August 12, 2022

After an absolute thriller at Silverstone, it’s straight to another classic venue to try and build on that momentum as the season comes to the halfway point, so here are some of the topics we’re looking forward to as the teams unfold head towards the Red Bull Ring.

1. Another three-way fight?

Carlos Sainz finally took his first victory under his belt at Silverstone, but there were times in this race when one of the top three teams seemed poised for victory.

Charles Leclerc seemed to have the pace to challenge Max Verstappen even when the Red Bull driver took the lead from Sainz early on, but it didn’t take long for Verstappen to run into trouble and retire from the race. Then it was Lewis Hamilton who entered the frame, putting pressure on the Ferrari pair and meaning that their strategic choices were perhaps not as simple as they might have seemed.

TREMAYNE: Why Sainz, Leclerc and Hamilton all deserved to triumph in the British Grand Prix

Sergio Perez also recovered from a damaged front wing early on to join the battle, and while it was Sainz who emerged victorious, it was far from clear that would be the case when the safety car came on. late entry into the pits.

Ferrari and Red Bull will be confident of being in the fight again this weekend, but with Mercedes claiming they have taken another step forward with their upgrades, there is every chance that their form at Silverstone is also retained.


Could we see another three-team battle for victory at the Red Bull Ring

2. More thrilling races

There were so many memorable moments from the British Grand Prix, but one that will live long in the memory is the battle between Leclerc, Perez and Hamilton in the closing stages.

Silverstone is a track that has several high-speed corners and direction changes that require good levels of downforce – and we’ve seen in the past that once one driver closes in on another, they can have struggling to make a move if the cars are closely related in terms of performance.

READ MORE: AlphaTauri pair reflect on ‘unnecessary’ and ‘avoidable’ collision after pointless outing at Silverstone

That certainly wasn’t the case last weekend, when the new era of cars was shown at its best, with drivers able to battle for multiple corners and backtrack on each other.

Austria experienced the same in the past, even with the older generation of cars, as a pass at turn 3 could then be answered at turn 4, but there was still a heavy reliance on DRS to keep the cars at proximity. Signs from Silverstone are that drivers should be able to stick with each other in the middle and final sector, and longer battles may well be on the cards.


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Expect another great racing weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix

3. McLaren seeks to respond

Ahead of the final race, we highlighted the increasingly tight battle for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship between McLaren and Alpine, and it only came closer as Fernando Alonso edged out Lando Norris for fifth at Silverstone. , their teammates failing to score.

Norris held that position until the end of the safety car, and Alpine’s correct pit call saw Alonso move ahead of the young Briton, meaning the gap between the two teams narrowed to six. points.

READ MORE: Hamilton ‘would have won’ British GP without safety car, says Wolff as he expects ‘difficult’ Austrian weekend

But McLaren has fond memories of the Red Bull Ring, having been on the podium here with Norris in 2020 and again in 2021, and team principal Andreas Seidl is confident the current car will also be suitable for the Austrian circuit.

Perhaps the only key in the works from a McLaren perspective is the perspective of Alpine, who also believe they will have a car that likes the layout this weekend. But if both are correct, there could be another big fight between the two teams, who could also be a little closer up front than usual.


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McLaren is confident its car will perform well at the Red Bull Ring, where it has finished on the podium two years in a row.

4. Return of the Sprint

With races back to back at the moment, there will be no monotony when it comes to the race weekend format, as we welcome the return of Sprint to Austria.

For anyone who needs a recap: Friday there will only be an hour of practice before the teams head straight to a normal qualifying session – but to be held on Friday evening. This session’s standings will set the grid for Saturday’s Sprint, a shorter race that offers points up to eighth place.

READ MORE: How does the F1 Sprint work? The format explained for 2022

As well as the points, the Sprint finish order will also set the grid for the Grand Prix itself on Sunday, meaning drivers will have a chance to catch up if their Friday doesn’t go to plan. But there is also the risk that a good starting position on Saturday will not translate into a similar position on Sunday if the Sprint does not go as planned.

This is the second of three Sprint events this season (the first having taken place at Imola) and offers drivers the chance to score more points than a normal weekend – up to a maximum of 34 – while providing fans with competitive action from day one of racing. After last Sunday, we will absolutely do more races.


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Max Verstappen can expect plenty of support at the Red Bull Ring as seen in previous years

5. A sea of ​​orange

And fans enjoying the extra competition this weekend in Austria will largely be wearing just one color: orange.

Max Verstappen enjoyed overwhelming support at the Red Bull Ring for several years, and even the addition of the Dutch Grand Prix last season did not dilute the sea of ​​fans who filled the stands in national colors to show their support for their hero.

READ MORE: Ross Brawn on ‘fabulous race’ at Silverstone, his relief after Zhou crash and why we’re truly entering a new era of F1

Of course, Verstappen arrives in Austria this year as the defending champion with a comfortable lead in the standings, and he will also be one of the favorites for victory given the way he dominated the two races that have taken place. on this site last year. .

Whether or not things go well for Verstappen, however, Dutch fans always know how to have a good time and create a fun atmosphere throughout the weekend.

Austrian GP 2021 – Relive last year’s race at the Red Bull Ring