2021 Austria Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: It got even better for Red Bull and even worse for Mercedes in the lather, rinse, repeat run of Austria.
EVENT: Large crowd. Wild and crazy Dutch fans. What's there not to like?
TRACK: Certainly located in one of the most beautiful locations an F1 track is located in.
QUALIFYING: Orange Dutchman and an orange car give orange fans plenty to cheer about on the front row, Mercedes has nothing, Russell is once again spectacular finally getting into Q3 ... on medium tires no less, and the Ferrari gamble fails.
RACE: Like the "old" days, look behind the leader for the excitement.
START: Verstappen pulls away, Norris isn't intimidated, Perez earns his salary by holding off the Mercedes, Russell gets caught on the outside, and Ocon's misery continues.
VERSTAPPEN: This time the Dutch fans were there to celebrate, making Max even happier.
PEREZ: We might not agree with the penalties, but Sergio if you get angry at Norris pushing you off the track, then how can you turn around and do that to someone else? Twice?!
RED BULL: Even better.
NORRIS: Lando is keeping a good perspective on things, knowing it might not be too long before legitimately battling for a win.
RICCIARDO: Much better in the race. But, still...
MCLAREN: They keep edging forward.
BOTTAS: Nice recovery after last week.
HAMILTON: Damage hurt him. However, it didn't matter. Lewis once again had nothing for Max. At least he got a new contract.
MERCEDES: You might want to rethink your attitude about upgrades this season. Just saying...
FERRARI: The "poor" qualifying was all planned ahead of time to setup their race strategy. And it worked.
ALONSO: Broke Russell's heart...
RUSSELL: Forever cursed?
TSUNODA: All of a sudden, you forget how to enter the pits? Seriously?!
RAIKKONEN: How could you not see Vettel? Then again, Kimi did run into the back of his teammate earlier in the season. Time for an eye exam...?
FIA: We're with Norris on this one. What do you expect when you run on the outside? Then, the FIA doubled down. Then, tripled down!
F3: Norwegian Dennis Hauger extended his points lead to 41 with a pole, first, third, and second in the feature race, respectively.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Repeat.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 142 -- The number of laps in the two Austrian races and the number of laps led by Max Verstappen in the two Austrian races.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: With the exception of the first event, the Austrian Grand Prix has always been held at this track, albeit with different configurations and different names (Österreichring, A1-Ring, Red Bull Ring). That first year was at the Zeltweg Airfield, 2.5 miles from the current track. Though Zeltweg hosted an Austrian GP from 1963-1968, only the 1964 version was an F1 World Championship event. Ferrari's Lorenzo Bandini, starting seventh, won followed by American Richie Ginther (BRM) on the same lap and Brit Bob Anderson (Brabham-Climax) three laps down. Appropriately, Austrian Jochen Rindt made his F1 debut, but DNF'ed.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: Williams kept it simple, after losing 10th place, with an emoji -- a frown face.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Max Verstappen telling his team after the win in both the understatement and smackdown statement of the weekend, "We did better than last week."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: George Russell asking his team after Q2 -- with tongue firmly planted in cheek, "Sorry guys, was that too fast?"
SCHEDULE: Off to Silverstone. Home of F1's debut. Hamilton's fans. And now, the sprint "we can not call it a race" qualifying session.
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