The Austrian GP brought highs and lows for everyone. Breanna takes a look at some of ATRL’s winners and losers of last weekend.
July 10, 2021
Winner: Max Verstappen
Red Bull’s number one driver put on a near-perfect drive last weekend, never faltering from his 1st place position. After losing McLaren’s Lando Norris during the first few laps, Verstappen kept a large margin between himself and the driver behind him, eventually finishing 17 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas. That margin allowed Red Bull to call him in for a late pitstop which secured him the DHL Fastest Lap while still keeping his top position. 26 points were added to Verstappen’s championship total, extending him farther away from defending world champion Lewis Hamilton. With a few more drives like this one, the championship may end up being decided earlier than expected.
Loser: Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon was the only DNF this week after colliding with Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi during the first lap. This is the 4th week in a row where Ocon did not score points for Alpine and qualified behind his teammate Fernando Alonso. Not only is Ocon bringing down his own championship point total, but his absence of points has dropped the team behind both Aston Martin and Alpha Tauri. Ocon is banking on Alpine changing the ‘maximum’ amount of parts on the A521 during the break before Silverstone to help him get his groove back.
After an intense qualifying for both drivers, with Lando starting in 2nd and Daniel in 13th, both drivers capitalized heavily this weekend, earning them essential points in the constructors’ championship. Daniel had a great run of overtakes that moved him up 6 spots from his starting position into 7th. Despite Lando being given a 5 second time penalty for running Sergio Perez off the track, he still managed to race both the Mercedes and Red Bull and snagged a 3rd place podium. This weekend adds to their current 3rd place constructors’ standing and extends their 19 point lead over Ferrari.
Loser: Aston Martin
Aston Martin are having quite a turbulent season. Some weekends they are fighting at the top, and others, they seem stuck at the back. After Sebastian Vettel was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding another driver during qualifying, he started 11th instead of 8th. The weekend only proved to worsen as he suffered a last-lap crash with Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo, cementing him in 17th. Lance Stroll started the race in 9th but fell to 13th by the end of it. Zero points from the duo as they sit in 6th in the constructor’s championship. Both drivers commented on the disappointing end to the triple header with higher expectations for Silverstone.
Q3 during the Austrian Grand Prix was the real winner here. We witnessed Mr. Saturday, better known as Williams’ George Russell, storm his way to Q3 and manage to secure 8th after Vettel’s penalty. As well, Lando Norris’s drive that pushed him past the Mercedes and Sergio Perez to place himself 2nd on the starting grid was something we all weren’t prepared to see. It was a healthy and welcome change from the usual VER-HAM-BOT or VER-HAM-PER that has been constantly repeated this season.
Loser: The Championship
With Red Bull’s consistency, this season, and utter dominance at the front, the championship battle everyone was hoping for may have been short-lived. At this point in the season, Red Bull is comfortably ahead of everyone in both championships, and with Mercedes focusing on 2022, they may no longer be a challenger for the title. Although this change of scenery is welcome compared to the dominance of the 7-time world champions, the fight all the way to Abu Dhabi that people were expecting probably won’t be happening.
Rankings as of now:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Breanna’s earliest memories of motorsports come from Kyle Busch and his M&M car. Currently, Breanna studies journalism at UNLV, where she one day plans to become a sports journalist/broadcaster in motorsports. Outside of school, you can usually find Breanna crocheting a new blanket or baking cookies.
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