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Race Recap: 2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team's triple-header came to a close in a challenging 2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix, as external factors conspired against the team's pursuit of points.

2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix

Continuing to fight in the thick of the close midfield contest, the team will learn from the lessons of Austria ahead of a milestone home Grand Prix for Aston Martin.

Lance

Lance, along with several other drivers, started on the backfoot after using the Soft tyre in Q2, locking him into the compound for the start of the race.

While initially a competitive tyre, degradation was high and the Medium tyre became the preferred tyre in the early part of the Grand Prix.

The Canadian made a battling start to the Grand Prix from ninth on the grid as he drew alongside George Russell into Turn Three.

Lance moved into eighth at the exit of the corner, avoiding the melee behind him, before a Safety Car interrupted further progress.

BWT Austrian Grand Prix

Race report

Get the full story from the Austrian Grand Prix and go inside Lance's battle into the points. Dive into the facts and figures behind the Spielberg race and hear from Sebastian, Lance and Otmar.

Get up to speed
2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix
2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix

After three laps under the Safety Car, Lance retained eighth at the restart and moved into seventh when Sergio Pérez and Lando Norris clashed ahead.

That meant Lance led team-mate Sebastian Vettel as the pair hunted down the leading soft-running AlphaTauri duo of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda.

The AlphaTauri drivers soon headed into the pitlane, lifting Lance into fifth ahead of his lap 14 pitstop.

He returned to the track in 19th and just over a second behind Tsunoda, who earned a five-second penalty for his pitlane entry moments earlier.

But despite being in the driving seat in the hunt for points, Lance's race was soon affected by multiple factors outside of his control.

Firstly, he had returned to the circuit in a traffic jam that prevented him from maximising his new Hard tyres, and his race was compounded further by debris.

Silverstone is a very different circuit and we also have a new weekend format, so it's a clean slate and a chance to bounce back.
Lance Stroll
2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix

"When we made our first stop to get onto a set of new Hards, we came out in quite a bit of traffic," reflected Lance.

"With cars on different strategies and tyres, it meant we lost time and did not take advantage of the peak of the tyre early in the second stint, which impacted our race."

Now running with debris in a brake duct, Lance was unable to make further progress. After making his second pitstop for another set of Hard tyres on lap 46, he crossed the finish line in 13th.

"It was not the race we were hoping for today," said Lance. "I think it is clear, with hindsight, that starting on the Softs was not ideal, although we managed to keep ourselves in the fight for points during the first phase of the race.

"It is a disappointing end to the triple-header, but I am excited to get going for our home race at Silverstone in a couple of weeks.

"It is a very different circuit and we also have a new weekend format, so it is a clean slate and a chance to bounce back."

Sebastian

Like Lance, Sebastian began the Grand Prix on the disadvantageous used Soft tyre, although he compensated with a blistering start.

Launching from 11th on the grid, Sebastian would get by both Russell and Charles Leclerc, the latter after a stunning move around the outside through the weaving second sector.

The early Safety Car prevented Sebastian from making the most of the Soft tyre's short life, and he would pit to move onto the hard tyre on lap 17.

"The balance inside the car felt alright, but the cars on the Medium tyres had better performance in the opening stint when I was stuck in traffic without any clean air," said Sebastian.

Sebastian would spend the rest of the race just outside of the top 10 and could have potentially benefitted from penalties ahead late on.

It is disappointing not to score points, but we will work hard to understand where we can improve.
Sebastian Vettel
2021 BWT Austrian Grand Prix

But on the final lap at Turn Five, Sebastian was hit by the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikkönen, sending him across the gravel.

Sebastian would then head to the pits as the race finished and was classified 17th.

"It was not an easy race today, which ended with a trip through the gravel because of the misunderstanding with Kimi," said Sebastian.

"I guess he just did not see me in front of him. The first I knew about it was the contact I felt on the left rear.

"I had made a good exit out of Turn Four and was pulling ahead of Kimi on the right as we approached Turn Five. I do not think there was any intention from Kimi.

"It is disappointing not to score points, but we will work hard to understand where we can improve before we get to the next race at Silverstone."

BWT Austrian Grand Prix

Lance's new crash helmet

Sebastian's competition

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