What the teams said – Race day at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix
After seven races without tasting victory, Charles Leclerc was back on the top step of the podium in Austria after outracing pole-sitter Max Verstappen – and passing him on track three times. It could even have been a 1-2 for Ferrari, but Carlos Sainz's engine had other ideas when it blew with just 13 laps left, putting him out of the race.
Charles Leclerc, 1st
"Every win is special, but this one feels just amazing. The last 15 laps were on the limit with the issue we had, but we brought it home. Today, we had a really strong pace and some great battles. I worked hard last night to find where I could still improve and it made the difference today. I’m very happy!"
Carlos Sainz, DNF
"It’s difficult to find the right words today, as it was clear that a one-two was pretty straightforward. I had strong pace today, especially on the hard tyre. Degradation was very high but we managed it well. On the last stint the car felt really good on track until we obviously had the issue and we had to retire.
"Today’s result is a hard one to take as it cost the team and myself an important number of points for both championships. On the positive side, I’m feeling better and better in the car, more comfortable every race, and this keeps me motivated. We are fast, and this is what’s matters the most. Congrats to Charles for the win! We’ll keep pushing!"
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal and Managing Director
“There are a lot of positives we can take home from today’s race. We have secured our second consecutive Grand Prix win, which confirms that we are doing a good job with a car that is proving to be competitive at every track. Our management of all aspects of this race went well, from our detailed preparation, even after yesterday’s Sprint and I think we made all the right decisions in terms of strategy, running an attacking race right from the start. That meant we were able to put Verstappen under pressure, forcing him into a defensive race. The mechanics carried out five very quick pit stops and the drivers executed everything we asked of them prior to the race and managed the tyres very well.
"Charles drove like a lion, overtaking Max on track no fewer than three times and Carlos looked like doing the same which would have resulted in a well-deserved one-two finish. Of course we are very disappointed for him, but I’m sure he will fight back in the upcoming races. We are still suffering with reliability problems, we know what they are and we must make every effort to solve them as soon as possible. I am sure we can do it, but after a performance like today’s, I want to congratulate the whole team, here at the track and back in Maranello, where all the departments did such a great job over the winter."
Max Verstappen won the Sprint on Saturday and lined up on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix, but in the end he had no answer to Ferrari's pace and finished second behind Charles Leclerc. But Sergio Perez had a woeful afternoon after he clashed with George Russell on Lap 1, spun off and damaged his car, and was ultimately forced to retire.
Max Verstappen, 2nd
“We were just a bit too slow today, we were doing the best we could with the strategy but the Ferraris were extremely fast. Of course, we need to understand why we had so much degradation with the tyres, I’m not sure exactly what happened, no matter which compound we used none of them seemed to work well.
"Although we didn’t win today, we still walked away with a lot of points. In difficult moments you need to score points and we did that today. It was incredible to receive the support I did from the fans this weekend, but I’ve been hearing a few shocking things. It’s clearly wrong and what’s been happening is not right at all - I shouldn’t need to say this on a weekend that should be a celebration of Formula One at our home race.”
Sergio Perez, DNF
“It was a big shame that we had our race ended so early. I had the whole race ahead of me and I thought I had good opportunities coming my way, so it was very painful. We had a lot of damage to the car and we were going nowhere so we had to retire. I gave all the room I could to George on lap one, there was enough room for both cars not to crash and unfortunately, we ended up colliding, I don’t know what else I could have done.
"Today has hurt us in both Championships and hopefully we can recover the ground. It has been the same way all season, sometimes we are quicker and sometimes Ferrari are. It is still very close but today they were clearly the quicker car. We need to look forward now, the season is long and hopefully we can come back stronger in the coming weekends.””
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“We scored some really important points today but it just wasn’t meant to be for us. Congratulations to Ferrari, although they were unlucky with Carlos, they had the faster car for the majority of the race which gave them more strategic options but Max’s tyre deg was higher from halfway through the first stint and it was hard to combat that. Over the two races this weekend, we’ve only given away five points to Ferrari but obviously we’re really disappointed for Checo today. There was so much damage to his car from George that there was no chance for him to score any points and we had to retire him and save the mileage.
"We’ll do everything we can to bounce back in France, we’re still ahead but we know how quickly things can change and we need to keep pushing. We are shocked to hear that there have been some incidents of abusive behaviour in the grandstands and the fan parks. We stand united with every member of the F1 community in condemning this. We value inclusion and want a safe space for fans to enjoy our sport.”
Both Mercedes drivers crashed in qualifying on Friday, so to finish the weekend with Lewis Hamilton back on the podium in third and George Russell right behind in P4 is a strong result for the Silver Arrows – especially since Russell was hit with a time penalty for his Lap 1 clash with Sergio Perez, and sustained damage that required a front wing change.
Lewis Hamilton, 3rd
"First, I want to say a big thank you to the women and men in the garage who worked so hard to rebuild the car. I needed a brand-new car on Saturday morning, unfortunately. That’s something I don’t do often, but I’m just thankful for how hard everybody worked. It was tough in the Sprint yesterday, but today felt better.
"We had decent pace at different points of the race, even if I was racing a little bit in no-man’s land. It’s been a bit of a rough weekend for the team – but I’m grateful we got third and fourth today. That’s great points, and we have improved the car. Now we need to keep chipping away to get back to the front."
George Russell, 4th
"I started P4 and finished P4 – and probably would have taken that before the race. But I’m a little disappointed at how everything unfolded. On lap one, Checo dived down the outside at Turn Four, then took a tight line. I had Sainz ahead and had to get up on the apex kerb. I thought the penalty was harsh – for me it was a racing incident.
"But after that, we optimised the race well from lap two. Looking at the positives: we had a 20 second pit stop at the start – and finished around 15 seconds behind the podium; I came back through the field from P19 to P4; and we maximised as a team. Now we need to get our heads down and keep pushing."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"We always seem to be in two minds at the end of the races right now. We must accept P3 and P4 today. And when you think we had two cars in pieces on Friday afternoon, that’s a strong result. But we are missing the two or three tenths to be able to race at the front. We have glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel with the car – then it disappears again, and we need to get on top of that.
"Today, over a race stint, we looked more competitive than yesterday. But we had two drivers needing to put in strong recovery drives, after incidents in the Sprint and in the opening laps. It was good to see Charles on the top step. He’s had a lot of bad luck, and it looks like the fight is on at the front. Now we need to work on the car to close the gap to the teams ahead, then see how we can get in the mix."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"It’s been a very tough weekend in the garage but very satisfying to come away with third and fourth positions. We felt that George’s penalty for the incident with Sergio was harsh. He was up on the apex kerb and left more than enough room. We had to change the front wing after the contact, so it made for a very long stop. He had to pass through the field twice but raced superbly and maximised the opportunity.
"Similarly, Lewis had rather a lot to do in the first stint due to his start position. Once he was through the midfield cars he had good pace but by then the gap to Charles and Max was way too big to chase so we just focused on bringing the car home.
"This hasn’t been a track that has suited us in recent years. Despite lacking a little pace to Ferrari and Red Bull, we’re encouraged by the fact we’re moving in the right direction and have more to come in the next few races. We have a busy few days ahead at the factory to recover the situation on car parts, this weekend has not been great in that regard! But we’ll pull that back in time for Paul Ricard and are looking forward to a track that should suit the car."
Esteban Ocon was celebrating his 100th Grand Prix in Austria and did so in style, scoring an excellent fifth in the race. Fernando Alonso reckoned he could have been right behind his team mate, but vibrations on his second set of tyres forced an immediate second pit stop, dropping him back to P10 at the flag – still a vast improvement on Saturday when he failed to even start the Sprint because of an electrical problem.
Fernando Alonso, 10th
“A point is better than nothing, even more so knowing that we started from the last row today. I think it was one of my best races this season apart from Silverstone last weekend. We were fighting for a sixth or seventh position, but I felt strange vibrations on the tyres that we had just mounted after our second stop under the Virtual Safety Car peroid.
"As the latter was still in order, we decided to stop again to put on a new set of tyres. Unfortunately, we lost a few positions with this extra stop and we had to fight until the last laps. At the finish, we managed to finish in tenth position. To score a single point on this race is a bit of a shame, but we can be very happy with our overall pace and performance as a team.”
Esteban Ocon, 5th
"What a day, what a weekend! I think we really maximized our pace today when it really mattered. This is a great way to end my 100th Grand Prix in Formula 1. We had some good battles on the track today, but in the end George [Russell] was too fast and fifth place was the best result we could obtain.
"We go home with very good points, while progressing to eighth place in the Drivers' championship and climbing level with McLaren in the Constructors' championship. As a team, we are heading in the right direction and we have good momentum before heading to Paul-Ricard, one of the team's home races, and of course mine too. It should be an amazing weekend."
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal
“First of all, congratulations to Esteban for finishing his 100th Grand Prix start by scoring ten points thanks to his fifth position. He really deserved it after riding so well today and executing a very good two-stop strategy. This result, combined with that of yesterday in the Sprint, allows the team to continue its momentum after having made some good improvements to the car during the last meetings.
"Fernando also drove exceptionally well to overcome yesterday's disappointment and move from the back of the grid to a point-scoring position. We encountered reliability problems which meant that we did not leave Austria completely satisfied. We absolutely have to look into these problems and solve them if the we want to have a worry-free second half of the season. We clearly have a fast car, but we also need to make sure that all the operational aspects of the team are running at a high level, in order to keep scoring good points with both of our cars."
Haas are on a roll – after getting both cars into the points last time out at Silverstone, they repeated the feat in Austria with Driver of the Day Mick Schumacher a career-best sixth and Kevin Magnussen – who was managing an engine issue throughout the race – in P8.
Mick Schumacher, 6th
“Fighting again with Lewis was fun. I felt a lot different compared to yesterday, obviously knowing that we had to take care of the tires. Quite soon I felt it wasn’t going to be a one-stop race just because of the way the tires were behaving – the winds were very different and difficult to manage.
"It was tough out there but it’s another double-points finish again after Silverstone, so everyone in the team can be very happy about the result. Being voted driver of the day as well is great so thank you to everybody.”
Kevin Magnussen, 8th
“What a weekend for our team, it’s really been great. Finally, we had a bit of luck, it kind of went our way after those four or five races recently that weren’t good for us. It’s hard not to get a little bit down about it but the last two races we’ve been lucky and we’ve had the pace, especially this weekend.
"I had a bit of an engine issue all race so I was just praying to God that it wouldn’t blow up, which it didn’t, so I’m super thankful for that so I could finish the race without a problem. We just had a great qualifying, a great Sprint and then a great race, so I’m super happy.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“A fantastic result for the team today with a double-points finish and back in P7 in the championship. There was one little issue with Kevin’s engine, but everything went as perfect as it can be. Thanks to the whole team for a big effort.”
McLaren had a difficult start to the weekend in Austria, with Daniel Ricciardo lacking pace in qualifying and Lando Norris suffering from brake problems. But after making up ground in the Sprint, they managed to get themselves further up the order on race day to seal a double points finish for the team – despite a time penalty doled out to Norris for repeated track limits infringements.
Lando Norris, 7th
“A positive day, we went forward a good few positions and scored some decent points. I made a couple of mistakes with the track limits and ended-up with a five-second penalty, which probably hurt us. I should have been P6 but, apart from that, a solid day. The pace in the car was reasonable and we got the points that we wanted, so happy in the end.
"We just need to keep improving and keep pushing for next time. Big thanks to everyone for working so hard at the track and back home, we made a good recovery from Friday to score some decent points."
Daniel Ricciardo, 9th
“Obviously the target was points. I think, as a team, we’re happy with that. It’s a lot better than where we were Friday, so to get double-points is good for us. I was struggling with the left-front on the first stint as I'd had a lock-up into turn one, and put us a bit on the back-foot. So it didn’t feel as good as yesterday.
"We then struggled more with the front, particularly front-left, even without the flat-spot, but I think we did well to get what we could today. I would have loved to have got [Kevin] Magnussen, but we’ve got to take what we can today. More points, bit of damage-limitation, so pleased with that.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal
“Scoring with both cars is a good outcome from a tough Sprint weekend here in Spielberg. Starting P10 and P11 after a good recovery yesterday, the objective today was simply to move further forward. Finishing P7 and P9 in the Austrian Grand Prix is satisfying after starting the weekend on the back foot with several issues on Friday.
“Thanks to Lando and Daniel for showing great fighting spirit. Same for the team who worked hard this weekend – as they have all through this back-to-back sequence. Today we executed a clean race, which got us where we needed to go. Thanks to everyone here trackside, and back at the factory, together with our colleagues at HPP, for helping secure eight valuable points in our Constructors’ Championship battle. A short break now to rest, reset and analyse our performance before we go again in France. We’re looking forward to Paul Ricard.”
A more positive race for Alfa Romeo than the double DNF – and frightening accident Zhou Guanyu suffered – last time out at Silverstone, but still no points for the team as Valtteri Bottas climbed from a pit lane start to P11, with Zhou three places behind after struggling on the hard tyre on a long opening stint.
Zhou Guanyu, 14th
“I feel we had a lot more potential in our car this weekend, so I am not happy with this result. We looked strong yesterday, but today we spent the first part of the race stuck in a train and then struggled with the hard tyre. Once we switched to the mediums, I was a lot more at ease and I felt we were competitive, but by then it was too late to make it back into the points.
"The pace we showed in the Sprint yesterday and in the final stint today is a positive to keep, as well as the mileage that does help with my overall experience. I had some fun battles and enjoyed the close racing we had, but I wanted more from this weekend.”
Valtteri Bottas, 11th
“I was hoping for points today, that was the target, and it’s a bit disappointing to be finishing just outside the top ten. In the last lap, Fernando was closing the gap pretty fast with a new set of tyres, and ultimately got me. Besides that, I think it was a good race, also strategy-wise, and we did everything we could given where we started: we just lacked a bit of pace, especially through the corners.
"At least, I managed to climb up the grid from a pit lane start, so that’s a positive to keep. We must keep progressing, since the other teams are doing so as well. I reckon France could be better for us, but we will need to qualify in better positions than we did here to maximise our chances come Sunday.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“It’s been a difficult weekend for us, and to nearly come away with a point despite all that happened shows the attitude of this team. With Valtteri starting from the pit lane and Zhou in P13, we knew we had a tough job ahead of us if we wanted to come away with a good result, and we very nearly did.
"It was a hectic race, with lots of battling and action – a great advertisement for our sport: for the team, we had nearly delivered a great comeback, but the tyre advantage Alonso had on the final lap was too much for Valtteri to overcome, and Zhou’s penalty really put an end to his hopes of points. It’s disappointing to leave without a point, but we will regroup and aim to start scoring again in France.”
Alex Albon was finally able to properly assess the new Williams upgrade package he first ran for his all-too short British Grand Prix last week, and was pleased with the results, saying his pace was close to that of the McLarens around the Red Bull Ring. Nicholas Latifi meanwhile suffered floor damage in the race in Austria, so the team decided to retire his car to save the engine.
Nicholas Latifi, DNF
“We sustained floor damage from running over some debris at the start of the race and I ran wide on one curb. Towards the end of the first stint I could feel the balance getting worse. Beginning of the second stint there was a lack of downforce and pace. The decision was to retire the car to save the engine mileage and we'll be ready to go again in France.”
Alex Albon, 12th
“It was a fun race. We took risks, we were bold and I had to push a little bit too hard on the tyres to keep up with Valtteri [Bottas] as he was a little bit quicker than us. I knew what I was doing wasn’t kind to the tyres but I was trying to stay close to him. You risk and you push to fight for points and today it didn’t quite work out for us, but I still feel it was a good race.
“The whole race we were more or less matching the McLarens, we hit a bit of traffic here and there but I was really happy with our pace and we’ve definitely made a step forward this weekend. It was the first proper race with the new aero upgrade that we have and there’s a lot learnt from today so we can look at the data and come back stronger in France.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
“Today was a good recovery after the result yesterday. Alex drove well and the strategy worked well. Having got into the top 10 with only 10 laps to go, it was disappointing to miss out on a point. However, we had been battling with Bottas since the first pitstop and it was a tight race that could’ve gone either way. At least we got a full race completed with the updated car, which gives some data to go through before we run again in France.
“Nicholas suffered with some floor damage early in the race, which cost him a lot of downforce and made the car very difficult to drive. As the damage worsened, we elected to retire him before more significant damage occurred.
“After the damage done in Silverstone last week, to come straight to the Red Bull Ring and for Alex to be competitive throughout the weekend and for Nicholas to continue his good qualifying performance, is a good result for the entire team who worked very hard to get us back into this position.”
A tricky day for Aston Martin, who saw any chance of a result for Sebastian Vettel disappear in a cloud of gravel dust after he spun off following contact with Pierre Gasly at Turn 4. He eventually finished down in 17th, while team mate Lance Stroll also struggled to find any good pace and came home P13.
Sebastian Vettel, 17th
"It is disappointing to be pushed into the gravel again [after the contact with Alex Albon yesterday]. This time it was [Pierre] Gasly and it almost feels that there is a target on my car! I had made a good move on the outside and was ahead leaving plenty of space. I think he was just a bit too keen, ran into me, and I was off in the gravel. The car was not in the best shape after that and my race was pretty much done.
"Before that it was a tricky race because I was hit by some debris on the first lap, which may have damaged the car. We were not very competitive on the Hard tyres at the start, but the Medium was better and we were working our way through the field until the contact with Pierre. I think we have had quite an unlucky weekend so let's just turn the page and focus on the next race in France."
Lance Stroll, 13th
"My start was decent, and I could hold position and battle with the McLarens early on. I also had some good wheel-to-wheel moments out there with cars on different strategies, which was fun.
"However, it was tricky to keep the faster cars behind. It would have been nice to have come away with a point or two after a strong recovery drive yesterday, but we have to keep pushing and will try and return to the points in France."
Mike Krack, Team Principal
"With Lance starting 12th, we felt there was a reasonable chance to score points this afternoon. He drove well today, despite our car struggling a little for performance. He climbed as high as fifth during the first phase of the race, managed his first set of tyres for 30 laps, and enjoyed a spirited tussle with [George] Russell and [Mick] Schumacher.
"Sebastian was unfortunate. He was climbing through the field and had just pulled off a well-judged pass when he was tapped into the Turn Four gravel – a move that rightly earned Gasly a five-second penalty. From that point, there was not much else he could do. Once again, we brought two cars home reliably – which is a great testament to the hard work of the mechanics – and we will be aiming to score points in France and Hungary before the summer break."
It was a weekend to forget for AlphaTauri in Austria, with neither Pierre Gasly nor Yuki Tsunoda able to score points – while Gasly was hit with a penalty after he clashed with Sebastian Vettel and the German spun off into the gravel.
Yuki Tsunoda, 16th
“It’s been really tough, that was a long race. I had no pace at all this weekend and have really struggled since FP2, with the car sliding all over the place. We need to go away and look at what the issue may be, as we’ve not seen anything in the data that explains why this weekend has been so difficult.
"I gave it my everything today and there wasn’t much more I think I could’ve done in terms of my personal performance in this situation but overall, this has been the hardest race weekend we’ve had so far this year.”
Pierre Gasly, 15th
“I think we can write off this weekend, we just didn’t have the pace. I haven’t seen the footage yet, but I obviously received a penalty in the race, so I guess I’m the one to blame for the incident with Sebastian [Vettel]. I tried to fight as hard as I could, it’s always tricky in that corner and unfortunately he spun.
"We need a big reset, we’ve got a week and a half to try and understand why we were slow and to understand what we can do to improve in the upcoming races. Hopefully the new package allows us to move forward and be competitive in the midfield again.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“A very difficult race for us today, as we weren’t able to make any progress. Additionally, on Pierre’s side we had a couple of penalties which set us back further. It was clear early on that it was going to be a two-stop race, so we brought Pierre in to try and move forward with that, however he hit a bit of traffic, holding him up, and from then on it was tough.
"Likewise with Yuki, we tried to get him in a stronger position through the stops, but he didn’t have the pace today. We’ve been on the backfoot all day and unfortunately have come away with nothing. We’ve got a lot to review back at base. Now our focus is to get our updates to the car ready for the French Grand Prix and get ourselves back in to the midfield fight.”
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director
“We're happy with today’s race. All three compounds showed versatility and performance on different cars and set-ups throughout the three days of this very specific sprint weekend, on a unique circuit like Spielberg. This comes one week after Silverstone: two circuits that couldn’t be more different, but where the combination of cars and tyres both guaranteed a great show.
"The medium showed excellent performance, while the degradation on the hard was higher than expected today: probably because the teams didn’t have time to try it out thoroughly in race conditions during free practice, due to the condensed nature of a sprint weekend. A lot of the degradation seen today was also down to traffic on this short lap, as when cars are battling they take more energy out of their tyres.
"I’m happy with all the positive comments about the work done by everyone here and back in our base at Milan but there’s no time to rest: we remain at the Red Bull Ring for our latest 2023 development test, involving four teams that will share duties throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.”