Formula 1 BWT Grosser Preis von Österreich 2021. Red Bull Ring Round 9.
71 laps @ 4.326kms/2.688mls 307.146kms/190.861mls.
Lap record 1m 05.619s held by C Sainz Jnr 2020.
FP1 saw 3 reserve drivers Guanyu Zhou making his F1 debut in the Alpine, Callum Ilott in the Alfa Romeo & Roy Nissany in the Williams. Pirelli brought the softer compound tyres so running was slightly different, plus the drivers had to trial the prototype rear tyres which will be used from Silverstone. There were a lot of spins, offs and times deleted and some very close encounters with the barriers but no major dramas. FP2 had the 3 regular drivers back in their cars. Another hour of spins & offs with more times deleted as well as plenty of expletives over the radios about traffic. FP3 on Saturday morning with more prototype tyre testing was much the same as the 2 Friday sessions.
Q1 was bright & sunny with packed grandstands mainly with the ‘Orange Army’. It was a frantic 18 minutes but trouble free with more times deleted. Out went both Haas drivers with Lat, Oco & Räi. Q2 was fairly calm until the final assault when the drivers were backing up to make some space. Vet was the last in line and missed out on his final lap. Gio, Alo, Ric, Lec & Sai all dropped out. Q3 was fast & furious but trouble-free. Ver, Nor, Per, Ham & Bot were the top five. Ver got his third consecutive pole, Nor his first-ever front row start & the first for McLaren since Brazil 2012. Vet was handed a 3 place grid drop for impeding Alo in Q3 only because he was last in line at the time.
Race day saw Ver away well leaving the rest to fight among themselves. At the back Oco was sandwiched between Sch & Gio, the latter clipping the front wheel of the Alpine which ended up in the gravel; safety car deployed, Gio pitted for repairs. Per & Nor had a battle with the Mexican running wide dropping to 10th. A lot of scraps. Ham eventually passed Nor on lap 18. Maz & Räi were both shown the black & white flag for repeatedly exceeding track limits. On the final lap Räi & Vet clashed with the latter ending up in the gravel. Gio had a 5 sec penalty for overtaking before the s/car line, Nor 5 sec for forcing a driver off the circuit, Tsu 2 x 5 sec penalties for twice crossing the white line at the pit lane entry, Per 2 x 5 sec for forcing a driver off on ywo occasions, Str 5 sec for speeding in the pit lane, then Räi 20 sec for causing a collision and Maz & Lat for not slowing under yellow flags. The Flying Dutchmantook the chequered flag again amid a cloud of orange smoke with Bot & Nor joining him on the podium. Ver also posted the fastest lap of 1m 06.200s on lap 62.
The Australian GP set for 21st November has been cancelled.
2021 Formula Pirelli British GP Silverstone Round 10
52 laps @ 5.891km/3.660ml 306.198km/190.351ml.
Lap record 1m 27.097s held by M. Verstappen Red Bull (2019)
For the first time since COVID began the race was in front of a full capacity crowd.
This will be the 56th race at this historic circuit.
A very warm sunny start to the weekend. The drivers were all using the new construction rear tyres and were warned about track limits at turns 9 (Copse) & 15 (Stowe).
FP1 apart from a few spins & offs it was a fairly calm 60 minutes. Sprint Qualifying in the evening was still bright & Sunny with all 3 sessions running fairly smoothly. FP2 on Saturday with clear skies and sunshine was a bit strange as the teams were setting up for the afternoon sprint race and the race on Sunday, but again another trouble free session. Ver, Lec, Sai, Oco & Per made up the top five.
Sprint Race 17 laps (100kms) saw flames bellowing from the front wheel of Ver’s car on the grid. He still got away well & passed Ham. Ric & Per had a close encounter as did the Haas duo with Maz getting into a spin. Alo did exceedingly well to get from 11th to 6th at the start. Ver & Ham had a good fight. Per had a big spin almost hitting the barrier which dropped him down to 19th. Sai went off after an incident with Rus, Gas & Räi. Both had times deleted. Per had to retire at the end. As the results from this session formed the grid for the race on Sunday he had to start from the back.
The weather on Sunday was hot & sunny. Per had to start from the pit lane after having a new rear wing assembly & some set up changes. Ver & Ham got away well battling through the corners with good wheel-to-wheel racing until Copse (turn 9) when Ham hit the rear wheel of Ver forcing the Dutchman off the circuit and having a heavy impact into the barriers. Lec then took the lead before the safety car was deployed for just one lap until the race was red flagged. After 35 minutes the safety car led them out to the grid for a second start. Lec maintained his lead from Ham with Nor, Bot & Ric having a battle. Vet & Alo had a touch which sent the German into a spin dropping him down the order. The Haas duo had a very close battle. Per fought his way through the traffic towards the points’ places. Ham was given a 10 second penalty for causing an accident. The pit stops started on lap 18 causing position changes. Ham emerged in 4th place after his long stop on lap 27 with Nor & Bot between him & leader Lec. After passing Nor, team orders came into play for ‘the wing man’ at which time Bot dutifully slowed & moved over. There were some good battles midfield. Gas was shown the black & white flag for exceeding track limits. Per was in 9th place (2pts) with a chance of going up, until the team decided to pit him for fresh tyres to get the fastest lap and bonus point away from Ham & Mercedes which he did on lap 50. Unfortunately he finished 16th, so no bonus point! Lots of action and battles throughout the field. Only 12 laps from the end Vet had a cooling problem and had to retire. Ham took the chequered flag for his 8th win at this circuit & 99th of his career. Per posted the fastest lap on lap 50 with a time of 1m 28.617s.