Formula 1 caravan arrived in Spielberg to Red Bull Ring circuit for Austrian Grands Prix, first of four races in next five weekends in busy summer schedule.
RED BULL RING
The circuit formerly known as Österreichring changed its name and appearance and now goes under the name of Red Bull Ring after Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz bought the track and renovated it. Formula 1 Grand Prix was driven on this track from 1970 to 1987 but after several serious incidents, the track was shortened and renamed as A1-Ring, which in the end fell out from the calendar in 2003 to make way for Grand Prix of Bahrain and China. Formula 1 returned to Red Bull Ring in 2014.
The track is 4.32 kilometers long and has nine turns. Max speed hit at Red Bull Ring is 333 km/h while drivers hold full throttle for about 50 percent of the lap. Sunday’s race will be driven across 71 laps.
Although he won the first four races this season, Nico Rosberg held only nine-point lead in driver’s championship before European Grand Prix in Baku two weeks ago. However, an easy win, followed by more technical troubles for Lewis Hamilton, gave Rosberg a 24-point lead ahead of his Mercedes’ teammate. Mercedes duo has won all but one race so far this season and although Ferrari and Red Bull proved to be bigger threats to Silver arrows this year, they still need a track layout that suit their cars, help from weather conditions, or Mercedes’ mistakes in order to beat them. Nico Rosberg who is looking to win third straight at Red Bull Ring leads the championship with 141 points, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton is second with 117 followed by Ferrari duo, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who have 96 and 81 points.
WEATHER AND TYRES
Tyre manufacturer Pirelli is bringing soft, supersoft and ultrasoft compounds for this Grand Prix. The Red Bull Ring provides great challenges for the teams with big changes of elevation and a number of fast and sharp corners. The track got new asphalt this year so it remains to be seen will there be any changes in the grip amounts. The weather in this mountain region can also be quite unpredictable. The rain is predicted for Friday practices and Saturday qualifications but forecast says we should expect dry race which starts on Sunday at 14:00 Central European Time.