Styrian Grand Prix: Review
The Flying Ferrari's
Easy to start when the biggest news of the race comes from Lap 1. A relatively clean start all until turn 3 when Leclerc went for a move on his teammate Vettel in a tight corner with all kinds of traffic. This ambitious move resulted in Leclerc catapulting off the curb and landing on Vettel's rear wing completely dismantling it. Vettel immediately has to pit and is shortly followed by Charles who had to retire as well with floor damage.
This was a disaster for Ferrari, not only is it tragic and extremely unlikely for Ferrari to have to retire both cars but this also came at a horrible time for them. With their performance already in question, the team had upgrades on the car for this weekend looking forward to data reassuring these upgrades. It's not common you can run the same track two weeks in a row; and race day called for nearly the same conditions as the week prior so data would have been apples to apples.
Leclerc was no secret the one to blame for the incident and he took full blame in a mid-race interview; being rather harsh on himself. But perhaps he knew the lashes that were coming from Binotto.
Battle of the Mid Field
Sometimes it can be hard to get behind races that are ran away with by Mercedes and their superior power units. But, luckily this year more than most we seem to have a spectacular battle in the mid-field. Mclaren has already shown amazing pace this year and "Last Lap" Lando is pulling results exceeding team expectations. Racing Point has likely to be the fastest car in the mid-field; Perez is driving great; Stroll eh maybe not so much. But none the less they are pushing that mid-field and I think will certainly push for podiums and also be able to overtake Albon in that top tier Red Bull car. Lastly, Renault had some back luck this weekend with Ocon on a early retirement, but Ricciardo is pushing that car well and showing they can contend with Mclaren and Racing Point all day.
Mid-field was the best thing to watch this weekend and I think will continue to be a great battle. We all pull for new podium drivers and I think there are a good 6 likely men that will get their chance this year from these teams.
Who can beat Mercedes?
Lewis absolutely ran away with this one, from the gun he was the quickest car all day. The race finished Mercedes 1 - 2, and the only man that could have prevented that from happening was Max. He sat P2 basically the whole race but was a sitting duck for Bottas in the closing laps and literally could do nothing about it. None the less gave us a great show when Bottas easily passed him and Max was able to finesse another pass before a long straight ended that battle rather quickly.
The question is now that Ferrari has failed to show they can match even their pace from last year. Albon is basically driving mid-field with the Red Bull car, it falls onto, again, one man. Is Max able to? I think we all know as a driver he is for sure capable but even hearing his radio he is telling the team there is nothing he can do!
Be sure to check out this week's podcast where we talk this race and more.