Styrian Grand Prix – Race


In stark contrast to yesterday’s Qualifying (and cancelled FP3) session, it’s dry and sunny at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria.

Quali result: HAM, VER, SAI, BOT, OCO, NOR, ALB, GAS, RIC, VET, LEC, RUS, STR, KVY, MAG, RAI, PER, LAT, GIO, GRO
However, NOR was given a three-place grid penalty for overtaking GAS’s AlphaTauri under yellow flags during FP1, and then LEC was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding KVY during Q2 … and then today it was announced that GIO has been given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. In that same FIA article, it says “the stewards also confirmed on Sunday that Haas were under investigation for working on Grosjean’s car in parc ferme conditions, so he may yet have a penalty applied as well.”

So now the grid is: HAM, VER, SAI, BOT, OCO, ALB, GAS, RIC, NOR, VET, RUS, STR, KVY, LEC, MAG, RAI, PER, LAT, GRO, GIO

BBC report GRO “has to start from the pit lane because Haas carried out unsupervised work under parc fermé conditions” but I don’t see that on the official FIA site as yet
Ah, here it is: “he was handed a pit lane start for his team working on his Haas VF-20 while it was under parc ferme rules.”

Our power has gone off! Took a few minutes but it’s back – phew!

Pit lane opens to allow for some installation laps
Everyone’s on shiny new tyres – they all have a free choice for the race because Quali was done on wets
Yesterday’s downpour means the track is quite green – any rubber put down during free practice and the support events has been washed away
On his way round to the grid, ALB reports something fell into his cockpit!

Sky comment on most of the drivers taking a knee before the national anthem – I think VER was the only one who didn’t – Sky commentator says they all should, to show unity, but surely it’s got to be a personal choice? If you mandate it, doesn’t it lose meaning? (Looking at a photo, I think 4 or 5 drivers didn’t)

Drivers return to their cars; can’t see which tyres they’re on just yet
Grid: HAM, VER, SAI, BOT, OCO, ALB, GAS, RIC, NOR, VET, RUS, STR, KVY, LEC, MAG, RAI, PER, LAT, GIO; GRO will start from the pit lane

Air temperature 21°C; track 41°C; 0% chance of rain

HAM leads everyone (except GRO) away on the formation lap
Top 10 on softs, except RIC and VET on mediums

01/71: SAI challenging VER into Turn 1
Contact between the Ferrari pair! VET has rear wing damage
Safety Car deployed

02[SC]: HAM, VER, SAI, BOT, ALB, OCO, RIC, GAS, LEC, NOR, STR, RUS, MAG, KVY, GIO … aaargh! Official FIA app has the wrong timing info AGAIN!!!!!
LEC pits; new front wing
VET pits; retires

03[SC]: Replay shows LEC dives up the inside at Turn 3, his rear-left wheel hits VET’s rear wing [video]
SC in at the end of this lap

04: STR and NOR battling over P9
RUS runs wide

05/71: HAM, VER, SAI, BOT, ALB, OCO, RIC, GAS, STR, NOR
HAM fastest lap 1:08.631
LEC pits; retires

06: BOT takes P3 from SAI

07: Race control: incident involving VET and LEC – no investigation necessary

08: HAM f/lap 1:08.610
ALB past SAI before they brake for T4, takes P4

09: HAM f/lap 1:08.581
RIC on the radio asking his team to tell OCO to let him pass

10/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, SAI, OCO, RIC, GAS, STR, NOR, PER, KVY, GIO, MAG, GRO, RAI, LAT, RUS; retirements: LEC, VET

11: GRO takes P14 from teammate MAG

12: Radio from HAM asking for sector updates, not just laps

13: BOT f/lap 1:08.531

14: HAM f/lap 1:?
PER dives inside NOR to steal P10

15/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, SAI, OCO, RIC, GAS, STR, PER

17: RIC attacks but OCO keeps P6

18: STR past GAS for P8
RIC has another look at his teammate

19: PER past GAS for P9
RIC has another go, and this team he finally passes OCO for P6

20/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, SAI, RIC, OCO, STR, PER, GAS, NOR, KVY, GIO, RAI, GRO, MAG, LAT, RUS; out: LEC, VET
Radio for VER telling him both Mercedes have been told to push – pitting soon?

21: HAM 1:08.183
NOR claims P10 from GAS

22: GRO locks up and runs wide in T3
Interview with LEC; says he’s apologised to VET; “I did a very bad job today”; “Excuses are not enough in times like this, I’m disappointed in myself, I let the team down and I can only be sorry”

25/71: VER pits from P2; mediums go on; rejoins P3

26: HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, SAI, RIC … OCO pits, retires from P7

27: HAM is catching backmarkers
Mercedes mechanics preparing in the pit lane

28: HAM pits from P1; mediums go on; rejoins P2

30/71: BOT, HAM, VER, ALB, SAI, RIC, STR, PER, NOR, KVY, GIO, RAI, MAG, GRO, LAT, RUS, GAS; out: OCO, LEC, VET
HAM 1:07.863

32: PER closing on teammate STR

33: SAI pits from P5; mediums on; rear-left took a while to change; rejoins P13

34: STR pits from P6; mediums; rejoins P11

35/71: BOT pits from P1; mediums; clean stop; rejoins P3

Half distance

36: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB…
ALB pits from P4; rejoins P7

37: STR attacking RAI, takes P10
STR now lines up the other Alfa Romeo of GIO; up to P9

38: RIC pits from P5; softs go on; rejoins P7
SAI takes P9 from GIO

39: PER pits; mediums;

40/71: HAM, VER, BOT, NOR, ALB, RIC, STR, PER, SAI, RAI
BOT 1:07.628
NOR pits from P4; mediums go on; rejoins P10

43: RAI is the only one yet to pit (he started on mediums)

45/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, RIC, STR, PER, SAI, RAI, NOR, GAS (lapped), KVY, GIO, MAG, GRO, LAT, RUS; out: OCO, LEC, VET
RAI pits; rejoins P14

46: PER attacking teammate STR; PER takes P6; STR fights back but PER makes the pass stick

49: RAI sweeps past MAG for P13
PER catches RIC and steals P5

50/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, PER, RIC, STR, SAI, NOR, KVY
STR catching RIC – is RIC struggling with the soft tyres?
GAS makes a 2nd pit stop

52: PER f/lap 1:07.578

53: STR tucked up behind RIC
Radio from VER complaining of drivability out of Turn 3
Radio for BOT warning him of “damage on rear deflector” and tell him to make a setting change

54: Radio for BOT – “at this pace, we’ll catch him on the last lap”

55/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, PER, RIC, STR, SAI, NOR, KVY
Black and white flag shown for GIO for exceeding track limits
PER 1:07.410

56: STR unable to find a move on RIC
PER closing on ALB as ALB closes to lap RUS

59: Radio for VER warning him BOT could close up in 2-3 laps

60/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, PER, RIC, STR, SAI, NOR, KVY, GIO, RAI, GRO, MAG, GAS, RUS, LAT; out: OCO, LEC, VET
GIO has been told to let teammate RAI past for P11

61: NOR catches teammate SAI

62: SAI slows a fraction to let NOR take P8

63: BOT ~2.5sec behind VER
PER f/lap 1:07.396 – he’s ~0.5sec behind ALB

65/71: HAM, VER, BOT, ALB, PER, RIC, STR, NOR, SAI, KVY
NOR f/lap 1:07.286

66: Radio from VER – “not much left in my rear tyres”
BOT tucked up into Turn 3; attacks into T4; VER defends and holds on to P2

67: HAM f/lap 1:07.018
VER defends the inside into T3 again
BOT makes the move in T4, takes P2
SAI pits from P9; new softs; rejoins still P9

68: PER still inside DRS range of ALB

69: HAM 1:06.719
VER pits from P3; new softs; rejoins still P3
So SAI and VER both on new tyres to try to take the point for fastest lap

70/71: HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, PER, RIC, STR, NOR, SAI, KVY, RAI, GIO, MAG, GRO, GAS, RUS, LAT; out: OCO, LEC, VET
SAI f/lap 1:05/619
NOR closing on STR
PER makes a move on ALB; contact; PER has broken his front wing – I knew it was a mistake to vote for PER as Driver of the Race

71 = last lap: STR attacks RIC; STR and NOR pass RIC

HAM takes the chequered flag
BOT P2
NOR around the outside of STR – takes P6
VER P3
ALB P4
PER struggling with his broken wing
NOR catches PER in the final turn – swoops past to steal P5
STR blocks RIC and prevents the Renault attacking PER
PER just gets P6
STR P7, RIC P8 … but that incident has been noted by Race Control

I want to change my vote for Driver of the Day – I had voted for PER but then he hit ALB, and then NOR’s final laps makes me think he really deserved it
Funny to see a few people voting for LEC 🙂

Radio exchange with HAM:
Bono: “Awesome job Lewis, looked like an easy race. Beautifully managed.
HAM: “What a fantastic job guys, so impressed.”
Toto: “Your driving wasn’t bad either.” 🙂

Provisional result: HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, NOR, PER, STR*, RIC, SAI, KVY; RAI, MAG, GRO, GIO, GAS, RUS, LAT
DNF: OCO, LEC, VET
*Incident involving STR and RIC under investigation
Fastest lap: SAI

Interviews:
HAM: “I love back to backs, let’s just go back to back all year long!”
BOT: “Not a bad first couple of races, looking forward to next week”
VER: “I tried, I pushed as hard as I could. When Valtteri passed me I tried to make it difficult but I knew he was going to get by. There is still work to do.”

Trophies delivered by remote-control “robots” – FIA need to put some more work into getting that!
HAM spraying champagne, chases his mechanics back to the pits 🙂

Interviews:
PER: “It was a great recovery, great pace from the car and the team did a great strategy. We were on our way to P5, I was pushing on Albon for P4 and I understeered a little bit – I was lucky to finish sixth in the end. Had to give it a go.”
STR: “Very tight last lap” “Sergio managed to get a good run and overtake me and after that happened I was trying to get a run on Ricciardo. Finally on the last laps I saw an opportunity, a very small gap and I went for it. Turned out to be a very hectic last lap!”