F1: The Austrian Grand Prix Preview
This weekend we experience the 2nd race of the 1st ever 3X’er in Formula 1 history, as the championship series is in Austria for Round 9 of the Y 2018 season.
Lewis Hamilton leads the standings by 14 pts so will the reigning champion make more headway on his closest rival Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel close the gap and go ahead again.
Austria has been dominated by MercedesAMG since returning to the F1 calendar in Y 2014. Nico Rosberg won in Y 2014 and Y 2015 saw Mr. Hamilton on the podium’s Top step in Y 2016 and Mr. Bottas last year.
At the Red Bull Ring the drivers to think of Turns 1 and 3 as action points. The 1st, a tight right hander, which always produces action; and Turn 3, at the top of 60m climb, is a similarly tight hairpin left.
And both corners lead into DRS zones, so this race should be 1 for overtaking.
Mr. Vettel will be keen for a clear start after taking out Mr. Bottas in Turn 1 of the French Grand Prix last weekend. Having surrendered the championship lead to rival Mr. Hamilton on that fateful run.
This is where the serious action begins.
The action starts with practice Friday, 29 June, qualifying taking place Saturday, 30 June and the race on Sunday, 1 July.
Qualifying begins at 2:00p BST Saturday, 30 June, and the race starts at its now traditional time of 2.10p BST.
Circuit Name – Red Bull Ring
Laps – 71
Circuit Length – 2.6 miles
Race Distance – 190.4 miles
Fastest Race Lap – 1:07.411 (Lewis Hamilton – 2017)
Last year recap
Mr. Bottas took Pole with Ferrari’s Vettel 2nd, and Mr. Hamilton, who qualified 3rd, was dropped 5 grid spots for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Several drivers struggled to get their cars off the line, but Daniil Kvyat had made a quick start, which also proved to be his downfall. Having made several positions, Mr. Kvyat locked his front tires into Turn 1 and shunted Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen off the track.
Mr Bottas never looked troubled throughout the race, and the only minor inconvenience came when he re-emerged behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who had yet to pit. With fresh tires, Mr. Bottas cruised to a 2nd career victory, surviving a late attack from Mr. Vettel.
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