2016 Track Preview; Austrian Grand Prix, Speilberg

austria-red-bull-ring

Nico Rosberg wins the European Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second place and Sergio Perez in third place. Williams, Force India and Red Bull managed to get some much needed points from the race.

The Red Bull Ring, formerly known as A1-Ring, is host for the Austrian Grand Prix. The circuit is located near the city of Spielberg in Styria, in the southeast of Austria. The area is harmoniously integrated into the landscape and offers a breathtaking surrounding, a panoramic view as well as a great safety because of long, asphalted run off areas. With lap times of around 70 seconds, it is one of the quickest laps on the Formula 1 calendar.

Red Bull Ring is 4.326 kilometers long with a total of only 8 turns, 6 right-handers and 2 left-handers. The driving direction is clockwise. Due to stop and go passages on turn 1 and 2, the track is very challenging. The downhill sections with the curves are very tricky, especially if the track is wet. Get this right and a driver is well on his way to a competitive lap time. Cars need plenty of power as the few corners are relatively quick and are linked by long straights that require plenty of full-throttle running. Drivers are flat out on the accelerator for 72 percent of the lap.

A race track has existed at the current location in one form or another since 1969. The originally name was Osterreichring and it was a spectacular, scenic and unique circuit. It was totally redesigned by German track designer Hermann Tilke and rebuilt in 1995 and 1996. It was also renamed the A1-Ring. Its length was shortened from 5.942 to 4.326 kilometers, and the fast sweeping corners were replaced by three tight right-handers, in order to create overtaking opportunities. The track was renamed the Red Bull Ring in 2011.

Here’s the facts and figures going into the race weekend…

Facts and Figures:-

  • Austria has hosted the first Grand Prix in1964 at the Zeltweg circuit before being moved to the Osterreichring circuit in 1970 and then to the A1 Ring in 1997.
  • Alain Prost is the most successful driver to win the Grand Prix with seven wins.
  • McLaren are the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with six wins.
  • Race distance: 307.146km (190.848 miles)
  • Number of turns:8
  • Top speed: 315kph
  • Lap record: Michael Schumacher- Ferrari (2003)- 1.08.337

Winners from the last 5 Austrian Grand Prix:- 

  • 2001-David Coulthard
  • 2002- Michael Schumacher
  • 2003- Michael Schumacher
  • 2014- Nico Rosberg
  • 2015- Nico Rosberg

My top five finishers of the Austrian Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the European Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Daniel Ricciardo

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieve in the first eight Grand Prixs, I believe that Rosberg will want to beat Hamilton this weekend again in order to show that he maintain the lead of the championship that he has even though his performance in Baku last week wasn’t what we all expected.

Hamilton will also want to win this weekend and regain the gap that Rosberg has over him while maintain the championship gap over to Sebastian Vettel who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Ricciardo could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and Channel Four also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.45pm and 12.45pm, [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45pm and 12.00pm, [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 1.30pm
  • Channel Four- Saturday (Qualifying Highlights) 5.30pm, Sunday (Race Highlights) 6pm
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