Verstappen beat Hamilton away from the startline and extended a healthy lead. Despite encountering some brake issues, he recorded his fourth victory of the season, finishing well clear of Hamilton – who pitted late on to take the point for fastest lap.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez passed the McLaren of Lando Norris for third after 10 laps but lost his podium spot to Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the pitstop sequence, when his left-rear tyre took too long to remove. Perez switched to a two-stop, in a bid to get the place back, but he had to settle for fourth.
2021 F1 Styrian Grand Prix race results
How the Styrian Grand Prix unfolded
From pole position, Verstappen led Hamilton as Perez passed Norris for third at Turn 3, but Norris took it back at the following corner.
Further back, Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri made contact with Charles Leclerc on the exit of Turn 1, damaging the Ferrari’s front wing and forcing him into the pits. Gasly’s injured car then sent Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo spinning at Turn 3 and clipped Nicholas Latifi’s Williams too, giving that a puncture. Gasly was forced out with damaged left-rear suspension.
Verstappen pulled clear of Hamilton out front, leading by almost 3 seconds after 10 laps. At that point, Perez made a move stick on Norris for third at Turn 3 and Bottas passed Norris in similar fashion a lap later. But they were well over 10s behind their respective team leaders already.
Hamilton, who reported “small vibrations” from his tyres almost spun at Turn 4 after a huge moment on Lap 25, which allowed Verstappen to extend his lead to over 5s. Perez was the first of the leaders to pit but suffered a slow left-rear change as he switched to hard tyres from softs. That allowed Bottas to get ahead when he pitted a lap later.
Hamilton stopped on Lap 29 with Red Bull responding a lap later, Verstappen resuming with a 5s lead. Although he complained of some braking issues, related to using the kerbs in the final corners of the lap, Verstappen scored his fourth victory of the season.
In the battle for third, Perez pitted again with 16 laps to go, which meant he grabbed the point for fastest lap away from Hamilton. He closed the gap to Bottas in the closing stages, but it wasn’t enough to challenge for the final spot on the podium – missing out by half a second. Behind them, Norris finished a lonely fifth.
Hamilton made a late stop to reclaim his point for fastest lap, meaning Verstappen won by over 30s.
From 12th on the grid, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr ran a fine long first stint on mediums and passed the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll to claim sixth position on Lap 45. His team-mate Leclerc delivered a fantastic recovery charge on a two-stop strategy, pulling off some fantastic overtaking moves as he surged back into the top 10. His comeback concluded with taking seventh place from Stroll with 11 laps to go.
Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) rounded out the top 10 finishers. George Russell ran as high as eighth for Williams until he endured multiple pitstops as the team had to refill his pneumatic system. He was forced out just after half distance.