There was disappointment as local hero George Russell of Williams Racing missed out on his first top-10 Williams finish after racing legend Fernando Alonso pipped him with just three laps remaining. Max Verstappen won easily at the Red Bull Ring to extend his championship lead to 32 points after 9 races as Lewis Hamilton could only take 4th to match his qualifying result. Bottas took second after finishing qualifying in 5th, with Lando Norris completing the podium places.
Huge credit must go to Verstappen as he led from start to finish and securing the fastest lap of the Grand Prix, and has now led 142 consecutive laps with his third straight win and fifth of the season, and that extends his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the championship to 32 points after nine races.
George Russell finished in 11th despite a strong start position of 8th, lost a few places after braking to avoid a collision with Tsunoda. Nicholas Latifi impressed however, going from 18th in starting to finish in 15th place. Both drivers ran a one-stop strategy in medium Pirelli tyres, with George pitting for the hard compound on lap 30 and Nicholas following suit on lap 33.
Next up in two weeks is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone 16th-18th July, and we are hoping home advantage will see George get that top 10 he deserves.
In his post-race interview Dave Robson, Williams Racing head of Vehicle Performance was pragmatic when he said:
We gave it everything today and fought hard with the midfield teams. Frustratingly, George couldn’t quite hold on to 10th place, but we can be pleased with our weekend’s work. The car has behaved well, and we have pushed it very hard.
After a challenging triple-header, we are looking forward to some time at home before we head to Silverstone, where we’ll look to build on the work from the last couple of weekends. It will be great to be back at Silverstone in front of a home crowd as we take on the challenge of the new Sprint Qualifying format.
Today was so close, yet so far. I got off the line well at the start, but then Tsunoda had quite a big lock up and cut in front of me to avoid going into his teammate, so I had to get on the brakes and lost a couple of places. That didn’t really change the outcome of our race as there were faster cars that were always going to finish ahead of us. That P10 point would feel like a race victory for us, so I was fighting with everything I had. Of all the drivers to have behind you in this situation, Fernando wouldn’t be who you’d choose; he was flying and holding him off just wasn’t possible on my tyres. We’re all disappointed to miss out by such a small margin, but we’re making real progress and we’ll take the positives on to Silverstone.
It wasn’t a very eventful day from my side; we stayed out of trouble on the opening laps and then I ran on my own for most of the race. I felt like we were still lacking overall pace, but there were places where the car felt much better than last week, so we’ve clearly made some steps forward. We will go away and see what we can improve for next time out.
|Track: Red Bull Ring, Austria||Weather: Warm & dry conditions|
|Lap Length: 4.318 km / 2.683 miles||Temperature: Air: 21-23°C Track: 33-36°C|
|Pos||Driver||Team||Time/Gap (Fastest Lap)||Grid||Tyre Changes|
|1.||M. Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:23:54.543|
|1||2 (32, 60)|
|2.||V. Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team||+ 17.973|
|3.||L. Norris||McLaren F1 Team||+ 20.019|
|11.||G. Russell, FW43B-04||Williams Racing||+ 1 LAP|
|15.||N. Latifi, FW43B-01||Williams Racing||+ 1 LAP|