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Grand Prix of Styria: Red Bull hails the triumph of Max Verstappen, Mercedes “lacks rhythm” but promises to fight


Red Bull increases its lead in the drivers ‘and constructors’ championship with a fourth victory on the spin; Mercedes concedes that they lack pace against their rivals, but Toto Wolff emphasizes: “We are totally excited. This is not a done deal.”

Last update: 06/27/21 8:15 p.m.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said Max Verstappen delivered a “masterclass” in his stunning Styrian Grand Prix victory for the fit team’s fourth in a row.

Meanwhile, his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff admitted that Sunday represented the “first really race in eight years” where they “just lacked pace”.

But the seven-time defending champions have vowed to fight in what is proving the most severe sustained challenge to their dominance of F1’s hybrid-turbo era.

Verstappen led the 71 laps on the Red Bull track on Sunday, Hamilton in second, steadily sliding Red Bull adrift throughout the race.

Anthony Davidson takes a closer look at some of the key incidents of the Styrian Grand Prix.

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Anthony Davidson takes a closer look at some of the key incidents of the Styrian Grand Prix.

Anthony Davidson takes a closer look at some of the key incidents of the Styrian Grand Prix.

“The whole team is working extremely well right now,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“The only problem we had in this race was the pit stop at Checo [Perez] but other than that it was a flawless performance, especially from Max who just managed the race so well.

“The one-stop was the fastest route for him. We could see Lewis’s tires starting to open, so we were aware of that, but the way he was controlling the race and widening the gap, it was was the most dominant victory we’ve had. “I’ve had so far this year against Mercedes. So it’s very encouraging. “

Verstappen led Hamilton by 17 seconds before the Mercedes headed to the pits for a “free” late stop for new tires to complete the fastest lap he did.

Horner said: “Max controlled the race incredibly well. It was a masterclass.”

Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen after the Dutchman's dominant conduct in the Styrian Grand Prix.

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Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen after the Dutchman’s dominant conduct in the Styrian Grand Prix.

Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen after the Dutchman’s dominant conduct in the Styrian Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Dutchman has now achieved 14 victories in his F1 career – placing him in the top 20 of the all-time list – but, after triumphing at Paul Ricard last week, this is the first time. that Verstappen was victorious in consecutive events.

“It was very nice to be honest,” said Verstappen, who now leads Hamilton by 18 points in the championship.

“I had a very good pace. Also, the tire degradation was very positive for us this weekend, which is normally a strong point for Mercedes. So we can be very happy with that. The gap? I didn’t expect to be this tall. “

Mercedes: it’s not a done deal

Highlighting the extent of their success in the era of turbo-hybrid engines, this is the first time since 2013 that Mercedes has entered four races without winning.

Wolff admitted this particular defeat was different from the others – but still made it clear that Mercedes won’t give up even if they don’t develop their 2021 car any further.

“What’s difficult is that this is really the first race in eight years where you lack pace,” said the Mercedes team principal.

Toto Wolff says his team have a lot to think about after Lewis Hamilton missed the P1 of the Styrian Grand Prix.

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Toto Wolff says his team have a lot to think about after Lewis Hamilton missed the P1 of the Styrian Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff says his team have a lot to think about after Lewis Hamilton missed the P1 of the Styrian Grand Prix.

“Where you see we stopped developing for this year because we think the next few years are so important to getting it right, and they keep adding elements. There are trucks coming in with parts. aerodynamics and all the credit to that strategy, and you feel like they’re running away.

“The new powertrain consolidates its performance. We just need to think about it and make the most of the package we have. It is far from over.

And Wolff said: “We’re totally excited. It’s not a done deal because we were lacking in pace today.”

Verstappen says Red Bull will ‘keep pushing’

In what is probably good news for Red Bull given the RB16B’s form this weekend, F1 remains in Austria for a second race in a row at the Spielberg site next week.

Verstappen insisted the gaps were likely to narrow between the teams as the pitch put the lessons of week one for the Austrian GP into practice.

But he said Red Bull, chasing a first world title in eight years, would show no slack in their own quest for more performance.

When told he had seen one with the RB16B, Verstappen said: “I was also okay with last year’s car but it wasn’t as fast as this car! So you drive to the limit of the car.

Max Verstappen looks back on his landslide victory over Lewis Hamilton in the Styrian Grand Prix as he extends his lead over the Briton by 18 points.

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Max Verstappen looks back on his landslide victory over Lewis Hamilton in the Styrian Grand Prix as he extends his lead over the Briton by 18 points.

Max Verstappen looks back on his landslide victory over Lewis Hamilton in the Styrian Grand Prix as he extends his lead over the Briton by 18 points.

“We have a really good car now. Of course I always want it to be better, I think everyone has the same mentality so we always keep pushing because there are always things you can do. do better, so that’s what we’ll try to do again next week.

“We try to keep pushing every weekend to bring more performance to the car.”





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