Having crucially kept the lead from main title rival Lewis Hamilton at the start, Verstappen pulled clear and was unchallenged as he converted pole position into a routine home win for Red Bull.

A fourth win from the opening eight races of the season sees Verstappen extend his championship lead over Hamilton to 18 points.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton briefly closed the gap to Verstappen early in the second stint, but he ultimately had no answer to the Dutchman’s pace advantage and had to settle for a distant second place.

A rather dejected Hamilton once again highlighted Red Bull’s straight-line speed advantage - which Mercedes believes is worth up to 0.250s - during the race as he fell away from Verstappen in the closing stages having struggled with blistering.

Hamilton made an extra stop with two laps to go to snatch the fastest lap bonus point on the final tour to reduce the damage of his latest defeat to Verstappen.

There was late drama in the battle for the final spot on the podium as Valtteri Bottas benefitted from the undercut to leapfrog Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who made an extra stop and hunted Bottas down, but ultimately fell just 0.527s short of the rostrum.

Verstappen’s win was Red Bull’s fourth in a row, marking the first time in the V6 hybrid era that Mercedes has gone four races without a victory.

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With a second race in Austria to come next weekend, Hamilton and Mercedes appear to be facing an uphill battle if they are to strike back in the championship race and prevent Red Bull and Verstappen from scampering further clear.

McLaren’s Lando Norris continued his stunning start to 2021 with an excellent drive to fifth, ahead of the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who brilliantly recovered from a poor start to charge to seventh.

Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda completed the points-paying positions for Aston Martin, Alpine and AlphaTauri respectively.

Despite producing a brilliant performance, George Russell’s hopes of sealing a first points finish for Williams were cruelly ended by an engine issue.

The Briton, who has his eyes on Bottas’ Mercedes seat for 2022, had been running in a comfortable P8 before his power unit problem struck, forcing him to retire on Lap 39.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was the only other driver who failed to finish, with the Frenchman suffering a puncture and race-ending suspension damage after a clash with Leclerc on the run to Turn 3 on the opening lap.

Click here for full race results from the 2021 F1 Styrian Grand Prix.

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