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For the first time since 1988, Honda-powered cars have won five races in a row courtesy of a dominant performance from Max in Austria.
After Max secured pole position on Saturday ahead of Sergio in third place, the two Red Bull Racing drivers started on medium tyres, while Pierre and Yuki had to start on softs for Scuderia AlphaTauri after advancing through Q2 on that compound.
After a clean first few corners, Sergio was forced off track by Lando Norris at Turn 4 as he attempted to take second place from the McLaren, running through the gravel and dropping to tenth place while Norris picked up a time penalty.
Starting on soft tyres meant the AlphaTauri drivers were first to make their pit stops, with Yuki pitting on lap 12 and Pierre following him in a lap later.
Both drivers switched to the hard tyre, but Yuki was handed a five-second time penalty for crossing the white line on the pit entry at his pit stop, and Pierre had a slow right front tyre change.
The two Red Bull drivers went longer on their medium tyres and both made a pit stop on the same lap, with Max coming in on lap 32 and Sergio following suit a few seconds after him. Max retained his comfortable lead, while Sergio kept fighting though the field and was twice involved in close fights with Charles Leclerc.
On both occasions Sergio was handed five-second time penalties for forcing another car off track, but he kept moving forward and cleared Daniel Ricciardo on lap 53 just as Lewis Hamilton ahead of him made another pit stop. Sergio chased Hamilton down for fourth place but couldn’t get past the Mercedes and that allowed Carlos Sainz to cross the line within 10 seconds, dropping Sergio to sixth in the final classification.
Max had such a big lead that he was able to make a second pit stop with 11 laps remaining and set the fastest lap of the race by over 1.5 seconds, ensuring he took the Grand Slam of pole position, race victory, fastest lap and every lap led.
AlphaTauri stuck with a two-stop strategy after starting on softs so Pierre made his second stop on lap 45, setting off after the cars in the top ten. Yuki’s second stop came six laps later, and he had to take his five-second time penalty at the stop so dropped out of points’ contention, with a further five-second time penalty for the same pit entry infraction seeing him classified in 12th place at the finish.
Ahead of him, Pierre rose into the points and closed right up on Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc, crossing the line within a second of each and having to settle for two further points in ninth place.
Our 84th victory in Formula 1 sees Max extend his drivers’ championship lead to 32 points, while Red Bull’s advantage in the constructors’ standings grows to 44 points. And in a wonderful gesture acknowledging Honda’s part in this run of great results, our technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe was invited up onto the podium to receive the winning Constructor’’ trophy on behalf of the team.
Technical Director, Honda Racing F1
"Another perfect performance from Max, leading every lap from pole and taking the fastest lap of the race, gave him his third consecutive win and made it five in a row for Red Bull Racing Honda. He controlled the race and it was yet another memorable day at Red Bull’s home track. Sergio dropped to tenth after a collision and picked up a couple of penalties, so he had a difficult afternoon, but he never gave up and so sixth is a good result in the circumstances. Scuderia AlphaTauri started from good grid positions in sixth and seventh, but both Pierre and Yuki struggled for pace and Gasly fought hard for ninth, with Yuki ending 12th, which is disappointing given how they went in practice and qualifying. The first triple header is now over and so we head to another home race, given that both Honda and Red Bull Racing are based not far from Silverstone. We will try and keep this momentum going, in the hope of an even stronger result across all four cars and we are also looking forward to experiencing the Sprint Qualifying Race format for the very first time."
Red Bull Racing Honda
Race : 1st
"To win again at home at the Red Bull Ring is just incredible. I expected it to be good, but not this good, and the car was on rails. It was really nice to drive and the pace was incredible on both tyre compounds. I could push and also look after the tyres which is exactly how you want it to be and I could extend my gap lap after lap. Just like everyone else we learnt from last weekend and we optimised the car even more by improving the set-up. It’s actually hard to put into words because it was so enjoyable to drive and the weekend was the best it could be, so let’s hope we can carry on in the same way. It’s a great reward for everyone in the Team and it was also very nice to have Honda represented on the podium by Tanabe. The fans were also incredible all weekend, so much orange in the grandstands and it’s just great to see people back and enjoying Formula One at the track. There are of course a lot of difficult races coming up and Silverstone will be interesting with the Sprint Race to mix things up. But for now, I’m really happy with the way the whole race went and you don’t often get this type of race, so we all have to enjoy it."
Red Bull Racing Honda
Race : 6th
"I'm obviously not very happy with my race today. On the fourth lap I had the position and I out-braked Lando but he pushed me off the track which pretty much ended my race. As for the other incidents with Charles, I still have to review the situations and look at the incidents because I thought that I was ahead in both of them, especially the second one but it’s hard to say right now. I braked as late as possible, we were in dirty air and we had very old tyres so I lost the rear on the second one into Turn 6. I’m very sorry for Charles and how I affected his race because that’s not the way I like to race. I don’t feel happy with myself for compromising the race for another driver. But I am very happy for Max and the rest of the Team, it was great that we could get more points today at our home race at the Red Bull Ring. We move on and I’m looking forward to the next race at Silverstone."
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
Race : 9th
"I think today was harder than we imagined, but the good thing is we’re consistently scoring points. We thought we would benefit more from the two-stop strategy, but we struggled more than expected on the Softs at the start of the race. There are some positives to take away though and we still showed some strong pace out there. We’re continuing to battle at the top of the midfield but it’s disappointing to not be finishing further up the grid today. We’ll review all the data tonight and then look forward to Silverstone, which is a track I love."
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
Race : 12th
"It’s been a difficult day for me. I struggled with pace during the race and tyre management was really tricky. My Qualifying was good yesterday so it’s frustrating, but we need to go away and review the issues from today, so we don’t make the same mistakes again next time out in Silverstone."