Make it a double.
Almost a year on from that magical maiden podium for Lando in Spielberg, we return to Austria looking to double our fun. Last year we were treated to two races at the Red Bull Ring and it’s no different in 2021, with this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix followed by the Austrian Grand Prix just a week later.
Another fortnight in the foothills of the Styrian Alps is a tantalising prospect and to make sure you’re prepared we’ve put together a race preview packed with all the key information you need. It includes the latest thoughts of Lando, Daniel and McLaren F1 Team Principal Andreas Seidl, news of another merch bundle drop and a competition to win tickets to one of the biggest motorsport events of the year.
How to follow
|Round||8 and 9|
|Where||Red Bull Ring|
|When||25 - 27 June, 2 - 4 July|
|Start time||15:00 local, 14:00 BST, 09:00 EDT|
|Follow||TEAMStream and the McLaren App for exclusive commentary and insight|
What they say
“I’m really looking forward to going racing in Austria for the next two weeks. It’s a special place as it’s where I got my first podium in Formula 1. We had two strong back-to-back results in Austria last season, so I’m hoping we can have a similar two weekends this time out. We can’t get ahead of ourselves as a lot of things are different from last year, like the car and tyres. We’ll go into these two races with our heads down and take it one step at a time to try and have two results like we managed in France, but also working hard on improving our qualifying performance.”
“I’m looking forward to having another race on the bounce and a double in Austria. It could be a wet one – maybe even for both weekends. We could get two very different races, you never know. I think it’s just a good opportunity for me to keep working on the car and myself. Hopefully, we can build on the performance we had in France and find some consistency we’ve been looking for. We’ll try and get some more points for the team in Austria. It’s close out there and every weekend counts, so we’ll be pushing.”
“After a well-executed race in France, we come away from the first race of the triple-header with crucial points for the Constructors’ Championship. We now switch our focus to Austria as we prepare to go racing in the Styrian hills for the next two weekends.
“Two races back-to-back at the same track presents an interesting challenge as we could have two very different races due to certain conditions such as the weather. So, it’s important we treat every race as a single event with the same preparation despite it being the same track. As a team we must continue to work hard to maintain good reliability and remain on top of parts management during this intense period.
“The battle with our competitors remains closely-contested, with very little separating us. We need to be ready to maximise any opportunities that present themselves over the coming races. It’s also important we stay focused and keep working on our performances in every session to increase our chances of qualifying in the best positions possible to then give us a fighting chance to score points. There’s a lot to play for over the next two races and we’ll keep pushing.”
What the stats say
McLaren is tied at the top with Ferrari as the constructor with the most wins in Austria, although if you include Mercedes’ Styrian Grand Prix win last year they’d also join us at the top with six victories.
Lando has never finished outside of the top six in Austria when racing in F1 machinery. His third place in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix last year was a particular highlight – at just 20-years-old he became the third-youngest driver to achieve a podium.
He also nabbed fastest lap at the end of that race and he’ll need to continue to turn in some quick laps this weekend if he wants to maintain his run of making it into the top-10 shootout in every qualifying session this season. Daniel, meanwhile, has an Austrian podium to his name too, courtesy of his third place in 2017, and has finished inside the top 10 on five occasions here.
What to watch out for
The names of the grands prix may be different, but the circuit won’t be. Don’t be fooled though, identical races are highly unlikely. Weather will no doubt play its part over the two weeks and teams are going to be armed with a wealth of data from the Styrian Grand Prix for the second race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Ring is a circuit of two halves: the first is comprised of three straights and the second has plenty of corners. Teams will have to find a compromise between low drag for the first half of the lap and high downforce for the second – they can’t have both!
The Ring also has a reputation as a destroyer of front wings, floors and diffusers. If teams thought some of the kerbs at the Circuit Paul Ricard were bad, then the ones here can really bite – not just the car but also back pockets as teams look to avoid making costly repairs that eat into this year’s budget which has been limited by the new cost cap. It’s not out of the question that teams could be scrabbling around for parts come the Austrian Grand Prix, given the demands of the Ring and the fact that it’s the last leg of a triple-header.
What to wear
Accessories! We love ‘em. Why? Because, just like in F1, it’s often the little details that make the difference. That’s why we’ve put together the McLaren x Goodwood Fan Bundle, complete with a McLaren stainless steel water bottle, official team face mask, 2021 team cap and backpack, to make sure you’re kitted out with everything you need for the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 8-11 July.
Speaking of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we figured many of you might want access to motorsport’s ultimate summer garden party, so we’re lining up a competition for you to get your hands on tickets. The competition is set to go live very soon, and you’ll need to sign up to McLaren Plus below to get all the details when it does.
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