Max Verstappen asserted his dominance and inched closer to his third world title with a commanding triumph at the Austrian Grand Prix, leaving his teammate Sergio Perez trailing by a substantial 81-point margin in the championship standings.
With the win, Verstappen claimed his fifth victory in a row and his seventh for the season. With a
While Verstappen’s victory was expected, the real excitement unfolded in the battle for the remaining spots on the podium, featuring a gripping tussle between Perez and the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
In the end, it was Leclerc who emerged victorious, owing in part to a resilient defense by his teammate Sainz. Sainz valiantly fought his way through the field from a lowly 15th grid position, holding off Perez for a crucial four laps. This allowed Leclerc to establish a comfortable lead and hold off the relentless pursuit from the Red Bull until the checkered flag.
The brief but captivating contest between Sainz and Perez unfolded over multiple laps, putting in full display their fierce rivalry through the demanding Turns Three and Four. In quite an unsuspecting manner, Sainz executed an audacious maneuver by overtaking Perez around the outside of Turn Four, even after the Mexican driver appeared to have secured the position. However, Perez eventually regained his ground and clinched third place.
Sainz’s unwavering defense resulted in Leclerc building a commanding lead of 12.9 seconds over Perez with only nine laps remaining. Despite Red Bull’s efforts, Verstappen was unable to bridge the gap before the race concluded, leaving Leclerc secure in second place.
Verstappen encountered very little resistance throughout the race. Starting from pole position, he swiftly claimed the lead at the opening corner. Although he encountered the hurdle of overtaking the Ferraris during his middle stint due to a delayed initial pit stop, Verstappen navigated past them effortlessly and surged ahead, leaving the rest of the field powerless to respond.
Towards the final minutes left in the race, Verstappen defied his team’s request to conserve his tires and instead opted for a pit stop to acquire fresh rubber. This strategic move aimed to secure the fastest lap, a record previously held by Perez.
Verstappen’s relentless pursuit of perfection continued as he aimed to extract every ounce of performance from his car, disregarding any potential risk. His hunger for success was evident as he disregarded the team’s plea to ease off and instead sought to further solidify his dominance.
As the chequered flag waved, Verstappen celebrated his seventh victory out of nine races this season, showcasing his unrivaled form and leaving his competitors in awe of his unstoppable prowess. With each race, Verstappen inches closer to etching his name in the annals of motorsport history with a third-consecutive world championship title in sight.