F1 Austrian GP: Verstappen wins sprint race by 21s from Perez

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Verstappen Dominates F1 Austrian GP Sprint Race, Defeating Perez by 21 Seconds

During the F1 Austrian GP sprint race, both Red Bull drivers engaged in intense on-track battles, allowing Nico Hulkenberg to shine briefly for Haas before he embarked on a late charge on slick tires as his starting intermediates wore off.

At the race start, Perez had a slightly better getaway than Verstappen and swiftly made his way to the inside alongside the pitwall, racing Verstappen towards Turn 1. Perez forcefully moved ahead of Verstappen, cutting him off so abruptly that Verstappen briefly had to put his right-side wheels on the grass while climbing the hill through the Turn 2 kink.

At Turn 3, Verstappen made a daring move from far behind, reclaiming his position by going up Perez’s inside. Perez had to resort to the run-off area and rejoined the track behind Verstappen. This incident resulted in Lando Norris getting caught up and dropping from third place to the lower end of the top 10. Meanwhile, Hulkenberg capitalized on the Red Bull duel, gaining advantage as they battled again at Turn 4.

Perez found himself on the outside once more, losing momentum as Verstappen defended his position. Hulkenberg, benefitting from a superior run through the long downhill right-hander and Turn 5, managed to surge ahead on the following downhill corner, Turn 6. This allowed Verstappen to establish a comfortable lead, consistently extending his advantage over Hulkenberg throughout the initial phase of the 24-lap race.

Initially, Hulkenberg maintained a gap to Perez, with Carlos Sainz closely following the second Red Bull. As the race progressed and Verstappen pulled nearly 10 seconds ahead, Perez began mounting his attack. On lap 12, Perez successfully overtook Hulkenberg with a better exit from Turn 4, while Sainz also seized the opportunity to pass Haas in the subsequent lap with a superior exit from Turn 3. Hulkenberg started struggling with tire degradation on his intermediates.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who had made progress from their sprint shootout qualifying, were running just outside the top 10. Russell became the first driver to switch to slicks on lap 15, setting a strong pace on the soft compound. This prompted nine other drivers to follow suit, except for the Red Bulls and Sainz, who maintained their positions unchallenged until the finish line. Verstappen ultimately secured victory with a commanding lead of 21.0 seconds over Perez.

Sainz finished a further 2.0 seconds behind in third place. Behind them, the Aston Martin drivers, equipped with intermediates, engaged in a battle for fourth and fifth place, with Lance Stroll successfully fending off Fernando Alonso.

Hulkenberg, who opted for a pit stop on lap 17 to switch to medium tires, emerged as the top finisher on slicks. Haas made this decision after observing Russell’s strong performance on softs in the trailing pack. Hulkenberg made a final-lap overtake on Esteban Ocon at Turn 1, reclaiming sixth place by the end of the race.

Russell, having climbed the order due to his early tire change, nearly caught up to Ocon, resulting in a photo-finish at the start-finish line. Norris secured ninth place ahead of Hamilton, who engaged in a battle with Ocon and Charles Leclerc early on. Leclerc ultimately finished 12th after a late fight with Alex Albon and Oscar Piastri. Hamilton managed to overtake all three drivers during his impressive charge on slicks, having pitted two laps after Russell.

The full race results are as follows:

  1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull
  2. Sergio Perez – Red Bull (+21.048s)
  3. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari (+23.088s)
  4. Lance Stroll – Aston Martin (+29.703s)
  5. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin (+30.109s)
  6. Nico Hulkenberg – Haas (+31.297s)
  7. Esteban Ocon – Alpine (+36.602s)
  8. George Russell – Mercedes (+36.611s)
  9. Lando Norris – McLaren (+38.608s)
  10. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (+46.375s)
  11. Oscar Piastri – McLaren (+49.807s)
  12. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari (+50.789s)
  13. Alex Albon – Williams (+52.848s)
  14. Kevin Magnussen – Haas (+56.593s)
  15. Pierre Gasly – Alpine (+57.652s)
  16. Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri (+1’04.822s)
  17. Nyck de Vries – AlphaTauri (+1’05.617s)
  18. Logan Sargeant – Williams (+1’06.059s)
  19. Zhou Guanyu – Alfa Romeo (+1’10.825s)
  20. Valtteri Bottas – Alfa Romeo (+1’16.435s)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sprint race

Q: Who won the F1 Austrian GP sprint race?

A: Max Verstappen, driving for Red Bull, emerged as the winner of the F1 Austrian GP sprint race.

Q: By how much did Verstappen defeat Perez in the sprint race?

A: Verstappen defeated Perez by a margin of 21 seconds in the F1 Austrian GP sprint race.

Q: What position did Nico Hulkenberg finish in the sprint race?

A: Nico Hulkenberg, driving for Haas, finished in sixth place in the F1 Austrian GP sprint race.

Q: Did any drivers switch to slick tires during the race?

A: Yes, George Russell was the first driver to switch to slick tires on lap 15. Following his move, nine other drivers also switched to slicks during the race.

Q: How did Lewis Hamilton fare in the sprint race?

A: Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, finished in 10th place in the F1 Austrian GP sprint race.

Q: Which team secured fourth and fifth place in the race?

A: The Aston Martin team secured fourth and fifth place in the F1 Austrian GP sprint race, with Lance Stroll finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso.

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