Formula1, Motorsport

Austrian GP Preview: ‘Silver vs Scarlet’ duel to take spotlight

Known for being the home to legends Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda and Gerhard Berger, it is also home to the Renault-powered teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso. The Formula One teams now paddock to Austria for the next Grand Prix.

Photo credits: motorsport.retro

Niki Lauda was the first and only Austrian to win the Austrian GP. Even after his horrifying crash in the 1976 German GP, he was still fit enough to win several Grands Prix.

The Austrian Grand Prix made its return to the sport last year after a long hiatus since 2003. During that time, the race was competed on the A1 Ring (which was previously named Österreichring), but after Red Bull purchased the circuit, it was renamed again to Red Bull Ring. In 2014, the ‘Red Bull Ring’ made its inaugural appearance by hosting the Austrian GP after a 10-year absence.

The drivers will have to race on the Spielberg track for 71 laps before claiming their win, but not very much like the other circuits so far, the Red Bull Ring has long straights and a mix of both slow and high speed corners.

Photo credits: commons.wikimedia

It is a fast race and most drivers enjoy racing on the track as it is situated along the Styrian mountains. A contrast to the luxurious lay out in Monaco and tough hair pins in Montreal, the Spielberg track is a comfy drive surrounded by nature and fresh air.


1. Mercedes will dominate
Mercedes has been on the top this season.

Lewis Hamilton has had a pleasant weekend in Montreal by winning his fourth title in the Canadian Grand Prix. Based on his form, there’s a possible chance for the Briton to clinch a hat trick in Spielberg.

As a top driver so far in the season, he has been delivering quite some consistency and there is no reason for him to not continue that this weekend.

If nothing goes wrong, Hamilton could be taking on the centre of the podium alongside fastest lap and pole position. As we said, the circuit has long straights and few corners, it will be a rather speedy race with more overtaking for the drivers that start lower on the grid. For the ones that start at the top three or four, it should be a much different level.

But what about last year’s champion Nico Rosberg? There will be a few grunts here for sure. Will he win? There are odds, but most of them favour Hamilton.

The only frontier that will disrupt Mercedes’ chance of winning is- you guessed it, Sebastian Vettel.

2. Mercedes to keep an eye on Vettel
Having started 18th on the grid back in Montreal, Sebastian Vettel definitely proved himself stake-worthy of a good driver when he managed to place his Ferrari fifth by the end of the race.

Canada was a spinoff for Vettel, not to mention, a miserable start as he bagged the penalty. With the German starting at the far end of the grid, the Mercedes had nothing much to worry about, but it is unlikely for Vettel to encounter such problems again in Austria.

This is the perfect time for the scarlet marques to counter their attack to surpass Mercedes.

With the new upgraded Ferrari engine, Vettel could once again propose a threat to the silver arrows. The main focus will be on Turn 1, where the track is wide and if Mercedes starts of sloppily, Vettel should be able to overtake by then.

3.McLaren woes
It truly is a saddening sight to see McLaren-Honda in such a condition this season. Despite that being said, will they erase their misery?

Sad to say, McLaren won’t be shrugging off their worries any time soon. There could be some races where they could garner points but then it is unlikely for both drivers to do so. It is either a DNF or below ten for McLaren in Spielberg.

From Twitter, the team has confirmed that the new MP4-30 nose box has passed the crash test and will be available to use for the Austrian GP.

Whether does it pass would not be the deciding factor for their win because horsepower plays the major role in the circuit.

Sorry to say, McLaren fans!

4. Will Red Bull make it at Red Bull Ring?
Let’s do a vague prediction for the top ten.

As horsepower plays a significant role to the race, which engine would display a sterling performance? The answer would be Mercedes.

Mercedes-powered teams should be able to make it past the top ten with both drivers and without much trouble. Those teams would be Mercedes itself, Williams and Lotus.

Mercedes aside, it is for sure that Ferrari will be inching their way in the top ten. They will be causing worries for the silver arrows and at least one of them would be on the podium.

If the top ten results do include the four teams, who would be rounding it up? Would it be Red Bull? There is no certain and distinct predictions of what may happen but it is confirmed that Red Bull will be taking engine penalties in Austria. Which means, they will be starting dead last of the grid and with Renault being in such a disheartening state, the chances of the two drivers to leap onto the top ten is almost as paper thin.

That being said, there’s an opportunity for Sauber or Force India will scrape through.
Should the previews be a real happening at the race, we will only find out this weekend. The qualifying will take place this Saturday whereas the main race will commence on Sunday.

Photo credits: The Sun Daily

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