The scenic Styrian mountains provided a stunning backdrop for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, the eighth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The 4.326km Red Bull Ring provided a stern test for the new generation of Power Units, with an average speed in excess of 200kph and over 60% of the race spent at full throttle.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was the highest classified Renault-powered driver, passing the flag in eighth. Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in tenth, just 3secs from ninth despite a grid penalty. Team-mate Daniil Kvyat finished in 12th, also hampered by a grid penalty.
Key race points:
Max Verstappen had a strong start in the Toro Rosso, moving up one place. He lost a position to Bottas on lap 14 after a tight fight and resisted pressure from Maldonado until the penultimate lap of the race when he muscled his way through. The four points mark Verstappen’s second top ten finish of the year and take his season total to 10.
After a strong start Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was running in the top ten, but he retired on lap 37 when his car lost electrical power.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat came through the field to 10th and 12th respectively. The pair had incurred penalties for introducing the fifth ICE of the season. Ricciardo made a late stop and on newer tyres was able to close and pass Nasr for tenth. He also made in-roads to Perez for ninth and finished just 3secs adrift.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
Congratulations to Max on a strong race. He had some hard battles with the Williams and Lotus so he deserved the points. Red Bull had a tough weekend, as expected. In consultation with the team we introduced the fifth ICE for both Red Bull drivers, incurring penalties, but now they are served we can build for the future. Silverstone and Budapest are both good opportunities for the team.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
We knew this weekend would be a difficult one and we picked up points where we could. Max drove a good race to eighth. Red Bull did as well as we could have expected, particularly with the penalties served. Now those penalties are behind us we can focus on the races in hand without this hanging over us. Silverstone should suit the car a bit better so we hope to be closer to the front there.