The F1 World Championship is gearing up for this weekend’s (June 25-27) first round of its Austrian double-header. The two consecutive races
were arranged to replace the Canadian GP, which had to be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Red Bull Ring
track (Spielberg) will therefore open its doors this Friday to host the Styrian GP
, eighth round of this season’s calendar
Following their amazing win in France, Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing will be defending their leadership in both the Drivers and Constructors’ standings. The Dutch racer is ecstatic after taking his third triumph of the season (Monaco, Azerbaijan & France). stretching his lead over Lewis Hamilton to 22 points.
Similarly, his teammate Checo Pérez is going through a fantastic time. His performance has improved dramatically over the last two weeks, whith a victory and a third place. Above all, the Mexican driver has become a great asset for his team and a nightmare for Mercedes.
Mercedes, to win at Red Bull Racing´s home
Meanwhile, the Germans are experiencing the complete opposite story. The seven-time champion hasn’t won since the Spanish GP as he helplessly witnesses how his W12 is no longer the absolute ruler of the track.
To make things worse, Valtteri Bottas’ contribution has been considerably lower than what is expected of him. His performance has visibly declined during the current campaign, a season so equal that every small step backwards could tip the balance one way or another.
He is currently in fifth place with 59 points, 60 behind Hamilton! and 72 less than Verstappen. On top of that, the Red Bull Ring tends to be more favourable to the blue cars. Still, the ones from Brackley did win both of the races disputed here in 2020, the second one with ha Hamilton led 1-2.
Battle for 3rd place: McLaren vs Ferrari
are engaged in an intense battle for third place
behind the two leading squads. The Britons have now recovered that coveted position thanks to the four and five places of Lando Norris
and Daniel Ricciardo
, who improved his performance, and to the debacle of the Italians
The team from Working has 16 points more than the one from Maranello, who is now on a quest to shorten that distance. The fast level of degradation of the SF21 tires, however, could play against the boys of the Prancing Horse once again. As a matter of act, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished outside top-10 at the Paul Ricard.
Alpha Tauri vs Aston Martin
The competition in the midfield is every bit as exciting. Alpha Tauri leads Aston Martin by five points with Alpine potentially joining the party soon.
The team led by the Spaniard Fernando Alonso has experienced some improvement over the last few appointments, a trajectory they should be able to consolidate during the Austrian 1-2. At the very least, Alonso seems to be getting a better rapport with the A521.
The short Spielberg track is just 4.318 meters long and has ten corners (seven right-handed and three left-handed). Despite its seemingly simple design, the Austrian is and old school, and very challenging track. It’s location, 789.4 meters above sea level will put the engines and aerodynamics of the cars to the test.
One of its trademark features is its significant undulation with a maxim upward slope of 12% and a downward slope of 9.3%.
Also, the 90 degree bends demand a great level of power, traction and stability from the cars. The bendiest sector will further test their aerodynamic efficiency and the two long straights will do so with their top speed.
Images of Styrian GP: F1.com