What the teams said - Race day in Austria
Verstappen's anti-stall kicked in at the start, dropping the Dutchman down to eighth behind his team mate, and it looked like his race was to be one of damage limitation. But after coasting back up through the midfield with little issue, and extending his first stint, the Dutchman then overtook Vettel and Bottas on track in a storming comeback. A handful of seconds behind Leclerc became fractions of a second as the Dutchman scented victory. His decisive move came on Lap 69 as he dived down the inside into Turn 3 and then hung the Ferrari out to dry. The stewards had a look and decided it warranted no further action. Gasly put in a spirited display, fighting with Norris and Raikkonen but having briefly been ahead of his team mate, finished the race having been lapped by him.
Max Verstappen, 1st
“It was an incredible race and I’m so happy to take the Team’s second victory at our home Grand Prix. It was a shame at the start as I triggered anti-stall and dropped back to seventh. From there onwards the pace was really good, I stayed calm and kept pushing hard. The second stint was decisive for us as the car really came alive. Once I passed Valtteri I thought I could have a go for the win as our pace was so strong but you never know. I just kept pushing, drove flat out and didn’t give up.
"We passed Charles with a few laps to go so I’m extremely happy. The move was close racing and if you can’t make moves like that I think it is better to stay at home. I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, all weekend we have been working really well and the upgrades seem to have worked. Thank you to all the crew here, everyone at the factory and of course Honda, it’s not been easy for them over the past years but to win for them today is just incredible.”
Pierre Gasly, 7th
“It was a tough race and a difficult day. I didn’t have great pace on the soft tyre in the first stint and then I was stuck behind the cars in front. On the second stint, I pushed too hard at the beginning and destroyed the hard tyre after only a couple of laps which left me with massive blisters, so from there I was just slow and I didn’t have the pace to catch Lando.
"Overall, it’s nice to see the new upgrades are working with Max. He did a fantastic job so this is positive and we now look forward to Silverstone. On my side, I’m not very happy with my performance and I could have managed the race a lot better. I’m a really competitive guy and there is work to do. I haven’t found exactly what I want from the car so we will keep pushing, but it’s good to see the car is working and I think we have a good direction for the upcoming races. I have a lot to learn and take from having Max next to me. I want to deliver more and I know I can, so now we need to work.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“What an unbelievable performance by Max today. To win the race here in Austria and to give Honda its first victory with a V6 hybrid is unbelievable. Winning our home race means an enormous amount to everyone in the Red Bull family. Mr Mateschitz has put so much into the sport with both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, so it means an incredible amount to deliver this victory for a second year running.
"It was a tense wait after the race but the stewards made the right decision. What happened today between Charles and Max is hard racing and I think that’s what Formula One is all about – it’s two young guys going for it. Formula One has come under a lot of criticism recently and I think today’s race was an exciting one with overtaking, tyre degradation and drama – exactly what the doctor ordered! We came to Austria as outsiders and so to win here is a dream come true and I think that was Max’s best win.
"It was a tough race for Pierre but he managed to make progress and pass Raikkonen. When your teammate is performing at this level the benchmark is extremely high, but with time and as his confidence builds, Pierre will close the gap. Our target in the constructors’ championship is Ferrari and we need both cars to score the maximum points possible.”
Mercedes finally had a genuine fight on their hands on two fronts, with both Ferrari and Red Bull looking the better race cars. Bottas looked to be coasting to a composed second, before losing out to Verstappen late on. Managing an overheating W10, the Finn didn't put up too much of a fight. Hamilton fared worse after running wide over the sausage kerbs and damaging his front wing. He pitted for a replacement which cost him places on track, and with similar heating issues, he lacked the speed to chase those ahead.
Lewis Hamilton, 5th
"It wasn't the easiest day, we knew already before the race started that we might be in trouble here. Overheating proved to be a fairly big issue for us today. I think we had good pace, the car felt good, but we just couldn't race due to the overheating. It seemed to be a limitation of our car this weekend and the other cars didn't seem to struggle quite as much as we did, so we'll have to look into this and try to fix it. There's going to be more hot races coming up like Budapest, so we'll need to get on top of this, otherwise it could be a difficult few races for us. I also damaged my front wing on the kerb, so we had to change it, which cost us a bit of time as well. It's just one of those bad days in the office, but at least I still got some good points with fifth place."
Valtteri Bottas, 3rd
"I think we made the most of it today. We expected this race to be tricky, but it turned out to be even more difficult than we predicted. We had to do lots of lifting and coasting and couldn't use all engines modes to keep the engine from overheating. So, we couldn't really race properly, and I had to manage temperatures for the majority of the race. It made both defending and attacking very difficult. But you have to look at the positives - I got some good points out of this weekend and I don't think there was much difference in terms of race pace. So, it isn't all bad. We'll investigate and hopefully come back stronger at Silverstone."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"From a fan's perspective, this was a really exciting race to watch; however, from our team's perspective it was a difficult day. We said before the race that the high temperatures will be a huge challenge for us and that turned out to be true. Our Achilles heel was exposed, with both drivers struggling with overheating in these incredibly warm temperatures. We had to open up the bodywork all the way, turn down the engine and had to do lifting and coasting for long stretches.
"So, we couldn't really race with our car today, neither attack nor defend, we were just trying to keep it alive and cooling it properly. On a more positive note, though, we still scored a good haul of points and managed to put in some decent lap times despite these limitations. However, it's clear that we have to fix our cooling problems for the coming hot European races. As we say, the bad days are the ones when we learn the most to come back stronger. And we'll be looking to do just that at the next race at Silverstone."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"It was good to see Honda get their first win since coming back into the sport; they have worked so hard for it, so hopefully they can enjoy the moment. For us it was an incredibly tough afternoon, we were on the limit with cooling all race. We knew this was our Achilles heel and the combination of ambient temperature and altitude were just too much for us to fight today.
"Valtteri did a good job to get on the podium, he was having to manage a lot whilst racing today and we had to give up a lot of performance to keep things cool, so we're happy that he got some reward. Lewis was in the same situation as Valtteri with temperatures and he was having to having to manage from start to finish. He was keeping his tyres in good shape but unfortunately his front wing flap broke on the kerb at turn 10 on lap 27 and we were losing too much time so stopped for a new nose and the Hard tyre. It was a shame to lose the place to Vettel right on the end, but it was just a consequence of all the issues we were having to deal with.
"Whilst temperatures were the headline item for us today, we weren't particularly quick even in qualifying, so no doubt there are a few areas that we need to investigate and improve. We're looking forward to Silverstone, the car should work better there so hopefully we can get back to fighting at the front."
Norris was feisty off the line and even overtook Hamilton before losing the place back as everyone settled down. He remained in the thick of the action though, pulling off a daring move on Raikkonen, and even keeping Verstappen at bay for a couple of laps. A fighting display which included a few pithy radio messages will have enhanced his reputation no end as he came home 'best of the rest'. Sainz also had a very impressive outing, running a long opening stint and then putting fresh tyres to good use to make his way from last to eighth.
Carlos Sainz, 8th
“What a race! I’m really, really happy with how we recovered from a tough weekend, and from P19 on the starting grid. Up until yesterday, I had this feeling of frustration due to the [PU] penalty, but this morning I turned all that frustration into motivation for the race.
“I think we executed a very strong race today, with a long stint on the Medium tyre and then pitting for the Hard compound in the right moment. From that point onwards it was overtake after overtake, and I made my way into the points. The only setback of the day was that my front wing got damaged 10 laps from the end when I was starting to attack Gasly. With the pace I had, I think I could’ve taken P7, but I really had to drive the car carefully to avoid any mistakes and finally managed to stay ahead of Raikkonen. Very happy for everyone in the team. Great race, great comeback and congrats for another double points finish.”
Lando Norris, 6th
“It was a fun race! A good start, managed to go forwards and battled the Mercedes and the Ferrari for a lap or so, but had to concede those positions and think of my own race. The Alfa got past me on the first lap, around the outside at Turn Four. Not much I could’ve done and dropped back to fourth and then fifth, then had Max behind me for a little bit, so I was in there. I saved my tyres for the first few laps, had it under control then pushed and did what I needed to do, pulled a gap, boxed, and managed the pace from then on.
“I was on the Medium, so was a little bit unsure about what we could do, or what the tyres would do towards the end of the stint. Gasly was pushing me for the last few laps, but I was just doing what I had to do in terms of saving the tyres and not taking any risks – there was a lot more in it if I really needed to push. A massive thanks to the McLaren team at the circuit and back at the factory. Looking forward to my home race now!”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal
“Congratulations to the entire team here at the track and back home. It’s a great result for McLaren, scoring important points to establish P4 in the constructors’ championship. Today P6 and P8 were well-earned, confirming us for the second time in a row as the fourth fastest team. Great work from both drivers, great pit-stops, and great strategic decisions.
"Lando had a great start and an exciting first lap before he was then able to control his pace in P6 on Soft tyres. After the pit-stop we switched to Medium tyres and just did enough to match the times of [Pierre] Gasly to stay in front of him.
"Carlos made a great start from last position and then had to do a long first stint on the Medium tyre to create the opportunity to attack on the Hard tyre in the second half of the race. He made brilliant overtaking moves and his charge only ended when he ran wide once and broke the front wing when he was in sight of overtaking Gasly. After this he did an excellent job to bring it home in eighth.
"We’re looking forward to Silverstone and our home grand prix now but this was a brilliant race for Formula 1 today, not just in the midfield but also at the front, which was important after the negative comments of the last week.”
Raikkonen was impressive at the start, opportunistically nipping ahead of Norris before losing the place a few laps later. He did lose out to Gasly and then a charging Sainz in the closing stages, but still drove a mistake-free race to come home in the points. Giovinazzi had a quieter race behind, but hung on to P10 to grab his first ever F1 point. Alfa's first double points finish of the season is a good reward after the bittersweet results from France.
Kimi Raikkonen, 9th
“We can be satisfied with scoring points, it was a good result for the team. I had a good start and the first laps were pretty ok, but then it became a bit more difficult. I felt I lacked a bit of speed to challenge the cars around me and when I did have it, I had to be careful with the tyres. It was a balancing act, trying to keep the tyres alive long enough while still going fast enough. It was a bit of a shame but in the end we got a good result. We still have margin to improve. I feel we were a bit better yesterday, but our performance is improving.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, 10th
“I’m so happy to score my first point. It’s a great feeling and it’s a big weight off my shoulders. I think this is the maximum we could have done today so I’m really pleaseda to have two cars in the top ten. We had a really positive qualifying yesterday, but today’s race was very difficult. Perez was right behind me for most of the afternoon and the pressure was heavy, but I really wanted this point. I feel a lot of our work has been rewarded today, but we have to continue moving forward. Since France we have done a step in the right direction and we have to keep it up.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“I am very pleased with the work we did today. We put two cars in the points for the first time this season and we showed again we can compete towards the front of the midfield. Both Kimi and Antonio raced intelligently, knowing when to attack and when to look after their tyres, and to have both scoring is a reward for the whole team. We could have perhaps scored a few more points in the end, when we were catching Sainz with both cars, but in the end we can be satisfied of what we got. We have been showing improvement in the last few races, so we will aim to build on that and continue our good run of points.”
Renault lacked pace with respect to their midfield rivals over one lap in qualifying, and it wasn't any better during the race. They gambled by leaving Ricciardo out extremely late, giving him a set of soft tyres with which to attack in the closing laps. But by then he had lost too many places and too much time to make up and came home 12th, one place ahead of his team mate. They have lost ground to McLaren in the constructors' championship too, and will be looking over their shoulders at the chasing pack if they can't get in the points next time out.
Nico Hulkenberg, 13th
“We can’t be happy with this weekend. We had multiple issues on the car today and it made it hard work out there. We didn’t have a points worthy car today and we didn’t have the pace to get by anyone during the middle or latter stages. Over the years, Austria has proved to be quite a particular circuit and one we don’t tend to do so well at. We’ll use this week off, dive into the data, and see what’s going on to make some improvements ahead of Silverstone.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 14th
“It was a tough weekend, for sure. From Lap 1 today it was tricky and I struggled for grip. We improved as the race progressed, managed a decent stint on the softs at the end, but it was probably a bit too late. We need to figure out why this weekend was so tough. There’s stuff we can improve, but I won’t put it all down to the car. I’ll look at myself and see what I can do better as well. Something wasn’t right this weekend and Nico shared the same feelings too. We’ll do our best to figure it out and get on top of it.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal
“Clearly, it’s not a good weekend. Although we had the pace to be slightly higher up on the grid, the track exposed weaknesses of our car, similar to previous races but in a more exacerbated fashion this weekend. We need to identify if there was anything specific with set ups or simply a feature of the chassis on which we must work.”
Fifth in qualifying thanks to a "magic" lap by Magnussen seems a long time ago. The Dane started in P10 thanks to a grid penalty, his team mate one behind but they soon started to go backwards after both struggled for pace. Magnussen even wound up with a drive-through penalty for being out of position at the start, on what was simply a day to forget for the American team.
Romain Grosjean, 16th
“It’s a tough one, it’s really hard to understand where the grip is going, and how we can make the car go faster. I had no grip on those first few laps, then just no pace in the race. It’s been a very difficult afternoon with no balance, I was fighting the car as hard as I could. We’re in a very difficult situation. We’ll work on it, we’ll find it, it may take some time. I’m sure our guys have got the resources to get on top of our issues. There’s obviously just something that we’re not doing quite right.”
Kevin Magnussen, 19th
“We didn’t have any pace today in the race after qualifying P5 yesterday. It’s disappointing after a very good day on Saturday. It’s strange, and very frustrating. Nothing was really working, it felt pretty hopeless. It’s really confusing.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“A disappointing race, obviously. Running around like that is negatively amazing. After qualifying in fifth position, to then have a race like this, I can’t say anything other than it’s disappointing. We’ll keep working on it, try to get a better understanding of why this kind of performance is happening from qualifying to the race. We just do not understand it, at the moment we have no clue.”
Racing Point said they underperformed in qualifying and had a better race car and so it proved, with both drivers verging on the top 10. But with no retirements or crashes, it was always going to be tough to fight their way into the points from 13th and 14th on the grid. Although Perez got close, coming home in 11th, the team are starting to lose ground in the constructors' championship after two races with no points...
Sergio Perez, 11th
“We gave it everything today, but points were just out of reach. My start was good, but I locked up into Turn 3 trying to get ahead of Giovinazzi and that’s pretty much where I stayed for the rest of the race – trying to chase him down. There was not much difference between the soft and the medium tyres in the first part of the race and most of the cars ahead of us were able to run a very similar strategy. There were no real opportunities to do anything different. It’s always frustrating to finish in P11, but that’s the reality of our speed today.”
Lance Stroll, 14th
“It was definitely not our race today. The first stint looked promising and I was in the hunt behind Hulkenberg and Perez, but then we had some power unit issues to manage for around ten laps, which I think cost us five or six seconds. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but we had an issue with the fuel flow meter, so we had to turn down the mode quite a bit, which cost us another place to Ricciardo. So overall a tough afternoon for sure, but our sights are set on Silverstone and looking forward to the team’s home race.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO
“A highly entertaining race today, throughout the field. Obviously, we're disappointed not to come away with points - but we were right in the mix of a tight midfield battle. When it's this close, a tenth here and there can make a big difference and we were just shy of where we needed to be. But it looks like it's going to ebb and flow throughout the season, so we need to keep our heads down and keep pushing. We now look forward to our home race at Silverstone.”
With both cars towards the back of the field, it was always going to be tough to recover in a race where all 20 cars finished. Nonetheless the Toro Rosso drivers put on a good show for the crowd, fighting hard with the Haas boys, with Albon making a move stick on Grosjean to show his wheel-to-wheel prowess.
Daniil Kvyat, 17th
“It wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable race of my life, although we saw it coming yesterday after Qualifying. I was carrying more downforce today, so I was a sitting duck in the race. It just wasn’t our day today, it was one of those weekends where we were far away from everything. We know we’re better than this, so we need to reset and move forward. We will put these two races behind us and try to extract everything out of the car in the next few races.”
Alex Albon, 15th
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today, it was a tough first stint where we weren’t quick enough. We weren’t too bad in the second half of the race, but we lost too much time in the first stint. It’s a difficult one to swallow because our long runs were looking quite good on Friday, and that’s two races in a row where we’ve struggled with the balance of the car, so we need to figure out where we can improve.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“Qualifying out of position made today's race very difficult. The drivers pushed as hard as possible early on whilst also having to manage brakes and PU temperatures, which slowed down any progress. Once traffic was cleared, Alex was able to run some reasonable lap times and closed in on the pack ahead, but ultimately, there was some time lost either side of the pitstop which limited the progress we could have had. Once Dany got free of traffic, he still had to manage his tyres due to some rear brake duct damage and therefore, he wasn’t able to make any progress. Today definitely wasn’t one of our best days and we have a lot of analysis to do ahead of the next race to improve on the weaknesses shown here. We will be focused on this, aiming to come back stronger in the next event.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“First, I’d like to congratulate Honda, Red Bull Racing and a great Max Verstappen for this fantastic victory here at the Red Bull Ring. They have done a terrific job in Sakura to achieve this result and the team did an amazing job. As for Toro Rosso, there is not much to say. We did not perform well today.”
Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director
“Thanks to the efforts of all the Honda F1 staff in Japan and the UK, who worked tirelessly on our PU development, we finally made it, our first win in the hybrid era, the first since Hungary 2006. And a special word of thanks to all their families who supported them. Thanks of course to Max for a great drive and to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing for providing him with a fantastic car. We must not forget the great contribution made by Scuderia Toro Rosso, who helped us get back on the right path last year. Honda has not done this alone and so we want to acknowledge the contribution of our outside suppliers. This win is also a way of saying thank you to all our fans, all over the world, for their continued support. We have been back in this sport since 2015, but today feels like a new beginning. While we can enjoy the celebrations for a short while, we must get back to work as soon as possible, because we still need to close our performance gap to the quickest teams.”
Russell had to start from the pit lane thanks to a late front wing change, but soon got in on the action. Given the team's lack of pace, it was a welcome change for the rookie to be able to attack a driver other than his team mate, and he came home ahead of a Haas on merit. Kubica had a disappointing day, propping up the field.
Robert Kubica, 20th
"It was a difficult race. The pace was not there. I gained a few positions on the opening lap, but then the handling was very bad. I tried to defend but it was so difficult to keep the cars behind. I am lacking overall grip and in these conditions when it is hot, when there is a lot of overheating and the tyres are suffering a lot, I am just sliding even more."
George Russell, 18th
"I managed to fight the Toro Rossos and the Haas at the beginning, hold them up for a bit and I managed to hold off Magnussen in the closing stages. We’re still a long way off, but there’s a few positives in there. Those opening laps were good. I managed to take Robert and Daniil Kvyat at once, which was surprising and nice. I was pushing absolutely flat out every single lap, and I’m glad it was noticed. We need to be patient now and wait for some more downforce to come to the car."
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer
"Having found some damage to George’s front wing following qualifying, we opted to fit a spare, and, due to a small specification change, we were forced to start from the pitlane. Despite this, George drove very well and was able to race with the Haas and Toro Rosso cars at the beginning of the race, whilst everyone started to manage their brakes and power units. Robert meanwhile had a strong start and opening corners, gaining several places. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold on to them beyond lap one.
"Once Magnussen had pitted and taken his drive-through penalty, we were able to pit Robert for new tyres and emerge ahead of him. We hoped that straight line speed and power unit temperatures might allow Robert to stay ahead of the Haas but this wasn’t the case and Robert had then to endure a difficult race as he absorbed a lot of blue flags.
"George was able to complete a good opening stint on the Option tyre and stay close to Kvyat. We pitted into a decent track position and began to close the gap to Kvyat. Thanks to another excellent effort from our crew, George’s pitstop was much better than Kvyat’s and we almost emerged ahead. Unfortunately, once Kvyat had the track position, he was able to pull away and George’s race became one of defending against Magnussen. He did this very well whilst managing his Prime tyre to the end, finishing 18th.
"The whole team did a good job of managing the car in the demanding conditions of Austria and again get two cars home."
Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing
"Today we had a thrilling race all the way to the finish, with a fantastic battle between two of the most exciting and talented young drivers in the sport. Congratulations to both Max and Charles for two great drives today. From a tyre perspective, we were satisfied with the performance of all three compounds, which each played an important part in the race, despite the hottest track temperatures seen all year. Nonetheless, nearly all the drivers completed just one stop, while Lando Norris in sixth didn't even use the hardest compound. Now we remain in Spielberg for two days of testing 2020 tyres together with Alfa Romeo, which also brought two cars home in the points today."