2023 Austria Grand Prix Race Report

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Shantanu Shende

· 4 min read

Race Start


Verstappen brilliantly held the lead of the race after being under pressure from the Ferraris, Norris after having a positive qualifying session started from P4 but lost his position to Hamilton as he had to take a very tighter racing line on turn 1 with Stroll putting pressure on him gave Hamilton the perfect opportunity to gain a position.

Yuki Tsunoda getting a good start touched the rear of the Alpine of Ocon damaging his front wing, and brought out a very early Safety Car. After losing his endplate, Tsunoda still was pushing the car hard and went on the brakes very late into turn 4 with the intent of moving up the order but lack of grip forced him into the gravel. Tsunoda and Magnussen pit on Lap 1 due to damage picked up at the race start.

Lance Stroll lost 2 positions to Alonso and Hulkenberg when he tried to make a move on Lando Norris but had to take a compromised racing line slowing him down and leaving him no space to get onto the throttle early due to the lack of space on track coming out of the corner. The Safety Car ended on Lap 3. Verstappen, by the end of Lap 4 was already 1.2 seconds clear of Leclerc.

Russell was being pushed to the limit for 10 laps with Perez on his tail; he was helpless as he was being held behind by the Williams of Alex Albon.

Hulkenburg's Ending

Hulkenberg’s race ended prematurely due to power failure on his car on lap 14, the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed on Lap 15. Hamilton, Norris, Gasly, Albon, Russell, Piastri, and Sargeant came into the pits losing only 10 seconds under VSC conditions. All came onto the hard tyre sets after their pits. 1 lap later the Ferrari went for a double stack, the slow pit stop of Leclerc resulted in Sainz waiting and made him lose position to Hamilton and Norris, which he gained back due to the updates the Ferrari installed on both the cars. Sainz was back again in the top 3 within 4 laps of pitting. Later both Aston Martin cars came in.

Verstappen Pushing Ferraris Verstappen didn’t pit under VSC trying to go for a 1-stop strategy, but later Red Bull pit wall pit him on Lap 25, which pushed him into 3rd behind both the Ferraris. Perez went into the pit on lap 26. Both the Red Bulls came out on hard tyres.

Hamilton was struggling with the car throughout the race; he was not able to stop the car when he needed due to brake issues. Verstappen on hards was quicker than Leclerc on mediums. Verstappen regained the lead on lap 35 and Perez was making his way up the order proving how much the monstrous Red Bull is in a league of their own.

The high-speed turns of the circuit were well suited for the strength of hard tyres in terms of speed and grip. Most of the grid went for their 2nd pit stops within lap 42-lap 50. Perez pitted on lap 50, and lost 3 positions within the pits dropping him from 2nd to 5th, but had fresher tyres in the later stages of the race.

Perez and Sainz put up a great and respectful fight for 3rd position. The fight did not last for very long due to the Red Bull car being stronger and faster than Ferrari, promoting Perez to 3rd position. Verstappen wanted to snatch every point of the race and went into the pits with 2 laps remaining and 24 seconds ahead of Leclerc to snatch the point for the fastest lap from his team-mate Perez. He started the sprint from pole, and the race from pole and won both races extending his points lead by a huge margin.

Track Limits:


Austrian Grand Prix kept the Race Control busy throughout the weekend with 47 laps deleted in the Qualifying session and 83 laps of the race. The FIA was waving black and white flags for repeated track limit violations. Ocon was handed 4 separate penalties summing up to 30 seconds. Sainz and Hamilton received a 5- second penalty during the race and a 10-second penalty after the race demoting them 6th and 8th respectively which was beneficial for Norris, Alonso and Russell who was promoted to 7th. Gasly was also handed 10-second penalty post-race dropping him to 10th and helping Lance Stroll to jump to 9th. Tsunoda violating the track limits repeatedly was awarded a 5-second penalty which wasn’t served correctly and resulted in another 10-second penalty for the Alpha Tauri driver, while his team-mate got a 15-second time penalty.

Overall, the race turned out to be fun for the fans but it made the race control work for a few extra hours after the race. Awaiting British GP

#Formula 1#Race Analysis#Spanish Grand Prix
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About Shantanu Shende

MSc. Automotive and Motorsport Engineering Graduate.