Friday, June 25, 2021 10:25 AM (GMT+7)
(F1 racing news) Styrian GP 2021 will open the double race taking place at the Red Bull Ring for 2 consecutive weeks. The weekend is expected to bring an “unprecedented, unprecedented” competition, Red Bull entered the home race with a record of 3 consecutive victories – the first time since 2013. Confronted a mighty Mercedes strong, only the 2nd time (the first time in 2019, before Ferrari) has not won after 3 consecutive races, since the Hybrid era that started in 2014 until now.
Ferrari prepares for the French stage full of enthusiasm, after they overcame McLaren on the team rankings. The qualifying results are a good sign, as they got 5th and 7th in the main race, leaving their opponents behind. But then, Sunday afternoon at Paul Ricard was a disaster for the Italian team.
The tire problem is making Ferrari lose.
Empty hands, letting McLaren go ahead with 16 points more and third place overall is not easy to accept for the Red team. The problem is that they cannot maintain speed and tire performance. Starting from before the race, Pirelli decided to use softer tires, while increasing the minimum tire pressure.
With new tires, the SF21 usually has about 6 laps of running with relatively good performance (the reason why they have favorable ratings), but then there is a problem, poor speed about 1 second per round against your opponent. It all stems from the fact that the tire temperature rises too quickly, leading to a decrease in tire performance, the car is not fast enough to maintain the ranking. This is not a new problem for Ferrari, they have trouble from the early races of the season, and have almost not found a solution.
Maintaining tire performance is a challenge not only for Ferrari, as other racing teams also have problems with the left front tire. But the Italian racing team had a much harder time, wanting the tires not to overheat, the car needed a larger downforce, while they designed a smaller spoiler system to reduce drag, making up for the lack of engine power. All the factors supporting them were washed away by the morning rain, that is, rubber debris clinging to the road surface (which helps increase traction for the tires) was ‘cleaned up’ by the rain water.
But luckily Ferrari this weekend arrives at the Red Bull Ring with more positive signs. This track does not require great compression, or engine efficiency is too high, so that they can regain what they did not achieve in the previous race.
But is that easy!? Because McLaren has reclaimed their spot on the leaderboard, and is not ready to let go again!
McLaren had their best performance since the start of the season, when both cars finished in the top six. They had Norris – the only driver to date – to finish and score in the race. all races this season. There is another Ricciardo who is gradually improving with each race, he has just failed to score at Monaco. If they continue to maintain their current performance, the top 3 best racing teams of the season are completely within their ability.
Will Verstappen and Hamilton swap positions at the Styrian GP!?
At the top, Mercedes is under greater pressure than ever since 2014 – with three consecutive races without a win. Being a stalker on the charts is not easy for them.
In France, on the first pit stop, Hamilton lost the lead over Verstappen after the driver made a mistake on corner 2 at the start. Being 3 seconds ahead of your opponent, stopping to change tires after 1 lap, and getting back on track behind your opponent is a tactical failure. At that point, Mercedes based on simulations predicted they would be down by about 2.5 seconds, but still lead the opponent by ½ second when leaving the pitlane. But perhaps, their simulation system lacks detailed data on hard tires, and Red Bull’s car reached a very high performance right after leaving the pit, it helped Verstappen not only level the gap 3 seconds, but also get ahead of the opponent.
More importantly, Mercedes is aware that currently, their W12 still maintains engine power/performance, but the RB16B has a very good chassis design package, in addition, the engine performance is also consistent with competitor. From those factors, the speed on the straights of Red Bull is very competitive. In addition, their high average speed in many corner sectors is also a challenge for all competitors, not just the German team.
Two consecutive races in Austria will be a big challenge that Mercedes will have to overcome. They will face many challenges on a short and fast track where the advantages seem to be in favor of Red Bull. But do not be subjective with the champion’s strength being ‘hurt’! The whole team is focusing all resources to restore order, return to the victory with the position that they have established for nearly a decade.
Red Bull Ring divided victories for both racing teams in the last 4 races. But Red Bull believes driver Verstappen – who has two wins here in 2018-19 – will prepare for the race with high motivation. In addition, the victory in France last weekend added more confidence – confident that the team has the right technical upgrade package, has a very flexible and perfect strategy … plus the leading position, the Team Austrian racing will certainly set their ambitions to win both races on their ‘home’ track.
Three victories in a row, which is what Red Bull has done for the first time since 2013, they are having “time, location, and people” to win two double races in Austria. But will have to be very wary of Mercedes, remembering they were the ones who won both here last season, so the weekend battle between the two racing teams will be very dramatic and exciting. Mercedes has never lost more than 3 races from 2014 to present. Sunday afternoon’s race will be the place to re-establish the old order (with the number 3), or establish a new milestone with the number 4, or the fierce battle is pushed to the climax between Mercedes and Red Bull.
Alonso upbeat about home team prospects…
Despite being able to compete at home in the previous stage, the French-based racing team – Alpine is showing short of breath compared to its “equivalent and equal” rivals AlphaTauri and Aston Martin. With only 29 points, after getting 3 more points from Alonso, they are left behind with 11 and 16 points respectively (of AlphaTauri). Remember, with the strength of this group, the performance is often outside the top 5, so the above gap is very difficult to fill. But veteran driver Alonso is very optimistic about the home team’s chances, after two races reaching the third qualifying round and scoring in both races.
The AlphaTauri is showing the development of the car in the right direction this season, especially after Honda supplied them and Red Bull with the 2nd version of the engine (PU) this season. In France, Gasly was able to compete with McLaren and Ferrari when the race started, although the tactics were not reasonable, they were still able to finish 7th, ahead of the compatriot Red team.
These scores help the racing team continue to strengthen its ranking. If young driver Tsunoda soon integrates and expresses himself, the “Cow” racing team will soon eliminate Aston Martin’s clinging to secure its top 5 spot. On the other hand, Honda’s focus on collecting data to optimize PU through each race. AlphaTauri’s next goal in Austria will be to continue to lead the middle, and take advantage of the opportunity to capture the top 5 finishers first.
… but AlphaTauri is the challenge of the average team.
That’s the ambition, but AlphaTauri will have to make a lot of effort, because Aston Martin does not want to be an outsider. Podium in Baku, both drivers scoring at Paul Ricard is considered a ‘warning’ for those who want to leave this team behind, especially in the context of Ocon having to start 19th.
Racing teams are having to adapt to the new tire specification (increased pressure – after the incident of Verstappen and Stroll at Baku). Vettel and the team are adapting to the new tire criteria, thereby creating favorable results on the track.
Aston Martin is and will focus its resources on improving the car’s performance. Although the time is not much, they hope to have a new update for the weekend race! In case of force majeure, this upgrade package will be applied no later than next week’s race. AlphaTauri is holding many advantages, so it is necessary to watch out for the opponent behind, because Vettel and his teammates really want to confirm the position of the home team in this top.
Austria, the epicenter of the global Formula 1 weekend, will all be watching Hamilton and Verstappen’s dramatic and vibrant ‘hero’ performance for the throne. Styrian GP 2021 is a fight not to be missed. Watch the qualifying race at 20:00 on Saturday and the main race in the same time frame, Sunday, June 27, 2021 (Vietnam time), on FOX Sports.
(F1 racing news) The remaining two races of the triple-header bring riders to the playground of the “bulls” -…