An unfamiliar Grand Prix to follow up from an astonishing, drama filled, trip to Canada continues to captivate the audience for this new era of F1.

F1 : Austrian Grand Prix Preview

Canada Grand Prix Recap

The action started on Saturday when Nico Rosberg was able to snatch pole position from the odds on favourite Hamilton and the fun didn’t stop there. As at every race this season, Mercedes were in a class of their own and it was all about the battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, the former was always close but kept calm and bided his time rather than go out all for the overtake. Shortly before the last round of pit stops, both Mercedes drivers reported issues and both had an Energy Recovery System failure which would allow the field to catch up. The pit stops happened and a problem with a Rosberg wheel allowed Hamilton to gain the lead but this only lasted a few corners as Hamilton’s breaks failed. The breaks had overheated during the pit stop because without a working ERS system, the rear breaks were working harder than usual. This extra workload caused Hamilton to retire and everyone expected Rosberg to follow suit, however, although seriously down on power, he was able to show that the Mercedes really is a special car by pulling out of DRS range from Perez each lap so the Mexican couldn’t use his power and DRS to overtake. This went on for many laps with a huge queue forming behind Rosberg until Ricciardo was able to pass Perez and subsequently pass Rosberg with relative ease to take the first win of the season for a team other than Mercedes. If this wasn’t enough, a huge crash between Massa and Perez ended the race under the safety car, fortunately no driver was injured but Perez was handed a five place grid penalty.

Austrian Grand Prix Preview

You have to go back to 2003 for the last Austrian Grand Prix when Michael Schumacher won for Ferrari. Austria is now the closest thing you can get to a home race for a team as the owner of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz owns the circuit and has renamed it the Red Bull ring, being influential in getting Austria back on the F1 calendar. The track is the same as the A1 ring, with a very short and fast lap in the hills with some interesting corners. A narrow track, overtaking could become interesting and obviously DRS will not have been used here before so it will be interesting to see if they have got the balance right.

This is a huge race for Hamilton with his second retirement of the season to Rosberg’s zero. Rosberg is now twenty-two points ahead and Lewis already knows how long it takes to catch up after a retirement even if you win every race. The momentum at the moment is most likely with Nico but on a track neither driver have raced on before, the raw talent of Hamilton may shine through. It certainly looked that way in P2 with Lewis having an almost four tenths gap which is remarkable on such a short lap.

Race Predictions

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Felipe Massa
  4. Fernando Alonso
  5. Sebastian Vettel

A win with Silverstone just around the corner is imperative for Lewis Hamilton and he will be really motivated as he often goes well on new tracks. Williams have been looking increasingly strong and Massa was unlucky with the collision which denied him a potential podium in Canada and it could be really tough for Red Bull to even make the top five in their home Grand Prix.

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on Sky with highlights on the BBC, here are the times:

Qualifying – Green light – 13:00
Sky F1 – 12:00 – 14:45
BBC 1 – 16:45 – 18:00 (highlights)

Race – Lights out – 13:00
Sky F1 – 12:00 – 15:30
BBC 2 – 19:30 – 21:00 (highlights)

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