Max Verstappen became the first driver to win all three races in a triple-header to make it four wins from the last five races, with incredible display to win the Austrian Grand Prix. Team-mate Sergio Pérez on the other hand had a race to forget.
Verstappen not only extended his championship lead to thirty-two points with victory again in Austria, the team also extended their lead in the constructors standings to end what has been the perfect triple-header for Verstappen. The Dutchman was barely seen during the race, he was in a complete league of his own so far ahead that he had time to pit for fresh tyres just to get the fastest lap, and still win by seventeen seconds! The championship leader was cheered on the entire race by a sea of orange, as thousands of Dutch fans made the journey to the circuit.
For Pérez it was a much less enjoyable race at the Red Bull Ring. The Mexican who started third was tenth by the end of the fourth lap, Pérez who was behind Lando Norris attempted an overtake around the outside of turn four, unfortunately there wasn’t enough room for the Red Bull number two who went into the gravel. Norris was awarded a five-second penalty. The race didn’t get much better for Pérez as later on in the race he was awarded two separate five-second penalties, resulting in ten seconds being added to his finishing time, dropping him at the end from fifth to sixth.
Both incidents involved Charles Leclerc, the first was a carbon copy of what happened on lap four between Norris and himself, except this time it was Leclerc who went into the gravel at turn-four. The second incident came six laps later on lap forty-seven as Leclerc was again deemed to have been forced into the gravel by Pérez, this time at turn six. Pérez is very sorry about both incidents, the Mexican stating that he doesn’t like being at fault for ruining someone else’s race.
Pérez’s disappointing race won’t hamper the mood in the Red Bull Racing camp after Verstappen’s dominance, with Team Principal Christian Horner believing that Verstappen’s performance further proves the level of driver he is.
“Max had another fantastic race today and a second victory at the Red Bull Ring is a great way for the Team to sign off the triple header. It was another impeccable drive from Max and he didn’t put a wheel wrong. To achieve pole position, fastest lap, lead every lap and become the first driver to win all three races in a triple-header is just phenomenal and shows the calibre of driver he is and the effort the Team are putting in every single weekend.
“Checo was unlucky to have a racing incident with Lando, but for me that’s hard racing, just like the similar incidents later in the race but he came back strong and we could all see how hungry he was to get a result. We’ve now won the last five races, a first for us in the hybrid era, but we cannot get complacent and need to keep that momentum going.
“There’s a long way to go in this championship, we don’t take anything for granted and we have to keep doing what we’re doing, session by session, race by race. Silverstone will be a big challenge and it’s been a Mercedes stronghold for the last seven years but there’s going to be a big crowd there and we have brilliant fans, so I can’t wait to put on another show for everyone who comes out to support us.”