Formula 1 heads to the Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend for the 11th race of the 2022 season.
Fresh off a chaotic British Grand Prix that saw a first-lap crash, thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing and a first-ever F1 victory for Carlos Sainz, it promises to be an intriguing weekend in Spielberg, which includes a sprint race on Saturday.
sports mail breaks down six things to watch for at the Austrian Grand Prix…
Carlos Sainz claimed his first Formula 1 victory last week at the British Grand Prix
Zhou Guanyu was also involved in a huge crash on the first lap at Silverstone
Can Zhou recover from his horror accident?
Zhou Guanyu was involved in one of the most horrific crashes in recent F1 history last weekend at Silverstone when he collided with George Russell’s Mercedes at the first corner.
His Alfa Romeo slid off the track and flipped over, before crashing through a barrier and crashing into a fence.
At the time, it seemed very likely that the Chinese driver would be seriously injured, such was the severity of the accident, but he managed to escape unscathed.
Zhou’s car overturned and crashed into a fence at the British Grand Prix
Speaking about the incident a few days later, Zhou admitted that it was a very scary experience.
“The next thing I felt was a leak. I didn’t know if it was from my body or the car, so I just tried to turn off the engine,’ he told reporters the day after the accident.
“I knew that if a fire broke out it would be difficult to get out. I don’t know how I survived.
He’ll be back on the starting grid at Spielberg, and fans will be interested to see how he fares after his frightening crash.
He will be back in action in Austria, looking to put that high-speed crash behind him
VERSTAPPEN AIMS TO GET TITLE BID BACK ON TRACK
The British Grand Prix was certainly frustrating for Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman started Sunday’s race in second place behind Sainz and appeared to have passed his rival on the opening lap, only for the Zhou-Russell collision to cause the race to be halted.
It was decided that the proceedings would be restarted with the drivers in their original positions, and when the race resumed disaster struck Verstappen.
His Red Bull suffered extensive structural damage from a shard of debris trapped underneath, which immediately put him out of contention to win.
Max Verstappen had a tough race day at Silverstone, but hopes to bounce back in Austria
He still managed to finish seventh, but that meant he lost points to championship rivals Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen isn’t used to finishing this far down the grid and won’t want a repeat in Austria.
The Dutchman made a perfect start to the weekend by taking pole for Saturday’s sprint race.
History suggests he should do much better this time around, having won three of the last four races at Red Bull’s track.
SCHUMACHER LOOKS TO START
It may have taken a while – 31 starts to be exact – but Mick Schumacher finally got his first F1 points at Silverstone.
The son of seven-time world champion Michael has had to wait patiently to finish in the top 10, with a lot of things going wrong in recent months, including when he crashed into a barrier in Monaco, which made break his car in two.
Still, it all fell into place at the British Grand Prix, and he took advantage of six cars that failed to finish in the points.
Mick Schumacher got his first F1 points last week and was praised by Sebastian Vettel
He even tried to overtake Verstappen in the closing laps, but couldn’t get past the championship leader before the checkered flag.
Still, an eighth-place finish was a huge step in the right direction for the 23-year-old.
Was it just one time or can he start earning points steadily in the future? We should have a better indication of Schumacher’s progress in Austria.
IS HAMILTON READY TO CHALLENGE FOR A VICTORY?
The first half of the 2022 season has been less than ideal for Lewis Hamilton.
After narrowly missing out on his eighth world title last year, he hasn’t been happy with his Mercedes this time around, frequently complaining of ‘porpoising’ and being regularly outclassed by team-mate Russell in the opening weeks of the season. the season.
Some even wondered if he still had in him the thirst to compete at the front of the grid.
However, the last two races have seen him turn a corner. He ended up on the podium either way, and it briefly looked like he might even win at Silverstone in front of his home fans.
Lewis Hamilton has shown signs of improvement in recent races for Mercedes
He eventually had to settle for third place, but he didn’t give an inch in his battle with Leclerc and eventually overtook the Ferrari driver.
Hamilton has won at least one race in every F1 season he has competed in, and he appears to have his mojo back, with Mercedes closing the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari.
A crash in qualifying, however, means Hamilton will have some work to do, with the Briton due to start on the fifth row of the grid in Saturday’s sprint race.
Maybe this could be the weekend he adds to his record 103 race wins.
ALL EYES ON DUO MCLAREN
Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have only finished on the podium once this season in a disappointing campaign for McLaren so far.
Norris comfortably outclassed his teammate, collecting 58 points overall to move up to seventh place overall.
For Ricciardo, 15 points is a poor return for the former Red Bull driver, and he finished 13th at Silverstone out of the 14 men to finish the race.
Daniel Ricciardo is still smiling, but the pressure is mounting on the Aussie
The pair appeared in relaxed mood at the British Grand Prix as they competed in a space jump race ahead of Sunday’s main event, with the Australian jokingly punching the Briton in the face as they headed off towards the finish line.
Ricciardo also received a ‘shoey’ cake for his 33rd birthday over the weekend.
However, the pressure is mounting on Ricciardo to start delivering, and he hopes to keep in touch, or even beat Norris, in Austria.
They will be hoping to bounce back from a difficult qualifying session on Friday, with Norris and Ricciardo starting in 15th and 16th positions.
CAN TSUNODA KEEP CALM AND CONTINUE?
Some athletes use anger to stimulate themselves. This fire in the belly can take them to the next level. Unfortunately for Yuki Tsunoda, this approach doesn’t seem to work.
The 22-year-old has become famous for his outbursts on team radio during races, but he has only collected 11 points this season and sits in 15th place in the standings.
Tsunoda drives for AlphaTauri and has been described by Red Bull chief Helmut Marko as a “problem kid”.
Yuki Tsunoda has lost his temper on team radio several times this season
Marko also confirmed that Red Bull had hired a psychologist to work with Tsunoda to try and help him control his emotions.
If Tsunoda is ever going to make a difference with sister team Red Bull, it looks like he’ll have to learn to stay calm under pressure.
It will be fascinating to see if he starts to show signs of controlling his emotions in Austria.