Verstappen carries Red Bull to a classy clean sweep in Austria

Verstappen carries Red Bull to a classy clean sweep in Austria

In the first of Red Bull’s home races, Max Verstappen delivered a driving masterclass to complete a clean sweep. Topping every results sheet across the eventful weekend, Verstappen even gambled his 24-second lead to gain one extra point for fastest lap – a testament to his composure and trust in the team.  

Max Verstappen at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

In claiming his fifth Red Bull Ring victory and the 42nd win of his career, Verstappen has become one of the top five drivers of all time for most Grand Prix wins, all before turning 26 years old. 12 more wins would place him third, above Sebastian Vettel’s record of 53 wins, an accomplishment that is possible this season if his domination continues.  

While the overall Red Bull result was strong, with Sergio Pérez climbing from 15th to third in an excellent recovery, a deleted qualifying lap meant Pérez failed to reach Q3 for the fourth time in a row. 

Track limits caused issues for many drivers throughout the weekend. Several hours after Sunday’s race, chaos ensued when 1,200 instances of potential track limit infringements were analysed, resulting in 83 deleted lap times and 12 post-race penalties. The application of the penalties raises questions about the fairness of the current system, particularly since some drivers weren’t warned before being penalised, some were able to adapt or serve penalties during pit stops, and others had up to 30 seconds of penalties added after the checkered flag.  

One driver who gained as a result of this was Lando Norris. The McLaren driver maximised the team’s upgrades to produce his best result of the season, and a penalty for Carlos Sainz meant Norris moved up to fourth.  

Improvements for Ferrari allowed Charles Leclerc to deliver a signature on-the-limit qualifying lap and secure the team’s 800th podium. The Monégasque’s second-place race finish suggests Ferrari are heading in the right direction, but they must maintain this momentum if they want to battle for second in the Constructors’ Championship.  

Looking ahead to Silverstone, much-needed upgrades will be coming for Mercedes who struggled throughout the Austrian Grand Prix.  

As Red Bull gallop into the distance with 10 successive wins, a victory in the British Grand Prix would tie them with McLaren’s 1988 record for the longest winning streak by any team. If the beginning of the season is anything to go by, achieving that record should be easy, but Red Bull’s last Silverstone win was way back in 2012.  

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