2021 Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix Preview

Swiftly following on from last weekend’s French Grand Prix, Formula 1 is once again set to be in action this coming weekend as it heads to the Red Bull Ring in Austria. It is also set to be joined by the W Series.

Having originally scheduled to begin its 2021 season at the Circuit Paul Ricard, the W Series will start its latest season in Austria instead. The season opener is due to be one of eight races that the series will contest in 2021.

The series maiden season took place back in 2019 where it contested six rounds which eventually saw Briton’s Jamie Chadwick become the first W Series champion. She finished 10 points ahead of Beitske Visser, with Alice Powell finishing the season third in the standings.

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There were five different race winners across the six races back in 2019. All five race winners (Chadwick, Visser, Powell, Marta Garcia and Emma Kimilainen) are set to compete in the series in 2021.

You may note I haven’t talked about the 2020 W Series season, and this is due to it having been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the W Series moving from supporting DTM in 2019 to Formula 1 for 2021, it will be interesting to see whether any of the ‘Class of 2021’ will be able to secure a place either on a Formula 1 driver academy (assuming they aren’t already affiliated with a Formula 1 team), or secure a full season in Formula 3 or Formula 2 over the next couple of seasons.

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As for Formula 1, this weekend’s Grand Prix is set to be its eighth race of the season.

Max Verstappen leads the drivers championship and has a 12 point advantage over nearest rival Lewis Hamilton. This after Verstappen won last time out in France ahead of Hamilton and Sergio Perez.

With Perez following up his Azerbaijan Grand Prix victory with third in France, he has an eight point gap between himself and fourth placed Lando Norris.

Norris has a 17 point advantage over fifth placed Valtteri Bottas having finished inside the top five in the three races prior to this weekend. For Bottas meanwhile the Finn was classified fourth in France, ending a two race run where he had failed to score points. The Finn is seven points clear of Charles Leclerc in sixth who failed to finish inside the top ten last weekend.

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In the constructors’ championship Red Bull has a 37 point lead at the top of the standings ahead of Mercedes.

There is then a 68 point gap between Mercedes and third placed McLaren. The latter had a strong weekend in France, claiming a 5-6 finish. It means McLaren has retaken third place from Ferrari and has a 16 point advantage over the Maranello based team heading into this weekend.

After encouraging performances in Monaco and Azerbaijan it was a slight come down for Ferrari in France. Despite this they have a 49 point gap over fifth placed AlphaTauri.

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The Faenza based team have a five point lead over Aston Martin who are sixth, with Alpine 11 points behind the Silverstone based team heading into the latest Grand Prix weekend of the season.

Alfa Romeo Racing are eighth in the championship where their brief point scoring run came to an end in France, where its two cars finished fifteenth and seventeenth.

The Swiss based team does still have a two point advantage over Williams and Haas. It is worth noting that Williams have now reclaimed ninth from Haas after the former finished twelfth, thanks to George Russell, in France. This result betters the Haas of Mick Schumacher who finished thirteenth in Azerbaijan.

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