Formula One World Championship heads over to Red Bull Ring in Styria, Austria, for the eighth round of the 2021 season. The Styrian Grand Prix 2021 will take place on Sunday, June 28, at Red Bull’s home track, where Max Verstappen will look to further extend his lead ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Verstappen travels to Austria with three wins and six podiums, which is good for 131 points. He currently leads the F1 Drivers’ Standings, 12 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton and 47 ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez in third with 84 points.
Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton last time out in France in what marked a huge milestone in Red Bull’s rise to prominence as the leading constructor on the season, and Max Verstappen’s Road to dethroning Hamilton as the best F1 driver of the last decade.
Although Silver Arrows did their best to fend off Red Bull, they proved to be no match for Verstappen-Sergio Perez, who secured 1-3 in what was a fairly humiliating loss for Mercedes. To make that defeat even more painful for Mercedes, Red Bull were expected to struggle following new regulations to the flexi wings and tyre pressure.
This part of Europe is not exactly known for stable weather of late, making it that much more important to keep up to date with the weather forecast. Over the last few weeks, it was either showers or sunshine, but as we move further into June, the weather seems to have stabilised and is now mostly sunny and hot.
That, however, might not be the case for Sunday. The weather forecast for the race shows a 40% chance of rain, with the temperatures hitting 21 °C. There’s even a chance we might see a thunderstorm on the weekend, but for now, it seems like sunny and dry weather is on the cards.
Not Hamilton’s Favourite Track
The Red Bull Ring hasn’t been Lewis Hamilton’s favorite track throughout his career. Although he has won the race twice, he often had to settle for second, which includes the 2017 race, when he ended behind Valtteri Bottas.
In 2018, neither of the Silver Arrows drivers finished the race after retiring due to mechanical difficulties. That year, Max Verstappen took the spotlight, won the race for himself, and added another win in 2019.
Hamilton’s only victory at the track since 2015 happened in 2020 when he outperformed his teammate and Verstappen, who finished in second and third.
Despite his solid overall record at the track, it’s clear that it isn’t Hamilton’s favorite. Adding that to the fact that Hamilton isn’t having the best season, it’s easy to speculate he might not be in the running for his third W on Sunday.
Red Bull Lead The Charge
While Hamilton continues to struggle to recapture his 2020 form, Red Bull is showing no signs of stopping, and it’s becoming evident that Silver Arrows can no longer keep up with their main competitors. That becomes very obvious in straights, where Honda’s engines straight outperform Mercedes.
That should concern the Silver Arrows as they head to a very power-sensitive track. Another thing worth noting is Red Bull Circuit’s high altitude, which has traditionally benefited Red Bull’s engines.
Last year, Red Bull performed admirably well on high-altitude tracks in Mexico and Brazil. Even though the Red Bull Circuit isn’t as located as high as either of those two, it’s still pretty high (700m MAMSL) and should give Red Bull an additional edge.
Verstappen Checks All The Marks For Styrian Grand Prix Winner
After winning his third race of the season, the momentum is with Verstappen to deliver again in Austria. Even his teammate, Sergio Perez, has been performing admirably well, forming a strong Red Bull duo that have pushed Mercedes onto the back foot.
The pressure on Silver Arrows is mounting, and slowly, the reigning champions have started to show cracks. Drivers are making mistakes, the team not listening to Bottas’ calls, and we shouldn’t forget to mention Mercedes’ flawed one-stop strategy in France.
It’s hard not to be optimistic about Max Verstappen and his chances to claim his fourth victory on Sunday. He is in great form and drives the best car on top of that build to be fast on the Red Bull Circuit.
If we were to compare Mercedes to Red Bull, the latter’s power units are just as good and you could argue that Red Bull have a better lineup given Bottas’ poor form and rather obvious struggles between the team and the Finn.
Verstappen won here twice, albeit once (2019) when both Silver Arrow drivers had to retire. Still, he has managed to win in a much slower car than the one he has now, and it’s fair to say that he should do much better this time out.
Prediction: Max Verstappen to win – 2.25 at Bet365 – 2 Units