Lewis Hamilton arrives at the Styria forest region as the undisputed favourite after taking his fourth consecutive victory, and sixth of the year, in France last weekend.
Not even his disheartened teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who is currently 36 points behind the Briton in the standings, can keep up to his pace.
The overwhelming superiority of Mercedes, which has won every single race and taken a total of six 1-2s in eight races, has completely crushed and demoralised all other rivals. As if this wasn’t enough, the German Scuderia also has a habit of winning in Spielberg having done so in four of the last five occasions.
Could Ferrari get their first win of 2019 at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix? On the other hand, Red Bull will race at home and their driver Max Verstappen with his compatriots supporting him. And McLaren want to lead the best of the rest over Renault.
Ferrari need a victory
Ferrari arrives at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix immersed in a black hole from which they don’t seem to be able to get out. Perhaps the only consolation is remembering the 2018 edition when both German cars had to abandon the race.
It is now clear that the SF90 is significantly inferior to the W10, particularly in the most sinuous of tracks. The performance of the four-time German champion, Sebastian Vettel, has also been tremendously disappointing. He classified seventh and finished fifth at the Paul Ricard.
Vettel also seems to have capitulated before his own misfortune. He is 76 points behind the British leader, a disadvantage virtually impossible to reverse.
Technically, the power and top speed required on the steep climbs and long straights of Spielberg could play in favour of the Maranello team. The German car, however, seems to be able to adapt to any layout and might just come out on top of the Prancing Horse once again.
Red Bull, to race at home
Red Bull is expected to feel very comfortable at their Austrian F1 Grand Prix and will try to defend their 2018 victory. It will not be easy as the 3rd upgrade of the RB15 engine, which was first launched at Le Castellet, is not producing the expected power increase. The lack of power could be a great handicap at the Styria track, where a strong engine is crucial to push the car up the steep climbs.
Only the miraculous touch of Max Verstappen could produce the feat that he performed last year. The time of the lap at the Spielberg circuit is the shortest of all of the season’s venues: Just arround a minute. The race thus becomes a lot more compressed and any little mistake can be decisive.
The Red Bull #33 will also have the extra push of the enormous and unconditional following of their compatriots. The Austrian F1 Grand Prix attracts many fans from the Netherlands, so much so that for Red Bull this is considered their home race.
McLaren, the best of the rest
McLaren aims to consolidate its position as the best of the rest and continue producing good results at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix. In France, Carlos Sainz finished sixth keeping his seventh position in the standings and Lando Norris got a very honourable ninth position.
Their objective at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix is to keep on making ground against Renault and to get as close as possible to the invincible trio of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
There is bound to be a good fight with their adversaries from Enstone of whom they are only 8 points ahead of them in the Constructor’s standings. Perhaps they will also have to deal with Alfa Romeo, reborn after Kimi Raikkonen’s seventh position in France.
Austrian F1 Grand Prix stats
- The first Austrian F1 Grand Prix of Formula 1 took place at the Österreichring Circuit in 1970 and it was won by Jackie Ickx (Ferrari).
- There has been a total of 31 editions between the circuits of Zeltweg (1), Osterreichring (18) and Spielberg (12).
- Alain Prost is the most successful driver with a total of 3 wins.
[ kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0v0_1HPZXA” ]
4. McLaren remains the team to have accrues the most triumphs in Austria with 6, followed by Ferrari (5) and Lotus (4).
5. The Spielberg circuit is 4.319 meters long with 6 right-hand turns and 2 left-hand ones.
6. The race is set to last 71 laps and 306.452 kilometres.
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) set the fastest in-race lap in 2018 with a time of 1:06.957.
8. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) got the fastest pole position last year with a time of 1:03.130.
Images of ‘Austrian F1 Gran Prix’: Red Bull & McLaren.