of the 70 lap race. Leclerc had an eventful race, which saw him get pushed off the track twice by Perez and resulted in the Mexican being awarded two five-second time penalties. These penalties pushed Sainz up into fifth and ahead of the Red Bull driver. The Italian team now sits 19 points behind McLaren.

AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri doubled their lead over Aston Martin yesterday, thanks to Gasly’s ninth-place finish. The Frenchman qualified in sixth place but fell behind both Ferrari drivers towards the end of the race. However, he was still able to secure a points-finish ahead of the chasing duo of Fernando Alonso and George Russell. It was a quiet and eventful day for Tsunoda as the rookie struggled with crossing into the pit lane and was awarded five-second penalties for his actions.

Aston Martin

All the action came for Aston Martin on the final lap of the race as Vettel was taken out by, former Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen coming out of turn five. The Finn didn’t see his German friend on the right and collided into the back of the Aston Martin, which sent both cars spinning off into the gravel and grass. Raikkonen was handed a 20-second time penalty after the race for causing a collision. As for his teammate Stroll, he was only able to best a 13th place finish.

Alpine

Points came Alpine’s way and it was, once again, Fernando Alonso supplying the goods. The two-time World Champion found himself in an intense battle with George Russell for the latter stages of the Grand Prix and made the points-scoring move on the Williams driver with only a few laps to go. It was heartbreak for Russell and the Williams team, as the young Brit put up a mega performance all weekend and deserved to score points. Ocon’s race was short and sweet, as the French driver didn’t complete a lap of the Austrian Grand Prix. He had to retire the car after an incident at turn three with Antonio Giovinazzi.

Which team had the best weekend at the Red Bull Ring? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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