With a two-stop strategy, Max Verstappen won his third race in a row and another emphatic victory at the Red Bull Ring. The Red Bull driver began his run on the P Zero Yellow medium tyre before switching to the P Zero White hard tyre for his final two stints. The other two podium finishers, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and McLaren's Lando Norris, only made one pit stop, ranging from medium to hard.
The majority of drivers started the race on the medium tyre, with just four drivers (both Aston Martin and both AlphaTauri) starting on the P Zero Red soft tyre and two drivers (Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen) starting on the hard tyre.
Throughout the race, there was a mix of one-stop and two-stop strategies. Eight of the 19 classified finishers, including two of the top four, came to a halt twice.
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The race began under cloudy skies with a 24°C ambient temperature and a 32°C track temperature, which was significantly cooler than it had been the day before. This benefited all the drivers and their teams.
The Performance of each tyre:
- HARD C3: Used by two drivers to start the race, with Sainz running his starting set for 48 laps before switching the medium. He eventually ended up fifth from 10th on the grid. All the drivers apart from two (who started on this compound) used this for the final stint, with Verstappen claiming the extra point for fastest lap on his final set of hard tyres.
- MEDIUM C4: One of the crucial tyres for this race, which was used by the majority of drivers to start the race, but only two of them to finish it (Sainz and Raikkonen: who both started on the hard tyre).
- SOFT C5: All the four drivers who started on the soft tyre stopped twice as expected, using the hard tyre twice for the second and third stints. The cooler conditions today helped bring out the best in the softer compounds.
What did Mario Isola, Tyre Chief had to say?
“We are happy that our decision to vary the nominations for Austria resulted in two distict races, with the second grand prix having a very fast pace and character compared to the first one. Track temperatures today were considerably cooler than they had been during qualifying, which obviously had an effect on tyre wear and degradation, favouring the softer compounds and prolonging the stints. As a result, we saw a good mix of one and two stop strategies in this F1 2021 Austrian GP Race; with a one-stopper still requiring some degree of tyre management to maintain performance over the length of each stint, while a two-stopper was the winning strategy. Congratulations to Max Verstappen and Red Bull for a perfect strategic race today, where their pace allowed them to stop twice without ever losing the lead. Now we remain at the Red Bull Ring for a third week to continue the 2022 18-inch tyre testing programme for two days with AlphaTauri on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
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