Max Verstappen won the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday at the Red Bull Ring.
Verstappen has won the last three races and is now 32 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers standings.
The Flying Dutchman is the -138 odds on favorite to win the next race of the season at Silverstone.
It had been more than 70 races since neither Mercedes drivers qualified in the Top 3 in a dry session. The last time that happened was in 2017 in Singapore. But on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton qualified as fourth and Valtteri Bottas 5th for the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. That was a sign of things to come.
On Sunday, Max Verstappen dominated the Red Bull ring for the second straight week, earning victory from pole at the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix. Bottas would finish second and McLaren’s Lando Norris completed the podium. Hamilton wound up in 4th place after picking up damage to his car.
MAX VERSTAPPEN WIIINS!
Win number FIVE of 2021, this time in front of the Orange Army!
Bottas comes home in second, with Norris completing the podium#AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/735D4rMW88
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 4, 2021
The win was the fifth of the season for Verstappen and it further solidified his lead in the drivers standings. Verstappen also claimed an extra point for the fattest lap, thus adding 14 more points to his lead over the seven-time and defending F1 champion.
32-Point Lead for Number 33 After Nine Races
A 3️⃣2️⃣ point lead for number 3️⃣3️⃣ after nine races 👌#AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/gmL0Doa6uq
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 4, 2021
With his victory, Verstappen now leads Hamilton by a sizeable 32 points in the drivers standings at 182-150 while Red Bull has taken a commanding 44 point lead over Mercedes in the constructors standings after nine races completed in the season. While there are still more than enough races for Hamilton and the Silver Arrows to catchup, the season is looking more and more like Verstappen’s coming out party.
Hamilton started well on Sunday, moving up to second in the early laps before he sustained damage to the rear of his Mercedes after running wide on the exit of Turn 10 before he stopped for fresh rubber on lap 32. The Silver Arrows tried to offer Hamilton a bugger in the form of teammate Bottas but with Lando Norris chasing Bottas, Hamilton was instructed to trade places with his teammate on lap 52. Norris ended up finishing third.
Sunday’s debacle meant that Hamilton has not finished in the podium in three out of the last five races of the season. The Brit has not won a race since winning the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9 and the errors are accumulating. Now, Red Bull’s Flying Dutchman is surging towards his first F1 world title
Home Advantage for Hamilton Next
Next up, home advantage for Lewis – its the British Grand Prix at Silverstone! #F1 #Formula1 #FormulaOne #BritishGP #BritishGrandPrix #Silverstone pic.twitter.com/Ikj2FC8FGA
— Rjd photography (@photography_rjd) July 4, 2021
The British Grand Prix will be the first F1 race to have a capacity crowd since the start of the pandemic. And Hamilton hopes that the crowd at Mercedes’ home turf race will help push him back in contention. The last two races were held in Red Bull’s home track and Verstappen won both races convincingly. Now Hamilton has to respond in his home race, or else Max could pull away for good.
Silverstone couldn’t have come at a more important time for Hamilton and Mercedes. Red Bull has won the last five races of the season and Verstappen three in a row. Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix a record 7 times, including six victories in the last seven years. Verstappen finished 2nd to Hamilton last year and has never won the race in five tries. But this year could be different.
Online sportsbook Bet365 has the streaking Verstappen as the slight -138 betting favorite to win Silverstone. Hamilton, is once again the underdog, but this time not by much. At +162, this has been the closest he’s been to his rival in a race odds board since Max began his ascent. Given Hamilton’s resume at Silverstone, and Mercedes’ final upgrade to its challenger ready for that race, don’t count out the 7-time world champion yet.