Austrian Grand Prix and Max Verstappen comeback.
Max makes a swashbuckling comeback to win the 2019 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix after a disastrous start. Game on. 32 laps down, 39 to go as Max Verstappen rejoined the race after a pit stop 10 laps later than his main competitors. One of those – Lewis Hamilton – had already been sidelined with a wing damaged over a kerb and subsequent delay at his stop fitting a new nose. But that still left two Ferraris and Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes to deal with. The race-leading Charles Leclerc was surely too far out of reach at 13 seconds up the road and apparently just cruising. But this was Max Verstappen in a Red Bull with a tyre grip advantage and a Honda engine that he’d been authorised to ‘run at 11’ for the rest of the race, win or bust..
The most amazing confluence of circumstances and perfect timing was about to unfold to make for a thriller of a race, like it was predestined.
At an altitude of 660 metres, the Red Bull Ring is high enough that there are some serious technical implications. Nothing cools as well, less downforce is produced, the effect on each type of engine varies. Combined with a grunt-rewarding layout – a significant uphill drag, lots of acceleration bursts from slow speed corners – this was all great news for Ferrari, bad for Mercedes.
The Mercedes is packaged so tightly at the rear that in this heatwave, at this altitude, its bodywork needed to be opened up significantly more than that of either Ferrari or Red Bull. The extra area of radiator outlet peeking above the suspension at the base of the engine cover was visibly greater on the Mercedes than its rivals. This not only interrupts an aerodynamically sensitive area around the diffuser, but that hotter air is less dense, thereby less effective in creating the pressure differentials that in turn create downforce.
Information and Image have been shared from an Article by Mark Hughes, published in Motorsport Magazine, on July 1st, 2019. Image Credit: Motorsport Images, 2019.