'This one's on us' – Mercedes Strategy Engineer takes the blame for strategic errors, while Red Bull's gambles pay off.
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Max Verstappen capitalised on the correct strategy calls made by Red Bull, enabling him to collect the win and extend his championship lead.

Max started on pole position – his fifth career pole and third of the 2021 season. He didn’t stay in front for long though, losing his spot at turn two where he went in too hot, allowing Lewis Hamilton to overtake.

Lewis managed a decent lead after the first lap, quickly gaining a 1.5-second advantage. The field complained about grip from the early stages of the race, particularly Fernando Alonso who conceded spots to Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris and Sebastian Vettel within a few laps.

Mercedes brought Valtteri Bottas in at the end of lap 17 to switch to hard tyres, and Red Bull reacted by calling Verstappen in at the end of the following lap – with the Dutchman able to emerge comfortably in second position, also on hard tyres.

Hamilton made the same switch a lap later, but Verstappen stunned him as the two met at pit exit – even though the Mercedes was stationary in its pit box for a tenth of a second less than the Red Bull. Verstappen then regained his lead.

Red Bull made another smart decision to leave Sergio Perez out for a longer stint, with his tyres able to last until lap 24, and his position in the pack able to assist his teammate.

Max couldn't hold onto his lead for the entire race on his tyres though, pitting again on lap 32 for a fresh set of rubber, handing the lead back to Lewis.

The question was then raised as to whether or not Mercedes would bring its cars in – which it didn't. Bottas found himself towards the end of the race not impressed on his team radio, questioning why the team didn't listen to his instructions when he told them it would be a two-stop race.

The Red Bulls played the game correctly, with both Hamilton and Bottas's tyres fading quickly. So much so that it cost Bottas a podium, and Max was able to overtake Lewis on the penultimate lap. Max soared to victory, with many questions to be asked in the Mercedes garage.

Daniel Ricciardo recorded a great performance, with the undercut paying off. After slowly picking off several drivers mid-race, he finished in sixth in his McLaren.

Lando Norris made a late pit stop on the one-stop strategy, but made it work to his advantage, as he climbed the order to finish fifth.

The Ferraris didn't have as great of a performance this time around, finishing in 11th and 16th, while George Russell had a stellar performance, scoring a 12th-place finish for his French Grand Prix.

Next up, it's a double round in Austria. Did you enjoy the race?

Results

PosDriverTeam
1.Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing-Honda
2.Lewis HamiltonMercedes-AMG
3.Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing-Honda
4.Valtteri BottasMercedes-AMG
5.Lando NorriesMcLaren-Mercedes
6.Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes
7.Pierre GaslyAlfaTauri-Honda
8.Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault
9.Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes
10.Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes
11.Carlos SainzFerrari
12.George RussellWilliams-Mercedes
13.Yuki TsunodaAlfaTauri-Honda
14.Esteban OconAlpine Renault
15.Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari
16.Charles LeclercFerrari
17.Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari
18Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes
19Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari

Did not finish: None


2021 Driver Standings

PosDriverTeamPts
1.Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing-Honda131
2.Lewis HamiltonMercedes-AMG119
3.Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing-Honda84
4.Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes76
5.Valtteri BottasMercedes-AMG59
6.Charles LeclercFerrari52
7.Carlos SainzFerrari42
8.Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda37
9.Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes34
10.Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes30
11.Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault17
12.Estaban Ocon Alpine Renault12
13.Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes10
14.Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda8
15.Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari1
16.Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari1
17.George RussellAston Martin-Mercedes0
18.Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari0
19.Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari0
20.Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes0

2021 Constructor Standings

PosTeamPts
1.Red Bull Racing-Honda215
2.Mercedes-AMG178
3.McLaren110
4.Ferrari94
5.AlphaTauri-Honda45
6.Aston Martin Racing40
7.Alpine Renault29
8.Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari2
9.Williams-Mercedes0
10.Haas-Ferrari0