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Austrian GP: Race team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
10/07/2022

Charles Leclerc won the Austrian Grand Prix, taking Ferrari to the top step of the podium once more, following his team mate's victory at Silverstone last week. This was Leclerc's first win since Australia. As was the case at Silverstone, it was another thrilling race featuring battles, strategies and surprises all weekend - with Leclerc ending the Austrian dominance of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen today, who had previously taken Friday's pole and then victory in the sprint race on Saturday.

Leclerc and Verstappen followed an identical strategy: an opening stint on the P Zero Yellow medium, followed by two stints on the P Zero White hard, and then a final stint on the medium, taking advantage of a virtual safety car.

The variety of the strategies underlined the performance of the tyres brought to Spielberg. With the Mercedes drivers finishing third and fourth on varying strategies (medium-hard-medium for Lewis Hamilton and medium-hard-hard for George Russell) there were three different tyre strategies seen in the top four.

Most drivers went for two pit stops, with some impressive battles all the way down the field: there was a five-way fight between Haas driver Mick Schumacher, Alpine's Fernando Alonso. Alfa Romeo's Guanyu Zhou, Haas's Kevin Magnussen, and McLaren's Lando Norris. All of them swapped positions over the course of nearly an entire lap, with completely clean yet thrilling action.

Only a week after claiming what had previously been his best F1 finish in eighth, Schumacher went two places better to finish sixth today, using a medium-hard-hard strategy.

Mario Isola: "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."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg here.

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