The Styrian GP will go down as a rare, unexciting race in what has otherwise been a thrilling 2021 F1 season, but it certainly had big implications for the title race. 

Verstappen dominated a relatively uneventful race to land his 14th career victory in F1 and stretch out his championship advantage as Red Bull asserted themselves as favourites. 

Some drivers will be heading into the second of two races at the Red Bull Ring full of confidence, while others will be looking to right the wrongs of a disappointing day in the office. 

Here are our winners and losers from the 2021 Styrian GP…

Winners 

Max Verstappen 

It was utter domination from Verstappen and Red Bull in Austria as he moved into a clear position of control in the title race. 

Verstappen aced his start and pulled clear of Hamilton in commanding fashion on his way to recording his fourth victory of the season that has launched him into an 18-point championship lead over his main rival. 

The Dutchman didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend and would have finished around 15s clear of Hamilton on merit had Mercedes not opted to make a second stop late on to snatch the fastest lap bonus point. 

Verstappen and Red Bull are riding a crest of momentum and will be full of confidence returning to Spielberg for a second race at its home track next weekend. 

Valtteri Bottas 

It was a strong performance from Valtteri Bottas all weekend at a track he loves and barring his bizarre pitlane spin and subsequent penalty, it would have been the Finn starting on the front row alongside Verstappen instead of his teammate. 

Bottas was consistent throughout the first stint having made short work of passing Lando Norris’ McLaren, before a brilliant undercut strategy from Mercedes helped him jump Sergio Perez

On a day Mercedes struggled to compete with Red Bull’s superior performance, Bottas fending off Perez for the final spot on the podium acted as a small win. 

Lando Norris 


After qualifying an excellent third on the grid, Norris continued his outstanding start to 2021 with another faultless drive at the Red Bull Ring. 

Having initially lost out to Perez on the run to Turn 3, Norris fought back to sweep around the outside of the Mexican at the following corner. 

Norris impressively held up Perez for longer than expected but offered no resistance when the faster Red Bull swooped by, aware that his battle was never really with Red Bull or Mercedes. 

After falling behind Bottas, Norris came home in a strong, if lonely, fifth place that kept up his remarkable 13-race points streak. 

Ferrari 

Ferrari was left disappointed by its lacklustre qualifying display in Austria but the team bounced back with some really strong race pace. 

Carlos Sainz rose from 12th on the grid to take a solid sixth behind Norris, while teammate Charles Leclerc brilliantly recovered from his near-disaster start to claim a seventh place that looked unlikely when he ran 17th after a first lap pit stop. 

A brush with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly on the run to Turn 3 damaged his front wing, while he nearly collided with Kimi Raikkonen later on, but Leclerc was still able to charge through to seal an important result that helped Ferrari outscore its chief rival McLaren. 

Leclerc, who deservedly won the driver of the day accolade, described his recovery drive as being “one of my best performances in F1”. 

Lance Stroll 

A great drive from Lance Stroll saw him equal his best result of the season in eighth. 

Key to Stroll’s P8 finish was a sublime start and some incredibly composed car positioning that helped him make up positions at the start and avoid the Leclerc/Gasly melee. 

The highlight of Stroll’s race came on the opening lap as he pulled off a stunning around-the-outside pass on Fernando Alonso’s Alpine at Turn 6 to move into the position he eventually finished. 

It was an important result for Aston Martin as Stroll beat the team’s main midfield rivals Alpine and AlphaTauri. 

Losers 

Mercedes 

It was an alarming day for Mercedes, who suffered its latest defeat at the hands of Red Bull. Team principal Toto Wolff conceded afterwards that it marked the first time in eight years that Mercedes had been so convincingly out-paced. 

Mercedes had never previously gone four races without a win in the V6 hybrid era, but there is every chance it could become five with another race in Spielberg next weekend. 

Now trailing Red Bull by 40 points, the German marquee will be left scratching its head and faces a real dilemma regarding its development plans if it is to somehow prevent Red Bull from running away in the title race. 

Sergio Perez 

Sergio Perez will be left cursing a rare slow pit stop from Red Bull as he slipped behind the undercutting Bottas and missed out on a third straight podium. 

The Mexican certainly looked to have the pace to finish on the rostrum, and rapidly caught Bottas in the final laps after Red Bull gambled by opting to make a second stop. 

Perez ultimately ran out of laps in his pursuit of Bottas and eventually finished just 0.5s behind the Mercedes driver at the flag. 

Daniel Ricciardo 

After being left mystified by his lack of pace in qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo bounced back strongly on Sunday and made a fantastic start to launch himself into the top-10 early on. 

But all of Ricciardo’s hard work was undone on Lap 7 when the Australian lost four places in one lap as he dramatically slipped to 13th. Ricciardo reported he had “low power” and the temporary issue proved hugely costly, hampering his chances of scoring any points. 

Ricciardo failed to make up any ground in the remainder of the race on his way to a disappointing result that capped off a frustrating weekend. 

George Russell

You really have to feel for George Russell. 

The Briton looked on course to finally secure his maiden F1 points finish for Williams in Austria having been running comfortably in the points, only for a power unit issue to force him into retirement at mid-distance. 

It was nevertheless an impressive performance from Russell all weekend as he turned in yet another starring display as he looks to convince Mercedes that he is worthy of a seat alongside Hamilton in 2022. 

Pierre Gasly and AlphaTauri 

Pierre Gasly’s impressive run of form came to a disappointing end in Styria as the AlphaTauri driver’s race was ended on the opening lap. 

Starting sixth, Gasly clashed with Leclerc at Turn 1 and picked up a puncture when Leclerc rather clumsily moved across on the Frenchman on the run to Turn 3. 

Struggling to control his heavily-damaged car, Gasly also touched Nicholas Latifi’s Williams and sent Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi spinning as he headed back to the pits. 

Despite the promising pace AlphaTauri demonstrated all weekend, the team came away from the race with just a solitary point courtesy of Yuki Tsunoda.