Max Verstappen recovered from a slow start off the line to take a dominant win in the Austria Sprint, further extending his lead in the F1 Championship standings.
Sergio Perez claimed much-needed points in P2, overtaking his teammate off the line before being pushed wide at the end of sector one and losing his very brief race lead.
Carlos Sainz deserves praise for a very strong performance, avoiding any mistakes and showing good pace in the newly updated SF-23 to claim good points for Ferrari in Spielberg.
Aston Martin brought home strong points with Stroll in P4 and Alonso in P5, with the Spaniard narrowly missing out on overtaking his young teammate after spending much of his afternoon behind the 24-year-old.
One of the main talking points was Nico Hulkenberg, whose strong pace in the wet and bold transition to the mediums converted into an impressive 6th place and crucial points for Haas – who now take 7th in the constructors’ standings.
— MoneyGram Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) July 1, 2023
The American squad will still be concerned by the significant drop-off the VF-23 experienced during the race, as Hulkenberg’s tyres very quickly hit the cliff on the intermediates.
Esteban Ocon executed a clean race to hang onto P7 and keep a resurgent George Russell behind. The British driver took the risk to stop for dry tyres before anyone else, a decision eventually rewarded with a point.
Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton found themselves in hotly contested midfield battles, making points unattainable after spending so much time fighting with other drivers.
The lack of representative dry running means that no conclusions can be taken into tomorrow’s race, although the likes of Ferrari and McLaren will be encouraged by their raw pace.
Still, with rain not out of the question for tomorrow’s race, there could yet be some spanners thrown into the Austrian GP.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang