Formula 1 Grand Prix Preview: Austria


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F1 Grand Prix Preview: Austria

FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2015

Round 8

Date: 21st June 2015

Circuit Name: Red Bull Ring

First Grand Prix: 1970

Type: Permanent, purpose built race track. Undulating and scenic.

Circuit Length: 4. 326 km

Laps: 71

Lap Record: 1:08.337, Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2003 (2003)

Tyre Allocation: Soft (Yellow) and Super Soft (Red)

DRS Zones: Two (Pit straight and the back straight of sector two)

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2014

Pole Sitter: Felipe Mass (Williams Mercedes)

Winner: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Fastest Lap: Sergio Perez, Force India – Mercedes: 1:12.142 on lap 59

Red Bull Ring

Hallo! Willkommen in Österreich! Yet again, Bernie Eccelstone has arranged for fans, teams and drivers a “substitute” for the German Grand Prix which will be sorely missed this year. It seems as though commonalities such as a shared language is enough to fool fans into believing that Austria can represent Germany, just as Montreal and Monaco can suffice as a “French Grand Prix”.

But this isn’t a tragedy, no – not by any means at all. Austria is home to one of the most classic races on the calendar and Formula One is lucky to have it back. Niki Lauda, Jochen Rindt and Red Bull Racing have all come out of the petite European country.

Embraced by the surrounding Alps, the little city of Spielberg hosts the Austrian Grand Prix. It’s once fast flowing layout where drivers found themselves smoothly twisting around the countryside, caressing curves and manipulating their cars up, over, through and down the rolling hills of the Red Bull Ring, has since been shortened.

The track distance has been reduced, with each sector beginning or ending in a sharp ninety degree turn. It isn’t technical, but the undulations provided by Gneiss rock that lies below the grassy slopes gives a whole new spectacle that modern F1 fans won’t be used to.

Sector One. Like the prelude of a rollercoaster, drivers travel sharply uphill to the first corner. Spotting the apex isn’t easy, so their trust in the car will be important. Commitment is key. From there, they continue to travel upwards to a similar corner that will once again thrust them right to begin the second sector.

Sector Two. As drivers begin their gradual descent back to the pit straight, they are yet again faced with their third right-turn in succession, once again of a similar nature, this time only downhill. As the track falls away from you, understeer is nemesis. Getting ready for your first left-turns of the track, we still travel downhill, throwing the car into the next two bends they are taken almost flat out.

Sector Three. The briefest sector of the track, it is all about carrying the best momentum possible through the final complex of corners. Keeping in mind that corner exits are the most important factors, throttle control and a carefully chosen line are vital.

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What to Expect: The Top 5 Teams

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton claims he is faster than ever this year. Nico Rosberg just doesn’t seem to have an answer. They seem set up for another one-two unless the Prancing Horse can do something about it.

Ferrari: The red camp is more optimistic than ever. Vettel continues to dominate over Raikkonen and has never seemed so relaxed, but determined in his career. He just smiles.

Williams: Aiming for the pace they had last year it’s hard to believe that Felipe Massa scored his maiden Williams pole twelve months ago already. Valtteri Bottas is still keen to prove his worth, but will Ferrari notice as they prepare a test for their teen protégé this weekend?

Lotus: Welcome, team Enstone! The unsung heroes and dark horse of the year, Lotus has built strength upon strength this season and is welcomed back into the top five by all. Their drive this weekend should be consistent within the mid-top-ten range.

Red Bull: Slowly being eclipsed by smaller teams with smaller budgets, the energy drink empire seems to be on shaken ground this year. Their poor form is consistent as their cars are unreliable. They should filter in to the top ten with ease, but will struggle to challenge for a podium finish.

Revs for thought

Dane

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on June 17, 2015, in Grand Prix in Preview and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Can’t wait for the race. Check out my new blog when you get a minute.

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