|2021 Styrian Grand Prix|
|Race 8 of 23[a] in the 2021 Formula One World Championship|
Layout of the Spielberg circuit in 2021
|Date||27 June 2021|
|Official name||Formula 1 BWT Großer Preis der Steiermark 2021|
Red Bull Ring|
|Course||Permanent racing circuit|
|Course length||4.318 km (2.683 mi)|
|Distance||71 laps, 306.452 km (190.420 mi)|
|Weather||Partly cloudy. Ambient temperature: 25 to 29 °C (77 to 84 °F); Surface temperature: 48 to 56 °C (118 to 133 °F)|
|Driver||Red Bull Racing-Honda|
|Time||1:07.058 on lap 71|
|First||Red Bull Racing-Honda|
The 2021 Styrian Grand Prix (officially known as the Formula 1 BWT Großer Preis der Steiermark 2021) was a Formula One motor race that took place on 27 June 2021 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria as the eighth round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship. It is the second Styrian Grand Prix, and the thirty-fourth Grand Prix held at the venue. The event was added to the schedule after other races were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, forming the second leg of a series of three races on back-to-back weekends. The race was won by Max Verstappen, who led every lap of the race.
The event was held over the weekend of 25-27 June, and is officially named the Formula 1 BWT Großer Preis der Steiermark 2021. It was the eighth round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship, and the second Styrian Grand Prix following the first edition held the previous year. It was held at the 4.318-kilometre (2.683 mi), ten-corner Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, the sixteenth world championship Grand Prix held on the modern version of the circuit, and the thirty-fourth in total. Changes had been made to the verge and barrier at the second and third corners and to the kerb at the sixth turn since the previous year.
The event was added to the schedule after the Canadian Grand Prix was cancelled and the Turkish Grand Prix was postponed, both because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these changes, the Styrian Grand Prix formed the second leg of a series of three races on consecutive weekends, following the 2021 French Grand Prix in Le Castellet, Var and preceding the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix, which was also held in Spielberg. The addition of a fourth group of three back-to-back races to the already-crowded calendar received criticism, with concerns expressed over the workload and its effect on the mental health of workers who travel to the races. This race was held with a limited number of spectators in attendance, while the following week's Austrian Grand Prix had a much larger crowd. Sole Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli were expected to bring their middle three dry-weather tyre compounds in terms of hardness--the C2, C3, and C4--which were originally intended for the next round. Ten constructors and twenty drivers participated, with no changes from the season entry list. Robert Kubica drove for Alfa Romeo Racing in the first free practice session in place of Kimi Räikkönen. Max Verstappen entered the event leading the World Drivers' Championship, with a twelve-point advantage ahead of Lewis Hamilton, while Red Bull Racing led the World Constructors' Championship by thirty-seven points from the Mercedes team. The 2021 W Series hosted its season's first round as a support race.
Verstappen set the fastest official time in the second free practice session with Daniel Ricciardo second for McLaren and Alpine's Esteban Ocon third, after Hamilton had a faster lap time disallowed for a track limits violation. Valtteri Bottas spun in the pit lane after leaving in second gear; he was penalised for this, being required to start from three positions further back in the race and having two penalty points added to his FIA Super Licence.
Hamilton set the fastest lap in the third practice session followed by Verstappen in second, and Bottas in third. Bottas nearly collided with Gasly in the pit lane while Gasly was exiting his pit garage, forcing Bottas to lock his front-right wheel to avoid a collision.
Qualifying started at 15:00 local time on the Saturday. Temperatures that day were around 21 °C (70 °F). The session is composed of three segments.[b] At the end of the first two parts the five slowest drivers have their qualifying positions set and are prevented from participating in the rest of the qualifying session.[c] The final segment determines the top ten qualifying positions. The qualifying results are then used to determine the starting order of the race.
Verstappen set the fastest time of the final segment of qualifying to claim pole position. This was the sixth pole of Verstappen's Formula One career. Bottas qualified second, with his penalty pushing him back to fifth, with Hamilton qualifying third and Lando Norris fourth. Congestion was sometimes an issue during qualifying on the short layout, with Yuki Tsunoda, who qualified eighth, ordered to start from three places further back as a penalty for holding up Bottas. Fernando Alonso set the ninth fastest time of the final session, having beaten George Russell out of the second session by less than a hundredth of a second.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing-Honda||1:04.489||1:04.433||1:03.841||1|
|5||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Racing-Honda||1:04.638||1:04.197||1:04.168||4|
|10||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1:04.821||1:04.663||1:04.708||9|
|12||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:04.859||1:04.800||N/A||12|
|14||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1:05.051||1:04.875||N/A||14|
|18||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||1:05.429||N/A||N/A||18|
|107% time: 1:09.003|
The race started at 15:00 local time on the Sunday. It lasted seventy-one laps for a total distance of 306.452 kilometres (190.420 mi). The ambient temperature before the start was 26.4 °C (79.5 °F). Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc collided with Gasly on the first lap, meaning the Alpha Tauri driver had to retire from the race. Pérez overtook Norris for third place on the tenth lap, with Bottas following him through a lap later. Although cloud cover appeared over the track during the race, the weather remained warm enough for teams to have concerns about cooling their cars. Pérez came into the pits for new tyres at the end of the twenty-sixth lap, however an issue changing the rear-left wheel meant his pit stop was slow, and when Bottas (who pitted one lap later) emerged from the pit lane he had gotten ahead of Pérez. Hamilton made his first pit stop at the end of the twenty-eighth lap, with Verstappen doing the same on the following lap. Verstappen's existing advantage and the concise length of the circuit meant that Hamilton could not utilise the greater grip of fresh tyres to get ahead of Verstappen while the Red Bull was in the pit lane. Verstappen won from Hamilton, with Bottas in third ahead of Pérez. Norris remained in fifth until the end, aided by a relatively late pit stop for new tyres. Leclerc climbed through the order to finish seventh after making a pit stop to repair damage sustained in the collision with Gasly. His Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr finished one place ahead of him, having gained six places from his starting position. Some light rainfall was reported towards the end of the race, but it did not significantly effect proceedings. Verstappen extended his lead over Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship to eighteen points while Red Bull extended theirs over Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship to forty. The low drag setup on the Red Bull RB16B's rear wing gave them a speed advantage. Hamilton wanted Mercedes to develop upgrades to make their car faster, but Mercedes had no plans to do so. Hamilton claimed the additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Verstappen performed celebratory burnouts after the finish, and was warned by officials to not repeat such an act at future events. Verstappen had lapped all the drivers apart from Hamilton, Perez and Bottas. He led every lap and this was his second win in a row after winning in France a week before this race.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing-Honda||71||1:22:18.925||1||25|
|4||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Racing-Honda||71||+47.434||4||12|
|5||4||Lando Norris||McLaren-Mercedes||70||+1 lap||3||10|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||70||+1 lap||12||8|
|7||16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||70||+1 lap||7||6|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||70||+1 lap||9||4|
|9||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine-Renault||70||+1 lap||8||2|
|10||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Honda||70||+1 lap||11||1|
|11||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||70||+1 lap||18|
|12||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||70||+1 lap||14|
|13||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren-Mercedes||70||+1 lap||13|
|14||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine-Renault||70||+1 lap||17|
|16||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas-Ferrari||69||+2 laps||19|
|17||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams-Mercedes||68||+3 laps||16|
|18||9||Nikita Mazepin[d]||Haas-Ferrari||68||+3 laps||20|
|Ret||63||George Russell||Williams-Mercedes||36||Power unit||10|
|Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 1:07.058 (lap 71)|