2021 Austrian Grand Prix: Scuderia Ferrari Race Report

2021 Austrian Grand Prix: Scuderia Ferrari Race Report

Despite both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz qualifying outside the top ten on Saturday, the fight for a points finish was on for Ferrari. 

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Photos: Scuderia Ferrari

Opening Laps 

As the lights went out, Charles was able to move up to tenth position, while Carlos dropped slightly back to 13th place. A safety car was then deployed by the end of the first lap, after Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was forced into retirement after a coming together with Antionio Giovinazzi broke the suspension of the Frenchman’s car. 

As the race resumed on lap four, Verstappen held the lead as Sergio Perez dropped down to tenth after being forced wide by Lando Norris at turn four, Charles now behind the Red Bull. Giovinazzi was handed a five-second time penalty for being found guilty of overtaking while the Safety Car was deployed. Lap 12, and Carlos started to find pace on his hard compound tyres, overtaking George Russell for 12th position. He then moved up to 11th thanks to Yuki Tsunoda opting for an early pitstop. 

With the soft compound runners having to pit early in the race, both Charles and Carlos moved up into the points with seventh and ninth. Both cars then moved up a position as Sebastian Vettel pitted on lap 18. Norris was then the second driver to get a five-second time penalty, after the incident with Perez on the opening lap. 

Middle Stints 

Lap 35 saw the first of the two Ferraris to pit, with Charles coming in for a set of new hard compound tyres, re-joining in tenth position. Unfortunately, on lap 41, Charles had a brief coming together with Perez at turn four as the pair fought over eighth position, Charles having to drop off the back of the Red Bull, handing Perez a five-second penalty for the incident. 

Charles was able to catch up and mounted a charge on Perez’s seventh place, but was again forced off the circuit by the Red Bull at turn six, resulting in another time penalty for the Mexican. 

Carlos had a strong run on the hard tyres, opting for a pitstop for mediums on lap 49, coming out in ninth position. Behind the AlphaTauri of Tsunoda, Carlos quickly took eighth from the Japanese driver.

Closing Laps 

With 12 laps to go, Charles was on the heels of Daniel Ricciardo for sixth place, lunging his Ferrari at the McLaren in turn four. Behind, Carlos was catching the pair by a second a lap. 

Verstappen took a second stop for new hard compound tyres on lap 62, with the Red Bull coming out in the lead. By lap 64, Carlos now had caught up to Charles and Daniel, with Carlos moving ahead of his teammate in order to attack the McLaren ahead on fresher tyres. 

On the penultimate lap, Carlos took sixth from Ricciardo, as Max Verstappen crossed the line to take victory. Valtteri Bottas took second, while Lando Norris came home to take third.

Carlos took sixth with Leclerc took eighth, a good points finish as former Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel failed to finish, coming together on the run to turn five. 

After the race, it was confirmed that Sergio Perez would lose out with his second penalty, promoting Carlos to fifth position.

Written by Cóilín Higgins. 

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