Max Verstappen has the Formula 1 world title in his hands. It's not a position the Red Bul superstar is used to, nor is he likely to go unchallenged between now and the end of the campaign in December, but he has cemented his place as the man to beat ahead of the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix.


The Dutch superstar produced a commanding, mature display at the Red Bull Ring last week for the Styrian Grand Prix and the message from Christian Horner this week, on the same circuit, will be simple: do the same again.

Mercedes have conceded they won't be giving Lewis Hamilton the car upgrades he is hoping could radically shift the momentum of the title battle in the coming weeks. That means it's a perfect time for Verstappen to make hay as the season approaches the mid-point.

They are comfortably the two fastest on the grid right now though, with no other contenders rising through the midfield to challenge the elite. Red Bull ace Sergio Perez has been a superb teammate for Verstappen so far, though tensions have continued to simmer between Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes in recent weeks.

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When is the Austrian Grand Prix?

The Austrian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 4th July 2021.

Check out our full F1 2021 calendar for the list of dates and upcoming races.

What time does the Austrian Grand Prix start in the UK?

The race begins at 2pm on Sunday 27th June 2021.

We've included the full schedule for the rest of the weekend, including practice and qualifying times below.

Austrian Grand Prix schedule

Friday 2nd July (from 10am on Sky Sports F1)

Practice 1 – 10:30am

Practice 2 – 2pm

Saturday 3rd July (from 10:45am on Sky Sports F1)

Practice 3 – 11am

Saturday 3rd July (from 1pm on Sky Sports F1)

Qualifying – 2pm

Sunday 4th July (from 12:30pm on Sky Sports F1)

Race – 2pm

How to watch Austrian Grand Prix on TV

The Austrian Grand Prix will air live on Sky Sports F1.

All races will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event throughout the season.

Sky customers can add individual channels for just £18 per month or add the complete sports package to their deal for just £25 per month.

How to live stream the Austrian Grand Prix online

Existing Sky Sports customers can live stream the race via the Sky Go app on a variety of devices.

You can watch the Grand Prix with a NOW Day Membership for £9.99 or a Monthly Membership for £33.99, all without signing up to a contract.

NOW can be streamed through a computer or apps found on most smart TVs, phones and consoles. NOW is also available via BT Sport.

Austrian Grand Prix preview

With Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft

Will this race be any different to last week?

DC: The tyre compounds are different – they've gone one step softer – so that will have a bearing on the race. And the conditions will be different as well. It might not be quite as hot, there is still the forecast of rain, and a track is a living, breathing thing, so it's never the same from one weekend to the next. Having different tyres will make it a different race. It was probably just a one-stop for Lewis and Max at the weekend, but the tyres push it more to a two-stop race. That gives us a bit of a bit of opportunity for variables.

What we're seeing is that Red Bull have a car that is simply better than Mercedes' and Max can drive it to victory without getting flustered – and he's not getting flustered. He's looking very much at home and very cool and calm and chilled, as he should be at the moment. He's the man that they've all got to try and catch.

Have Mercedes given up on 2020?

DC: Mercedes have not given up. There are upgrades in the pipeline but there's nothing major. There'll be a bigger upgrade for Silverstone but there's nothing major coming through. What they've had to do with the cost cap and restrictions on wind tunnel time is they've had to prioritise.

They've had to say: "Do we put a lot of effort into winning this year's title? Or have we got to put our resources into next year and beyond in a bigger way?" And that's the one they've chosen. And you can understand that because if they get it wrong at the start of next year, it could be three or four years before they catch up again.

Max and Lewis – the best drivers on the grid?

DC: The only thing that brought Lewis Hamilton closer to his teammate in the race last weekend was the fact that he made a late stop, quite frankly. They are the two best drivers on the grid, of that there is no doubt. They're showing just how good they are by the way they're getting everything out of those cars.

You could argue that those not in a Red Bull or a Mercedes are at a disadvantage to try to compete with because they're not in the two best cars but Valtteri was swept aside by his teammate once again.

I know he got the penalty but it was only the fact that Sergio Perez had a slow stop that got Bottas ahead of him and he didn't make inroads on his teammate Hamilton. Mercedes need Bottas fighting because at the moment they've got Verstappen in a Red Bull and he's very hard to catch. They need two cars chasing him, not one.


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