Verstappen Edges Out Perez Charge to Win Austria Sprint
After what seemingly was a disappointing qualifying for Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing). The Mexican came back in true form to earn a P2 finish. After an early challenge with Max Verstappen in variable weather conditions Perez fell back. Verstappen ended up winning the race by 21 seconds. Perez qualified P2 in the sprint shootout which was a vast improvement from his P15 finish in qualifying for the main race.
Perez beat Verstappen off of the line but Verstappen showed his resilience and was able to rebound. Some drivers switched to slicks as the track dried but it appears that staying on intermediates was the dominant strategy. The sprint race was 24 laps. Any ground that would have been made up by the slick tire advantage did not come to fruition in time. For the Perez the finish is welcomed after not making it into Q3 yet again for the Grand Prix. Perez will have an uphill battle in tomorrows race.
After the race Verstappen said to the Formula 1 media, “The start was not ideal, a bit of wheelspin, but after that, after Lap 1, once we got back in the lead, it was good,” said Verstappen. “We were just managing the tyres, knowing that if it wasn’t going to rain anymore, then you know 24 laps on an intermediate is quite a lot, but they were hanging in there.”
“I think of course the last five laps the slicks were quite a bit faster, but I think for us, so far in the lead, it didn’t make sense to pit. We just hung in there with the inters which worked well.”
Elsewhere on the Grid
The Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso shows great pace securing a double points finish for the side. Aston Martin and Red Bull were the only teams to secure double points finishes in the sprint race. Ahead of the Astons in third was Carlos Sainz whom has been mostly quiet this season. Our assessment is that he has not been overly underperforming or overperforming. Sainz is in a rut where he isn’t really going anywhere. This sprint race podium could be the motivator he needs to get back into podium contention form.
Nico Hulkenberg who finished 6th secured the fastest lap in the sprint race
Austrian Grand Prix Race Results
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||LAP 24|
|2||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+21.048|
|4||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+29.703|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+30.109|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||Alpha Tauri||+64.822|
|17||Nyck De Vries||Alpha Tauri||+65.617|
|19||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+70.825|
|20||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+76.435|