Hey there, F1 lover! 👋
The Red Bull Ring never fails to deliver intense emotions, and this weekend was no different!
It kicked off with a burst of excitement on Friday when Verstappen and Leclerc engaged in a thrilling battle for pole position, resulting in an astonishingly narrow margin of less than a hundredth of a second—the closest gap witnessed throughout the entire season.
Surprising rain disrupted Saturday’s sprint race, creating a thrilling atmosphere and paving the way for a captivating Sunday filled with intense showdowns across the three successive DRS zones.
Adding to the drama, track limit penalties took center stage throughout the weekend, injecting a sense of unpredictability during qualifying and even after the race had concluded.
While the usual contenders led the pack, the weekend was brimming with surprises at every turn. So, buckle up and get ready to experience the adrenaline rush as we shift into this week’s The APEX Bite edition.
In today’s email:
- Speedy Race Review: Detailed info, charts, and analysis on the latest happenings at the Austrian GP.
- In-depth Education: The Drivers with the Most Wins in History
- Fast Lane News: A quick and friendly update to keep you in the loop with the latest F1 happenings.
- The British GP: A brief glimpse to prepare you for the upcoming race this week.
Let’s get going…
Speedy Race Review
📉Here’s the global race pace after the Austrian GP
💦Unforgettable Saturday: Was it the Greatest Sprint Race Ever?
Before the excitement of Sunday’s main event, we got a taste of the action on Saturday with a thrilling sprint race under wet conditions—marking the first-ever damp sprint session.
Verstappen started on the lead, but on the slippery track, Perez managed to slither past him at Turn 1, only to be overtaken again at Turn 3. The Dutchman, not very happy with how his teammate treated him at the start, had a short conversation with the Mexican after the race.
While the front of the pack settled with Verstappen in the lead (no surprises there) and an unexpected appearance from Hülkenberg’s Haas in second place, the battles raged on behind them.
Sainz, the Aston Martins, and the Mercedes teams put on a show, engaging in fierce fights, and delivering numerous overtakes that kept us on the edge of our seats.
As the track gradually dried, the drivers further down the order, with nothing to lose, were the first to gamble on dry tires. Russell emerged as the big winner, securing a well-deserved point after being among the early birds to make the switch.
In the end, Verstappen clinched the victory, crossing the finish line more than 20 seconds ahead of Perez, while Sainz celebrated a podium finish. Verstappen took the win, more than 20 seconds behind Perez, and Sainz completed the podium, followed by Stroll and Alonso. – Read More (ES)
🤯Fun Facts of the race: A Glimpse into the Winner and the “Not-So-Lucky” One!
🏅After dominating the entire race, Max Verstappen managed to pull ahead of Charles Leclerc in the final laps, gaining a 26-second lead, slightly exceeding the time lost during the pit stop.
In a bold move to secure both the victory and the fastest lap, the Dutchman took a calculated risk and opted to change tires. This decision paid off, solidifying his triumph and securing the fastest lap.
Some may view this as an overreach, while others see it as pushing the limits of competitiveness. The final judgment is yours to make.
😭On the other hand, Esteban Ocon beat the record for most penalties in a single race, which belonged to the renowned Pastor Maldonado.
The French driver set a new standard by incurring four penalties for exceeding track limits, resulting in a cumulative 30-second penalty in addition to receiving 10 warnings for crossing the track limits.
Ironically, after crossing the finish line, Ocon amusingly remarked, “We haven’t received a single penalty.”
😰The track limits nightmare!
The track limits took center stage all weekend, becoming the talk of the town!
On Friday and Saturday, many drivers found themselves in the track limits’ naughty list, resulting in their qualifying laps getting canceled.
Only Charles Leclerc and Logan Sargent never breached track limits🚫🚧
— Tracing Insights – F1 Analytics 📈 (@TracingInsights) June 30, 2023
The track limits became a hot topic of discussion, with many drivers voicing their complaints. They reported infringements by the drivers ahead, particularly at turn 10.
The drama extended beyond the race itself, with drivers incessantly reported the infractions of the driver ahead, as Aston Martin also joined the fray by protesting the race results, not seeking any specific outcome but rather aiming for consistency in the FIA’s decision-making.
So a general protest, nothing specifically in mind.
If it works and someone gets penalizef, they benefit.
— David | APEX Bite (@apex_bite) July 2, 2023
As a consequence, a flurry of penalties rained down hours after the race, creating a whirlwind of position changes.
In the leading group, Sainz plummeted from fourth to sixth, with Norris and Alonso seizing the opportunity to advance by one place each. Meanwhile, Hamilton tumbled down to eighth, adding another twist to the unfolding narrative.
But is there a remedy for this situation? Can we find a cure, or must we simply come to terms with Austria being like this? – Read More
🔴Ferrari’s Impressive Pace with a Dash of Controversial Strategy
Ferrari took a leap forward in Austria, showing some serious speed and becoming Red Bull’s closest challenger. With Charles Leclerc starting second and Carlos Sainz in third, the Maranello duo had their eyes set on the podium.
Sainz, in the DRS zone, made a daring request over the radio, asking for permission to pass his teammate in a valiant attempt to thwart Verstappen’s escape. But alas, the team’s response was a resounding “Nope!”
Things got a bit bumpy during the Virtual Safety Car period when Ferrari made a double pit stop that resembled a leisurely Sunday drive rather than a high-speed race.
Sainz ended up getting the short end of the stick as he suffered a significant time loss due to not one, but two super-slow stops.
While Leclerc maintained his position in second place, the resilient Spaniard had to fight his way up from sixth and claw his path back to the podium.
He even engaged in a thrilling battle against Sergio Perez, skillfully fending him off for a couple of laps before the cheeky Mexican managed to slip past.
In the end, Sainz crossed the finish line in fourth place, but the track limit penalties felt like a mere slap on the wrist, pushing him down to sixth position. It was definitely not the result he deserved, especially considering how he showcased the SF-23’s competitive pace throughout the Austrian GP.
As for the controversy with the team orders, Fred Vasseur, Ferrari’s team principal, explained the reason for the decision:
I think the strategy was the best the team could do because we achieved our best result of the season. We agreed at the beginning of the race to do this, mainly to avoid someone coming from behind and to help each other to follow Max and score as many points as possible. Of course, when you go behind with DRS you think you are faster, but Charles knew the strategy from the beginning, I think he wanted to put us under pressure. His pace was not far from Charles’, but the strategy was the right one
🟠McLaren updates look promising in Norris’ hands
McLaren’s MCL60 received a snazzy new floor and sidepod package, and Norris wasted no time in capitalizing on its potential in Austria.
McLaren’s new floor and sidepod package 👀
With a stellar qualifying performance of fourth for the grand Prix race and fifth for the sprint race, Norris showed promising speed right out of the gate.
In the race, Norris initially lost ground to Hamilton on the first lap. However, he swiftly turned on the afterburners, displaying an impressive race pace and reclaiming his position by overtaking the seven-time champion.
To Norris’s pleasant surprise, the performance improvement exceeded his expectations:
A very good day for us, honestly. I didn’t expect it to be quite as good. I was a little bit nervous going into the race about what to expect and how we were going to do and what the pace of the car was going to be
👎The Formerly-Silver Arrows Slip to Third Place Among Teams Powered by Mercedes Engines!
The 2023 season has become quite a wild roller coaster ride for Mercedes, who decided to ditch their zero-sidepod concept midway through the season and now appear to be a bit lost in the wilderness of the race track.
While they showed strong competitiveness in Spain and Canada, the Silver Arrows could only muster a measly 11 points from the two races in Austria.
They found themselves relegated to the third spot among the teams powered by their own engines, as McLaren’s Lando Norris snatched 12 points and Aston Martin raked in a surprising 21 points with the dynamic duo of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.
The competition has never been tighter, with Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes, and Norris’ McLaren all jostling for position like a pack of determined racehorses. It’s going to be quite a spectacle to closely monitor their evolution in the upcoming races. – Read More (ES)
The Drivers with the Most Wins in History
With his triumph in the Austrian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has surpassed the legendary Ayrton Senna, securing his 42nd victory and solidifying his position as the fifth driver with the most wins in the illustrious history of Formula 1.
Remarkably, at the tender age of 25, the Dutch prodigy appears destined to shatter all existing records, with an abundance of time still ahead of him.
Now, let’s briefly delve into the list of drivers who currently hold the most victories in the history of F1.
⚪ Lewis Hamilton
103 wins as of Austrian GP
Lewis Hamilton has been at the top of Formula 1 practically since he debuted in 2007 with McLaren.
The young Briton took his first victory at the Canadian Grand Prix that year, engaging in an intense battle against teammate Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen for the championship, ultimately finishing in a commendable second place.
The following season witnessed Hamilton’s sweet revenge as he clinched the championship title, etching his name in the annals of history as the youngest world champion ever.
After accumulating several triumphs with McLaren in the subsequent years, Hamilton made a pivotal move in 2013 by joining Mercedes. This decision paved the way for the team’s golden era during the advent of the hybrid era.
With an awe-inspiring run, he secured an astonishing six championships in the span of seven years, dismantling various records along the way and solidifying his status as statistically the greatest driver in the sport’s history.
With a remarkable total of 103 victories under his belt, Hamilton continues to harbor that insatiable hunger for even more success.
🔴 Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher left an indelible mark on Formula 1, captivating audiences from his early days with Benetton, achieving his first victory in the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix.
The German prodigy swiftly established himself as the successor to esteemed legends like Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, and Alain Prost. With Benetton, he secured back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995, solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with.
Subsequently, Schumacher embarked on a remarkable journey with Ferrari, which had been yearning for victory for over a decade. Though the initial years proved arduous in the pursuit of the championship, the turn of the millennium witnessed the German maestro ushering in Ferrari’s golden era in Formula 1.
From 2000 to 2005, the Kaiser conquered all, ultimately cementing his legacy as the greatest driver in the sport’s history with an incredible seven titles. Retiring in 2006, he left behind a record of 91 wins.
In a brief comeback, Schumacher donned the Mercedes colors for a three-year stint, where he achieved one final podium before bidding farewell to the sport. The Kaiser had truly left an enduring mark on Formula 1.
🟣 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel showcased his exceptional talent by securing an unexpected victory at the rain-soaked 2008 Italian Grand Prix, driving an underdog Toro Rosso, which earned him a promotion to Red Bull in 2009.
In his debut season with the team, the young German emerged as a runner-up, setting the stage for a period of dominance in the following years.
Vettel’s prowess knew no bounds as he clinched an impressive four consecutive championships, etching his name in the history books as the youngest world champion ever.
Following his triumphant stint with Red Bull, Vettel embarked on a new chapter in 2015, signing with the prestigious Ferrari team.
Although he fell short of claiming any titles during his six-year tenure, Vettel emerged as one of the few formidable contenders who consistently challenged the dominance of Mercedes.
Notably, he amassed a significant number of victories, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.
Alain Prost achieved his first Formula 1 wins with Renault in 1981. A significant turning point came in 1984 when he signed with McLaren, propelling him to back-to-back championship triumphs in 1985 and 1986.
“The Professor” starred alongside Ayrton Senna in the most iconic rivalry in F1 history. While Senna won the battle in 1988, Prost bounced back in 1989, clinching a third championship.
In 1990, Prost joined Ferrari but found himself overshadowed by Senna. After a disappointing 1991 season, he made the decision to retire from the sport. However, in a surprising turn of events, Prost made a comeback in 1993, racing for Williams.
It proved to be a remarkable return as he secured his fourth championship and set a new record with 51 victories, the highest at that time.
42 wins as of Austrian GP
At just 17 years old, Max Verstappen was the youngest driver in history to make his F1 debut, with Toro Rosso.
His impressive talent got him promoted to Red Bull in 2016, and in his first race with the “A-team”, at the 2016 Spanish GP, he scored his first victory in an epic way.
After a few years under the shadow of Mercedes’ dominance, the Dutchman has re-emerged as the new dominator of the sport winning back-to-back championships in 2021 and 2022, and on his way to his third in 2023.
As young as he is, he has already surpassed legends like Senna. With all the successes he has already achieved, Verstappen could break all records. It’s just a matter of time.
Fast Lane News
😩 Russell explains ‘frustrating’ Pirelli tyres. – Read More
🤩McLaren will run a special chrome-inspired livery at their home race, the British Grand Prix, as they continue their year-long 60th anniversary celebrations. – Read More
💸 Mercedes head honcho Toto Wolff believes the FIA’s tougher probing of Formula 1 team spending this year will be enough to catch any cost cap cheats. – Read More
McLaren’s Zak Brown says Austrian GP track limits ‘mishap’ must never happen again. – Read More
🤪 Norris warns protesters not to be ‘stupid and selfish’ at British Grand Prix. – Read More
⚡ Red Bull at ‘highest level’ in their history after Verstappen run, Horner claims. – Read More
🟠 Uncovering McLaren’s upgrades: The secrets behind the Austrian Grand Prix surge. – Read More
🟢 Concern for Aston Martin with ‘difficult period’ looming large on F1 horizon. – Read More
💨 How one Sergio Perez comment gave Max Verstappen an unwanted boost. – Read More
British GP 2023
🇦🇹 Scheduled 7 – 9 JUL
Silverstone Circuit in England
1️⃣ Circuit length: 5.891 km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 52
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:27.097 Max Verstappen (2020)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 18 corners with 2 DRS zones
Fun Fact: It’s been 353 days since Ferrari’s last win (2022 Austrian GP)