Max Verstappen pulled off his most emphatic win of the season so far with victory in the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
Verstappen closed the door on Lewis Hamilton at the start and soon pulled out a significant lead over hit Mercedes rival, who had nothing in reply as the Red Bull cruised to victory.
Although Verstappen complained of brake issues during the race there seemed little to trouble him on his way to a fourth win of 2021.
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“You never know of course how it’s going to end up,” Verstappen told the media after the race. “But straightaway, I felt a good balance in the car.
“It was good to manage the tyres basically from the start,” he continued. “[Mercedes] pitted one lap earlier than us, we reacted to that and then we just kept on going trying to hit our lap times.
“That worked really well,” he summed up, his thoughts already turning forward to the second consecutive race at the circuit.
“We have to show it again next week,” he confirmed. “We’ll definitely have a look at what we can do better. I’m looking forward to next week.”
Verstappen’s lead over Hamilton in the drivers championship is now up to 18 points despite the Briton successfully taking the bonus point for fastest lap at the end of the race.
Despite Valtteri Bottas pipping Sergio Perez to third place, Red Bull’s lead in the constructors standings increased by three points to 40 points after eight rounds of the 2021 F1 world championship.
Verstappen agreed that things were “looking really good” for both him and the team in this year’s championship, but warned that there was a long way still to go.
“We just have to keep on going, keep pushing really hard, and then I’m confident that we can do a very good job,” he said.
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner was delighted by the day’s outcome.
“The whole team’s just working tremendously well at the moment,” he told Sky Sports F1. “The only hiccup we had in our race was the pitstop for Checo.
“Other than that it was an immaculate performance, particularly by Max who just managed the race so well.”
He added that the team hadn’t been tempted to switch to a two-stop strategy for Verstappen given how much of a gap he had managed to pull out at the front of the race.
“The one stop was the quickest route for him. We could see Lewis’ tyres were starting to open up so we were mindful of that,” he explained. “The state of Lewis’ front tyre, you can see a big blister forming.
“The way [Max] controlled the race, the way he built the gap, that’s the most dominant win that we’ve had so far this year against Mercedes so that’s very encouraging.
“[Mercedes] had a free stop behind us effectively and we were fully expecting them to pull the trigger on that,” he admitted. “We just didn’t know what was going to happen.
“But we were very much focused on our race and then we had the time thankfully with a gap that we would have been able to cover any move that they made.
“Max controlled the race fantastically well and gave us a master class.”
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