02/03/2024

Red Bulls Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Styrian Grand Prix. Photo: @redbullracing/Twitter.

Max Verstappen continued his dominant season taking out the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring while Ricciardo had a mixed emotions race

Max Verstappen continued his dominant season taking out the Styria Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring to extend his lead at the top of the driver standings.

The Dutchman had a perfect race which he led from start to finish.

From the outset, it was evident that Verstappen was the faster racer able to slowly extend his gap over Lewis Hamilton lap by lap.

Mercedes attempting to potential undercut Verstappen but he was too far ahead and even after he pitted continued to widen the gap.

It was not all bad for Mercedes as they finished with the other two spots on the podium with Hamilton finishing second and Valtteri Bottas in third.

It was an immaculate weekend for Red Bull overall, securing pole at their home race for the first time and having Verstappen extend his lead over Hamilton now 18 points ahead, 156 to 138.

Red Bull currently sit 40 points ahead of Mercedes in the Constructor’s Championship, 252 versus 212, extending its winning streak to four.

Ricciardo’s heartbreak  

Daniel Ricciardo had a race full of mixed emotions following an underwhelming performance in qualifying which saw him starting 13th on the grid.

The Aussie was flying early overtaking multiple cars with ease in the chaos of the opening lap, climbing up to ninth.

However, after all that hard work, power issues with the car on lap eight ultimately costing him dearly falling back down to his starting position.

While the problem was resolved quickly the damage was done with Ricciardo unable to regain any positions back finishing the race in 13th.

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Retirements for fan favourites

Frenchman Pierre Gasly had a nightmare race unable to even to complete one lap.

A tyre puncture and subsequent suspension damage was his undoing after a disaster of an opening lap.

The pain of Gasly’s retirement was only compounded by the fact he’d had another great qualifying session starting sixth on the grid.

George Russell’s weekend followed a similar storyline to Gasly.

After a great result in qualifying and subsequently starting 10th, it appeared Russell could collect his first points finish with Williams and the first points of the season for Williams.

A power issue on lap 39 forced the Brit to retire and ponder what could have been.

Ferrari reverse poor start

It was a rollercoaster of a race for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who had a horrible start to the race dropping way down the grid after starting seventh.

At one point Leclerc was as low as 16th but turned his race around and came home strong to finish in seventh and earn driver of the day.

His teammate Carlos Sainz also had an impressive result starting in 12th but finishing in sixth to help Ferrari close the gap between them and McLaren in the Constructor’s Championship.

Unfortunately for Ferrari, McLaren’s Lando Norris continued his streak of earning points in every race finishing fifth.

Ferrari are now only 12 points behind McLaren in the Constructor’s Championship, 120 to 108.

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