F1 Starting Grid 2021 Styrian Grand Prix
Warm-up lap starts at: 15:00 Local | 15:00 CET | 14:00 UK | 06:00 LA | 22:00 Tokio
Max Verstappen today scored two F1 poles in a row for the first time in his career. The Red Bull driver was over 0.2s quicker than his title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes who qualified third.
The Mercedes driver will move up 1 place to P2, because his teammate Valtteri Bottas who qualified second received a 3 grid penalty for unsafe driving in the pitlane during practice. Yesterday the Finnish driver spun the Mercedes while driving away after a pitstop.
Both drivers on the front row will start on the medium tyre, while both drivers on the second row will start on the more grippy soft tyres. What this means on the first lap of the race will be interesting to see tomorrow. That said if the race is started on dry tyres...
The expected rain has fallen yet this weekend, but for tomorrow predictions the weather prediction keeps changing, the rain precipitation is still around 80% for the afternoon.
F1 Starting Grid 2021 Styrian GP
|Pos||No||Driver||Team||Lap Time||Pole gap||Tyres|
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:03,841||🟡M (C3)|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:04,067||+0,226s||🟡M (C3)|
|3||4||Lando Norris||McLaren||1:04,120||+0,279s||🔴S (C4)|
|4||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:04,168||+0,327s||🔴S (C4)|
|5||77||*Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1:04,035||+0,194s||🟡M (C3)|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||1:04,236||+0,395s||🔴S (C4)|
|7||16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:04,472||+0,631s||🔴S (C4)|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||1:04,574||+0,733s||🔴S (C4)|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:04,708||+0,867s||🔴S (C4)|
|11||22||*Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||1:04,514||+0,673s||🔴S (C4)|
|12||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:04,800||+0,959s||Free|
|14||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:04,875||+1,034s||Free|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:04,913||+1,072s||Free|
|18||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:05,429||+1,588s||Free|
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes no. 77 received a 3 grid penalty for dangerous driving in the pit lane during practice.
- Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri no. 22 reveived a 3 grid penalty for impeding Bottas during qualifying.
Possible Race Strategies 2021 Styrian F1 GP
The 71-lap Styrian Grand Prix has a high lap count owing to the short length of the circuit, but it should still be a one-stopper: especially with this weekend's tyre selection of C2, C3, and C4.
The most favoured one-stop strategy for the bulk of the top 10 is likely to be P Zero Red soft to P Zero White hard. Otherwise, P Zero Yellow medium to hard is set to be what Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the two Mercedes drivers opt for: which is also a possibility for other drivers outside the top 10 on the grid. Soft to medium (or vice versa) is feasible too, but more difficult to achieve without careful tyre management.
As usual, there's also the possibility to do the opposite – beginning on the harder compound before switching to a softer one. This makes sense for those starting close to the back and hoping to run a longer first stint to gain track position. There are a few good overtaking opportunities over the course of the lap (also considering the three DRS zones) so track position isn't quite as essential at the Red Bull Ring as it is at some over circuits.
Naturally, all of this depends on the weather – with the forecast still looking variable. Track temperatures though will certainly influence the tyre life – especially on the soft – and therefore the strategy.
2021 Styrian F1 GP Race Notes
Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who went quickest in both free practice sessions yesterday, was fastest again in qualifying: one week after claiming pole in France. Verstappen was the only driver to get into the 1m03s window, on his first Q3 attempt with the P Zero Red soft C4.
- At the beginning of the Q2 session, both Mercedes drivers, as well as Verstappen and Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi went out on the Yellow medium tyre. Verstappen and the Mercedes drivers set their best times on the medium and will start on this compound tomorrow.
- Although the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas qualified runner-up, he has a three-place grid penalty: promoting his team mate Lewis Hamilton to second, McLaren's Lando Norris to third and Red Bull's Sergio Perez to fourth.
- Despite predictions of uncertain weather, conditions were warm and dry today with 31 degrees ambient and a track temperature peak of 52 degrees in Q2.
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