We are possibly at the height of excitement of Formula One season after a long, long time. The last race at Baku provided the thrill F1 fans were looking for: Brilliant racing, clash between the drivers, and finally an underdog’s win. If the Austrian grand prix can provide half of that excitement, most F1 fans will take that happily. For the uninitiated, Sebastian Vettel slammed his Ferrari car on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, when Hamilton was well on course for a win at Baku. Both the drivers lost out and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull emerged the winner. Austrian grand prix will be the home race for Red Bull. Can they repeat the heroics here? That is the million-dollar question.
Austrian Grand Prix is one of the traditional races in the sport. But the race had been in hibernation from 2004 to 2012. The circuit at Red Bull Ring, designed in 2013, is considered among the easier circuits to race on. The circuit is shorter than most other circuits – 4.3 km only. Drivers have to negotiate 71 laps to cover the race distance of 306.5 km. Alain Prost have the most wins this circuits (3). Among the current drivers, only the current champion Lewis Hamilton has won here. Only Mercedes has won the newly laid track at Red Bull Ring.
Michael Schumacher won here twice; so did Nico Rosberg. Can Hamilton join that elite and rare club? Our answer will be no, especially if you are asking for online betting purposes. Why? Read on.
Hamilton was the fastest in Austrian Grand Prix practice. He will not get the pole position even if he finishes first in qualifying. Hamilton has been charged with a five-place grid penalty following the forced change in gear box after the Baku race. F1 rule stipulates that gear box can be altered only after six races. Hamilton has broken the rule and will start five positions back from the qualified position.
Vettel too looked solid in the practice sessions even though the vehicle had a wobbly at the start. Vettel has a 14-point lead over Hamilton. If he can take advantage of Hamilton’s penalty, it will further consolidate his position. Red Bull’s Ricciardo and Max Verstappen too would want to consolidate their positions.
Prediction for punting: It will be a battle between Vettel and Hamilton again. If you are looking for a surprise choice, Mercedes’s Valtteri Bottas would be a good choice. Check odds on Valtteri Botta.
Photo Credit: Grand Prix Australia