Insights News

Austrian Grand Prix: Preview

The teams remain in Austria for the final leg of the season’s first triple-header, with Red Bull looking to further extend their advantage at The Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was able to win his fourth race of the season – Red Bull’s fourth in a row since 2013 – thanks to a flawless weekend. 

The Dutch driver was the fastest on Saturday, claiming pole by being the only man on track to lap in the one minute threes. He took that pace to Sunday, dominating his peers and winning comfortably. 

What is the circuit like?

The Austrian GP, like the Styrian GP last week, also uses the Red Bull Ring, which is the fourth shortest circuit on the calendar at 4.318km (Interlagos, Mexico City, and Monaco are shorter). With only 10 corners – three of which aren’t even worth speaking of – a formula one car is able to complete a lap in just over a minute – the fastest lap time on any track used.

Can we expect anything different? 

It is difficult to expect too much to change a week on. Red Bull are likely to dominate again, while Lewis Hamilton tries to work on damage limitation. 

Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas will probably battle it out for the final place on the podium, but if Perez is close enough to Hamilton, it could even be a one-two for Red Bull. 

There is the possibility that one factor could completely change the race though; weather. 

There is the risk of rain on Sunday, starting in the morning and getting slightly heavier at around 1 pm local time. Whether or not the rain has any effect will be worth monitoring. 

Gasly and Leclerc – Take Two

Last week, at the first corner, Pierre Gasly ended up with a puncture, and Charles Leclerc damaged the right side of his car as the two drivers came together. The collision forced Leclerc to pit, and Gasly retired after further collisions at turn three. Leclerc managed to finish seventh, but could have been much higher if not for the time lost pitting. 

Gasly had looked fast all week, and qualified in sixth. There was an outside chance that he and Lando Norris would be able to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull. If Gasly can navigate the first lap safely, and get to the finish line, a top six finish for the Frenchman is highly likely.  

There will be a few drivers and teams looking to either continue their good work in the last couple of races, or make amends for recent disappointments. After all, in F1, the difference between winning and losing comes down to the smallest margin.

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