As the middle leg of an F1 triple-header, the Styrian GP returns to the F1 calendar for a second consecutive year as part of the COVID-19-enforced changes.
After Max Verstappen’s victory at the French GP, as he reeled in and overtook Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap, the Red Bull driver leads the standings by 12 points from the defending F1 world champion.
Red Bull enjoyed a near-perfect race at Paul Ricard with Sergio Perez completing the podium after also catching Valtteri Bottas late on, who lost out on strategy to fade to fourth place.
McLaren also produced another strong showing with Lando Norris taking fifth place just ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in sixth, to see the Woking based squad regain third place in the F1 world constructors’ championship standings from Ferrari.
The Italian manufacturer endured a tough race in France with both Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc dropping out of the points positions, struggling with front tyre temperature management, meaning both drivers faded during the race.
F1 is gearing up for back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring, with the Austrian GP taking place next week to complete the triple-header.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B , Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
What is the Styrian Grand Prix?
Due to race postponements and cancellations, F1 bosses have tweaked the 2021 calendar amid the ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the cancellation of both the Canadian GP and Turkish GP – as well as the previous cancellations of the Chinese GP and Singapore GP plus the postponement of the Australian GP – F1 has reshuffled the calendar to accommodate a second race in Austria.
Last week’s French GP was moved forward by one week to make space for back-to-back Austrian races and both races at the Red Bull Ring will use the same format and schedule.
Why is it called the Styrian Grand Prix?
With each F1 grand prix requiring different names across a season, the series is familiar with using unusual race titles over the years, while it became a particular feature during the reshaped 2020 campaign.
Imola has hosted the Italian GP, the San Marino GP and the Emilia Romagna GP during its time on the F1 calendar, while other races have also been given unique names, such as Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas.
In 2020, the Red Bull Ring host the first-ever Styrian GP when it ran the second race of its double-header – but for 2021 the races have swapped around to see the Styrian round, named after the region the circuit is located in, take place one week before the traditional Austrian GP.
Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri AT01, leads as Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF1000, collide on the opening lap
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
2021 Formula 1 Styrian GP session timings
F1 will continue to run its revised weekend schedule for 2021, with shorter practice sessions on Friday. Two free practice sessions lasting 60 minutes each (rather than the previous 90-minute sessions) are followed by an additional practice session also running for one hour on Saturday morning.
The Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout-style qualifying format is also being retained on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid for the Styrian GP on Sunday.
F1 has also ditched starting races at 10 minutes past the hour mark for the 2021 season, with all races starting at the top of the hour.
Friday 25th June 2021
Free Practice 1: 10:30am-11:30am BST (11:30am-12:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)
Saturday 26th June 2021
Free Practice 3: 11:00am-12:00pm BST (12:00pm-1:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)
Sunday 27th June 2021
Race: 2:00pm BST (3:00pm local)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, leads Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, and Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16, at the start
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
How can I watch the Styrian GP?
Channel: Sky Sports F1 HD
Channel numbers – Sky: 406
Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 506 (Sky Sports F1 HD)
Sky Sports has live and exclusive broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom with the build-up to the F1 race starting from 12:30pm ahead of lights out at 2:00pm.
When can I watch the highlights?
· Channel: Channel 4
· Start time: Saturday qualifying 6:30pm, Sunday race 6:30pm
Channel 4 has the rights to show Styrian GP highlights of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
Will it be on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra stations.
Coverage of the Styrian GP will start at 2:00pm BST on BBC Radio 5 Live, available on both DAB radio and the BBC Sounds app.
Weather forecast for the Styrian GP
Spielberg is set for mixed weather conditions throughout the race weekend, with a hot and sunny spells broken up by clouds and a strong chance of thunderstorms. Across the weekend highs of 27 degrees Celsius are predicted – around two degrees cooler than the hottest conditions at the French GP.