A comfortable victory from pole, an extended championship lead and no signs of slowing down: Max Verstappen is Formula 1’s new championship favourite.

It was a race, but there was no competition: Max Verstappen was dominant in the Styrian Grand Prix, leaving Lewis Hamilton to wonder how he can get back on level terms.

Featuring Christian Menath, F1 managing editor, motorsport-magazin.com.

We apologise on behalf of Sky Sports for the weekend’s many BBW references. Michael’s mum stops listening to the podcast. We launch a hot new conspiracy theory that doesn’t involve Lindsay Fox.

Max Verstappen won a comfortable victory at the first of two races at the Red Bull Ring, and the ease with which he dominated the Styrian Grand Prix had all the hallmarks of a decisive moment in the championship fight.

Max Verstappen has clinically dispatched Lewis Hamilton to claim a dominant victory at the Styrian Grand Prix and steal a march in the championship standings.

Max Verstappen easily accounted for championship rival Lewis Hamilton with a straightforward victory at the Styrian Grand Prix to grow his points lead.

The Dutchman’s victory was effectively sealed with his perfect getaway from pole. He kept the Mercedes driver at bay into the first turn and built a 1.5s buffer in the first three laps, ensuring the Briton couldn’t use DRS to follow him away from the field.

The gap was gently stretched throughout the first stint until Hamilton made the first stop of the pair, on Lap 29, for a set of hard tires. Verstappen had no trouble covering the move, the undercut being far less effective around the short Red Bull Ring.

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Max Verstappen took pole for the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix with a confident performance that had all the hallmarks of a title favourite.

Max Verstappen will aim for a third win in four races after claiming a comfortable pole at Austria’s Red Bull Ring for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen blitzed qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix to put Red Bull Racing on pole at the Red Bull Ring. The Dutchman needed only his first flying lap in the top-10 shootout to set an unassailable time of 1m03.841s ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton attempted to improve with his second flyer, but congestion in the final sector of his warm-up lap left him ill prepared and the Briton could not improve.

Instead it was Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes who emerged as Verstappen’s challenger after a compromised first lap, but though the Finn set three personal best sectors, he was still 0.194s shy of the benchmark.

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Lewis Hamilton broke Max Verstappen’s practice streak by topping the final session ahead of qualifying at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s best time of 1m04.369s was 0.204s quicker than Verstappen’s best effort, although the Dutchman’s final flying lap, attempted in the final 10 minutes when the circuit was at its fastest, was hamstrung by traffic at Turn 3, leaving him 0.155s down in the first sector.

The bulk of Verstappen’s advantage over the weekend to date has been in the power-sensitive first sector, where his Honda power unit is best able to stretch its legs.

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Max Verstappen swept Friday practice for Red Bull Racing, but the Dutchman benefited from Lewis Hamilton having his best lap deleted for track limits.

The Dutchman’s best time of 1m05.412s in his Red Bull was 0.077s slower than Hamilton’s fastest lap, but the Briton was found by the stewards to have run too far wide at Turn 10 and subsequently had the time erased. Hamilton’s next-best time was good enough for only fourth, 0.384s adrift.

His Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, also attracted the attention of the stewards, albeit for the far more serious transgression of spinning in the pit lane.

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Max Verstappen opened the Austrian doubleheader with the quickest time of first practice for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, winner of last weekend’s French Grand Prix, took his Red Bull Racing car to the top of the time sheet with a time of 1m05.910s. Pierre Gasly made the session a Red Bull-back 1-2, albeit with the sister AlphaTauri car, 0.256s further back.

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas followed, the pair closely matched at around 0.45s off the leading Dutchman’s pace.

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Can Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen withstand the expected Mercedes fightback? I preview the upcoming French, Styrian and Austrian grands prix with last year’s podcast guests: In the Fast Lane‘s Matt Clayton, GP Racing‘s Stuart Codling and ESPN’s Laurence Edmondson.