Lewis Hamilton won the Styria Grand Prix this Sunday, after an event he perfectly mastered, without any real dispute. He is ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. The suspense was more to be found in the peloton, with a close fight between Renault, Racing Point and McLaren. The order of the winners, however, is reversed, with the client team of the Losange particularly offensive at the end of the race.
This Styie Grand Prix will have a mixed flavor for Renault. The French team leaves Austria with a new eighth place, far from being representative of the race carried out by the R.S. 20. Daniel Ricciardo notably bet on a daring strategy, with medium rubbers against soft for most of his opponents. It was the best tire choice since his first stint was offensive and more efficient than that of his teammate, however, wearing red tires. Conversely, he suffered more in the second, when the tire mounting opposed.
Under these conditions, the Renault amply kept pace with the McLaren-Renault, and made the time for a half-race game equal or better than the Racing Point-Mercedes. The latter however show their superiority during the second relay. Daniel Ricciardo quickly gave in to Sergio Perez for fifth place, but held firm against Lance Stroll. Alas, an almost suicide attack by the Canadian sends the Australian off the track. Not only did he lose his sixth position, but Lando Norris also took the opportunity to pass. This overshoot is under investigation.
If we do not talk more about Esteban Ocon, it is because the French unfortunately gave up too soon, again on a cooling problem. It’s disappointing because our driver was in seventh place and was easily involved in the battle in which Daniel Ricciardo was involved. The points were therefore amply playable. We will note in passing a virile weapon pass between our two pilots, without consequence fortunately.
In the end, we can still retain the good pace of the R.S.20. The Renault is in the game ahead of the peloton, but there are still details that prevent the firm at Losange from fully materializing. This level of finish achieved by McLaren-Renault, again the author of a perfect performance, or almost, if we except the bad stop by Carlos Sainz Jr.
The McLaren-Renault's were not easy, however, and vegetated in eighth and ninth rows for a long time. A last very competitive relay from Lando Norris allowed him to gain the upper hand over his team-mate then to return with great strides on the Stroll-Ricciardo battle to finally win. He passed a Sergio Perez with a broken front wing on the finish line.
Carlos Sainz Jr's race was marred by his poor supplies, when he could certainly pretend to finish in place of his teammate. He will console himself by obtaining the best lap in the race, the second consecutive for McLaren-Renault, and synonymous with an additional point which is added to those of the ninth position of the Spaniard.
Formula 1 continues its marathon next week with the third race of the season, in Hungary. We hope to see a Renault team there with more successes.