How Red Bull reversed an old Mercedes advantage in the Styrian GP
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How Red Bull reversed an old Mercedes advantage in the Styrian GP

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With Red Bull toppling Mercedes at another one of the Black Arrows strongholds, momentum is truly with it and Max Verstappen in the 2021 Formula 1 world title fight. But what became clear at the Styrian Grand Prix is Red Bull now also holds a key strength once possessed by its rival that could be pivotal in the championship chase

Austria is far from flat. Indeed, the Red Bull Ring is situated in the Styrian mountains, with the first of two Formula 1 races to take place at the track in 2021 named after the state. The track itself is gorgeously undulating – from the peaks of the Turns 1 and 3 right-handers, sweeping around the rest of the 2.7 miles, ending with a pair of fast rights where the drivers just find it so tricky to stay on the road.

But two things in the second ever Styrian Grand Prix remained firmly flat: the lap chart positions of eventual winner Max Verstappen and runner-up Lewis Hamilton. For each of last Sunday's 71 laps, F1's 2021 title contenders occupied the two leading places in that order, as the championship followed something of a French GP thriller (for Paul Ricard at least) and an enthralling, bruising race in Baku with a much tamer affair this time.

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