2022 Austrian Grand Prix - Sunday
THE RACE TYRE STORY
- 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.
HOW THE COMPOUNDS MADE THE DIFFERENCE
- HARD C3: There was higher degradation than expected on this compound: probably as a result of teams not having tried it out extensively during free practice. Four drivers selected the hard at the start, including Alonso, whose reasonably long first stint was key to his progress through the field (finishing in the points after starting on the back row).
- MEDIUM C4: Used by the majority of drivers to start the race, with the Ferrari drivers in particular completing a lengthy opening stint on this compound to establish their advantage at the front. The medium set the fastest lap with Verstappen close to the end of the race.
- SOFT C5: Played a key role in the preceding days but not used in the race today, with the high degradation and traction demands of Spielberg making it not ideally suited for long stints.
“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.”
- Prema’s Jehan Daruvala was promoted to victory in the Formula 2 feature race, held in challenging drying conditions, after Trident’s Richard Verschoor was disqualified. Following rain this morning, a dry line with some wet patches emerged by the start of the race, leading to split tyre strategies. A total of 12 drivers started on the slicks, including Verschoor and Daruvala (who started from P11 on the grid) with the rest on wets – including polesitter Juri Vips (Hitech).
- Hitech driver Isack Hadjar claimed Formula 3 feature race victory from pole in a wet race, with all the drivers using the Cinturato Blue full wet tyres. Managing a rolling start and then a safety car, Hadjar negotiated the demanding conditions perfectly as a dry line began to emerge but the full wets proved adaptable to a wide range of wet conditions.