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Max Verstappen Wins 2021 Styrian Grand Prix, Extends lead over Lewis Hamilton : OTHER : Sports World News




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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton to 18 points with a dominant win at the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday. (Photo : randomwinner from Pixabay)

Max Verstappen’s quest for a maiden Formula One Driver’s Championship remains right on track after a comprehensive victory at the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday. It was a critical win for Verstappen who extended his lead at the top of the standings to 18 points with 15 races remaining.

Verstappen dominates at Red Bull Ring

Verstappen showed his class at Red Bull’s home track, leading every lap of the race to record his 14th career F1 victory and capture his third win at Red Bull Ring. Lewis Hamilton lost further ground in the title race as he finished second but the seven-time world champion was at least able to take the bonus point for fastest lap thanks to a late pit stop.

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas rounded out the podium with a third place finish, a nice result for the Finn given that he had started P5 after his grid drop for spinning in the pit lane on Friday. He edged out Red Bull driver Sergio Perez to claim his first podium finish since the Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren’s Lando Norris once again impressed at Red Bull Ring, finishing fifth at the Styrian Grand Prix for the second year running. More importantly for Norris and McLaren, he finished ahead of the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.  McLaren and Ferrari are locked in a tight battle for the Constructor’s Championship with the former holding a 16-point advantage over the latter after Sunday’s race.

Lance Stroll finished in eighth place for Aston Martin, while former two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Japanese star Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10. Kimi Raikkonen claimed 11th place, ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo who finished 12th and 13th respectively.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi took P14 and P15, respectively, ahead of Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi and Nikita Mazepin. George Russell and Pierre Gasly were both forced to retire.

All eyes, however, were on Verstappen and Hamilton as they continued their battle for F1 supremacy. There were no fireworks at Red Bull Ring, though, as Verstappen controlled the race from start to finish. He made the perfect getaway at the start to retain his lead over Hamilton, an advantage he didn’t relinquish until the end.

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Red Bull opening gap on Mercedes

Verstappen finished the 71-lap race at 1:22:18.925, 35.743 seconds ahead of Hamilton who opted to change to soft tyres at the end to grab the bonus point for the fastest lap. There is growing concern in the Mercedes camp, particularly with Hamilton, regarding their race pace and with the way Red Bull and Verstappen are separating themselves in the championship.

Red Bull Racing Honda now has a total of 215 points after eight races, 37 points ahead of Mercedes in the Constructor Standings. Verstappen has managed to extend his lead to 18 points after winning three of the past four races.

The bad news for Mercedes is that next week’s Austrian Grand Prix will also take place here at Red Bull Ring, a track that favors Red Bull because of its straight-line speed.

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