2021 Austrian Grand Prix Tyre Performance Analysis: Max Verstappen claimed his third consecutive win and another dominant victory at the Red Bull Ring with a two-stop strategy. The Red Bull driver started on the P Zero Yellow medium tyre before switching to the P Zero White hard for his two final stints. The other two podium finishers – Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris – stopped just once, from medium to hard.
The majority of drivers started the grand prix on the medium tyre, with just four drivers beginning on the P Zero Red soft tyre (both Aston Martin and both AlphaTauri) and two drivers on the hard tyre (Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen).
There was a mixture of one-stop and two-stop strategies seen throughout the race. Eight of the 19 classified finishers stopped twice, with two in the top four.
Temperatures were considerably cooler than they were yesterday, with the race starting under cloudy skies with 24 degrees centigrade ambient and 32 degrees of track temperature.
How Each Tyre Performed
- HARD C3: Used by two drivers to start the race, with Sainz running his starting set for 48 laps before switching the medium. He eventually ended up fifth from 10th on the grid. All the drivers apart from two (who started on this compound) used this for the final stint, with Verstappen claiming the extra point for fastest lap on his final set of hard tyres.
- MEDIUM C4: One of the crucial tyres for this race, which was used by the majority of drivers to start the race, but only two of them to finish it (Sainz and Raikkonen: who both started on the hard tyre).
- SOFT C5: All the four drivers who started on the soft tyre stopped twice as expected, using the hard tyre twice for the second and third stints. The cooler conditions today helped bring out the best in the softer compounds.
Mario Isola: Pirelli Head of F1 and Motorsport
“We are happy that our decision to vary the nominations for Austria resulted in two distinct races, with the second grand prix having a very fast pace and character compared to the first one. Track temperatures today were considerably cooler than they had been during qualifying, which obviously had an effect on tyre wear and degradation, favouring the softer compounds and prolonging the stints. As a result, we saw a good mix of one and two stop strategies; with a one-stopper still requiring some degree of tyre management to maintain performance over the length of each stint, while a two-stopper was the winning strategy. Congratulations to Max Verstappen and Red Bull for a perfect strategic race today, where their pace allowed them to stop twice without ever losing the lead. Now we remain at the Red Bull Ring for a third week to continue the 2022 18-inch tyre testing programme for two days with AlphaTauri on Tuesday and Wednesday.”