F1 2021 Styrian Grand Prix Preview: Will Red Bull Win on Home Ground?

After the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, Formula 1 fans were experiencing deja vu, as Mercedes looked like the team to beat once again. However, since then, Red Bull have won three races in a row. This is the first time the Austrian team have achieved a hat-trick of victories since 2013, the last year they won a championship.

The Red Bull Ring in Austria is hosting both rounds eight and nine of 23 in 2021, the first being the Styrian Grand Prix. Sportlightpro brings you all of the key info ahead of the 2021 Styrian GP!

Track Guide

Image: F1

The Red Bull Ring is the shortest circuit on the F1 calendar aside from Monaco. Located high in the Styrian mountains, the Spielberg circuit is one of the most beautiful tracks in the world to watch racing around.

With only 10 corners making up the lap, you could be forgiven for believing that the track is a relatively easy one to race around. However, that isn’t the case, as mistakes here cost drivers dearly thanks to its short lap time.

Overtaking is definitely possible around the Red Bull Ring, as three consecutive DRS straights are connected by two slow 90-degree right-handers. Turns 3 and 4 are the main passing points, but don’t rule out drivers trying moves in Turns 6 and 9 either.

READ MORE: STYRIAN GRAND PRIX 2020 – RACE REVIEW

Last time out

Circuit Paul Ricard is lamented as one of the worst circuits in Formula 1. Or at least, it was until last week, where we saw a fascinating contest between Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for victory. Verstappen claimed pole position but went wide through Turn 1 and lost his advantage to Hamilton.

Verstappen undercut Hamilton through the first round of stops thanks to another brilliant tyre change from Red Bull. The tyres weren’t lasting for as long as the teams expected, and Verstappen opted for a two-stop. Mercedes left Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton out for the remainder of the Grand Prix in a reverse of Spain earlier in the year.

READ MORE: AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX 2020 – RACE REVIEW

Verstappen would usurp both Mercedes drivers on fresher rubber and achieve redemption for his blowout in Baku two weeks earlier. Max’s championship lead is now up to 12 points thanks to his fastest lap bonus point. Hamilton finished a commendable second, but Bottas couldn’t hold on for third.

Sergio Perez achieved his second podium in a row thanks to a brilliant first stint, the Mexican finishing third. Bottas ended up a frustrating fourth. McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo completed a fantastic comeback to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. Pierre Gasly finished his home race in seventh, with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in eighth.

Aston Martin’s long first stint earned them a double points finish. Sebastian Vettel was ninth, with Lance Stroll tenth.

Can Mercedes stop Red Bull’s run?

Verstappen has won twice in Austria, but fell short in both 2020 rounds. Image: F1

Red Bull have won three Grands Prix in a row for the first time since 2013 and that will have Mercedes worried. What’s more concerning is that the Austrian Grand Prix hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Silver Arrows since it returned to the calendar in 2014.

Before the 2021 Azerbaijan GP, the 2018 Austrian GP was Mercedes’ last pointless outing, and it was a double mechanical retirement too. In 2014, Williams claimed pole position and in 2016, Rosberg and Hamilton had a controversial crash.

READ MORE: IN THE PIT LANE – THE UAE FLASH THE CASH

With this being a double-header at the same circuit, Mercedes will be eager to close the gap to Red Bull in the constructor’s championship. That deficit currently stands at 37 points, but that will probably increase rather than decrease before Silverstone.

Hamilton will be up near the front, but Bottas will do well to beat either Verstappen or Perez. The Finn is in poor form and rumours are rife about him being replaced by George Russell, perhaps even before the end of the season.

Session Times

Practice 1: 25 June               10:30-11:30 (5:30-6:30 AM EST)

Practice 2: 25 June               14:00-15:00 (9:00-10:00 AM EST)

Practice 3: 26 June               11:00-12:00 (6:00-7:00 AM EST)

Qualifying: 26 June               14:00-15:00 (9:00-10:00 AM EST)

Race: 27 June              14:00 (9:00 EST)

All times are in British Standard Time (BST), unless stated otherwise.

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more content to preview your Styrian Grand Prix weekend? Never fear, the Grid Talk crew are here with their 2021 Styrian GP preview! George Howson hosted Louis Edwards and Garry Sloan in their latest podcast. Both audio and video versions of the show are available below:

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