2021 Steiermark Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The tide is definitely turning. Red Bull is now the team to beat. How will Mercedes respond?
EVENT: Limited fans this weekend. Planned full capacity next weekend. The Dutch fans are already on their way...
TRACK: Rewards drivers, as Max Verstappen and George Russell showed.
QUALIFYING: Verstappen dominates qualifying, Mercedes messes up their on track positioning for the final run, Norris is outstanding, Russell is the star of qualifying, Sainz, Ricciardo, and Vettel are disappointed, and Ocon is worse than disappointing.
RACE: Back to a dominating "boring" race. But wait! It's not Mercedes doing the honors. It's Red Bull. Isn't this what we all wanted?
START: Verstappen and Hamilton are strong and clean, Norris and Perez get into a great battle, Gasly gets punctured and Leclerc breaks a wing against each other, and Ricciardo makes a massive jump.
VERSTAPPEN: More important than the dominating performance is the dominating confidence Max feels right now in his car.
PEREZ: Just missed a podium after a lengthy pit stop.
RED BULL: Home track heroes.
MERCEDES: They weren't even close enough to try a two-stop surprise. That's how thoroughly they got beaten.
HAMILTON: Does Lewis really want to re-up with Mercedes? Asking for a friend...
BOTTAS: Barely hung onto third while getting destroyed by his teammate.
NORRIS: Another fine drive. Another best of the rest fifth place.
RICCIARDO: A temporary power loss doomed Daniel from marching through the field.
MCLAREN: Despite Ricciardo's problems, McLaren is a lot more consistent than their rivals for third place, Ferrari.
FERRARI: We tip our hats to the Ferrari strategists. That's a praise you haven't heard much in a while. And, they had to strategize on the fly after Leclerc's first lap issues.
LECLERC: Well deserved fans' choice for drive of the race.
SAINZ: Took advantage of his teammate's misfortune to give Ferrari a nice points haul.
TSUNODA: A relatively uneventful weekend. Which for Yuki, is a good thing.
OCON: New three-year contract followed by two 14th place finishes.
RUSSELL: This time, George truly had a top 10 finish in hand ... until his car failed.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Runaway.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 4 -- And counting, as Red Bull extends their winning streak.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: Honda Racing won't be able to enjoy this again as Michael Masi warned Red Bull don't do it again. But for Sunday, they did enjoy it in their tweet, "Seeing out the #StyrianGP in style. Burnt rubber never smelt so good."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton clearly summed it up, "We had no answer to them."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: George Russell states what every race car driver at every level has felt at least once, "Racing is just brutal. It’s not meant to be easy."
SCHEDULE: Will it be déjà vu all over again? Or will Mercedes be able to do a better job than Red Bull preserving the softer compounds to be used?
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