Four in a row for Red Bull Racing Honda
28 June 2021, Spielberg: Red Bull Racing Honda’s Max Verstappen drove a flawless race to win Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix and secure a third career victory at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, as Sergio Perez narrowly missed out on a third podium finish in a row.
After crossing the finish line 35 seconds ahead of Hamilton, Max now leads the Drivers’ Championship on 156 points, 18 ahead of Hamilton, while Sergio tightened his grip on third with 96 points, 10 ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
In the battle for the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing Honda now have 252 points and 40 more than Mercedes.
Discussing his second win in as many races, Max Verstappen said: “I am super happy to win here and doing it at home at the Red Bull Ring is always so special. I had a really enjoyable race, the car was working well and I always enjoy driving on this track. I just focused on my own race, concentrating on hitting the apexes in the places I wanted to, looking after the tyres and it worked out well. You never know how competitive or how close it’s going to be on a Sunday and to be honest I really wasn’t expecting it to be like it was today as the long run pace between the two teams was very closely matched all weekend.
“Overall, we’ve had a really positive weekend and of course it’s not going to be completely the same next week. Everyone else will also learn from this race so we will of course try and do even better and keep improving ourselves so we can stay ahead. It’s a whole Team effort so thank you very much to everyone here and back at the factory for another great win today.”
Lap by lap Max gradually pulled away from Hamilton to cruise to victory, while teammate Sergio made a last-gasp attempt to beat Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to third. After having no luck in overtaking the Finn, Checo was brought into the pits at the end of lap 55 for a new set of medium tyres.
With 18 seconds to make up and 16 laps remaining, catching Bottas was going to require a heroic effort from Sergio and he got to within 0.5 seconds of doing so, however Bottas just about managed to cross the finish line first to seal third.
Discussing his race, Sergio Perez said: “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out today and it’s a shame to miss out on the double podium. We just needed one more lap and we could have done it, that’s all it would have taken. I think the soft tyre was slightly worse than expected this race and that hurt us towards the end of the first stint, we also had a slow stop that impacted the race as we gave the position to Bottas.”
“The Team tried something different with the two-stop strategy but we got caught out by traffic, but that’s how it is sometimes and we had to try something. I’m really happy for the Team today though because Max won, he did a great job and I know we have a strong package. I look forward to next weekend where we will try again to step up on the podium together.”
For the past three races, Red Bull Racing Honda has been using a breakthrough engine oil developed by Mobil 1 in collaboration with Honda Research & Development and Red Bull Racing Honda.
The new Mobil 1 RB16B Engine Oil is designed specifically for the new Honda power unit, helping deliver maximum power without compromising protection or fuel efficiency.
Commenting on the race dominance, Team Principal Christian Horner said: “It’s been a great day and to win at our home track, secure four back-to-back wins and a 10th victory with Honda is a real achievement. It was a clinical drive from Max who managed the race out front so well.”
“I believe it has been our strongest race of the season so far and for the first time this year Max managed to open out a bit of a gap to Lewis and put some fresh air between them. It was a real shame for Checo as he deserved a podium today but losing a small amount of time in the pit stop unfortunately put him out just behind Bottas. We pulled the trigger on a two-stop and Checo did a great job to hunt Valtteri down in the closing stages but needed just one more lap to finish the job.”
"We have a new oil from ExxonMobil. So I think they can take all the credit for the fact that Lewis keeps pointing at our engines."
“The motivation is sky high in Milton Keynes and the Team is performing at an incredible level, particularly given the difficulties everyone has faced during the pandemic. We are now seeing the culmination of that hard work on the chassis and power unit side and the great harmony we have within the Team and our driver pairing.”
It won’t be long until Max and Sergio get racing again as the paddock returns to the Team’s home circuit, the Red Bull Ring, for this weekend’s Austrian GP.