As Formula 1 fans slowly came back down to earth after a thrilling French Grand Prix in which Red Bull’s strategy paid off handsomely for a Max Verstappen victory and the team’s third in a row.
Reigning drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton is wary of the energy drink team’s superior pace witnessed at the Paul Ricard circuit, which will be repeated this weekend in Austria at the Red Bull Ring.
“It’s a power-hungry circuit, it’s got those long long straights, so we could see something similar – obviously with the straight-line speed of the Red Bull,” Hamilton said.
What to Expect in France
The 4.32-kilometre track only has eight corners and is dominated by three long straights, where a maximum speed of close to 330km/h is possible. Over 71 laps, the teams with high-powered engines will have an advantage with good straight line speed giving them an advantage.
Red Bull’s Honda power units seem to have the edge over Mercedes, something we saw in France last weekend, and it’s likely to be similar at their home race.
For Mercedes, they’ll take a hard look at what they did wrong in France and make sure there are no repeats this weekend. Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will do well to maintain pace with the Red Bulls, although that seems unlikely. A lot will depend on strategy and the two drivers working together to thwart Verstappen, who is in a rich reign of form.
There were no red flags or retirees at the French GP, but with the high-speed nature of the Red Bull Ring be prepared for some drivers to overcook things.
In terms of the best of the rest, look out for McLaren duo Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fifth and sixth respectively in France. Ferrari’s inconsistency has been their downfall and it remains to be seen whether they have the pace in order to catapult both drivers into the points this weekend.
Enjoy the race!