F1: Austrian Grand Prix Preview, Predictions, and How to Watch

Austrian Grand Prix - Red Bull Ring
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After a chaotic race at Silverstone, Formula 1 returns to Austria’s Red Bull Ring for the fan-favorite Austrian Grand Prix.

After a wet qualifying on Saturday at Silverstone, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz captured his first pole position in his Formula 1 career. Then, Sunday’s race was an absolutely crazy one. At the beginning, a collision between multiple cars sent rookie Zhou Guanyu sliding upside down into the tire barrier. That crash also took out Mercedes’ George Russell and Williams’ Alex Albon. The following 50+ laps saw Sainz, Charles LeclercMax Verstappen, and Lewis Hamilton all lead laps before Carlos Sainz finally captured his first victory. But now, it is on to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The doubleheader continues on at Red Bull’s home base in Spielberg, where they have dominated in recent years. However, with both Ferrari and Mercedes bringing upgrades to Silverstone, they have competition hot on their tail. Verstappen has won four times at the Red Bull Ring including wins in both races during 2021. Red Bull additionally comes into the Austrian Grand Prix with a significant performance advantage, as they will presumably have the straight-line speed advantage at a circuit composed of mostly straights.

 The Circuit

The Red Bull Ring, founded as the Österreichring in 1969, started hosting the Austrian Grand Prix in 1970. Located in the Styrian region of Austria, it continued to host the race up until 1987, when it was deemed unsafe for Formula 1 racing. In the mid-90s, the circuit was completely rebuilt with an altered layout and was rebranded as the A1 Ring, named after Austrian mobile phone provider A1. The Austrian Grand Prix returned in 1997, only to leave the Formula 1 calendar once more in 2003. Another rebrand occurred soon after, and the circuit became the Red Bull Ring. In 2011, the Grand Prix returned to the calendar and has been putting on quite a show ever since.

Measuring 4.318 kilometers (2.683 miles) long, and having only eight true corners, the Red Bull Ring serves up the fastest laps of all on the Formula 1 calendar. With three DRS zones on back-to-back straights, overtakes are aplenty in Spielberg. A lap around the Red Bull Ring starts on a decently-sized pit straight into an uphill turn 1 named after Austrian legend Niki Lauda. Then, drivers put the power down again up an even bigger hill on a slightly curved straight, the longest on the circuit. After that, drivers brake hard into Remus, otherwise known as turn three, sending them rightward down the next straight. Turn four brings the drivers into the twisty middle sector, where they maneuver back to the main straight through Rauch and Würth, before being spit back out to the finish line by way of Rindt and Red Bull turns.

Championship Standings

Although he finished seventh at Silverstone, Verstappen still sits comfortably on top of the driver’s standings.

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing – 181 points
  2. Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing – 147 points
  3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 138 points
  4. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari – 127 points
  5. George Russell, Mercedes – 111 points

For a full points rundown, click here.

Race Predictions – Austrian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen dominated both races in Austria in 2021, and with this year’s straight-line speed on his Red Bull, there is no reason why 2022 shouldn’t be much of the same. However, I believe Charles Leclerc will at the very least keep him on his toes throughout the race. Coming in third will be George Russell, taking advantage of the recent upgrades on his Mercedes.

  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Charles Leclerc
  3. George Russell

How to Watch: United States (All Times in EST)

  • Free Practice 1: Friday, 7/8 – 7:25 A.M. on ESPN3
  • Qualifying: Friday, 7/8 – 10:55 A.M. on ESPNU
  • Free Practice 2: Saturday, 7/9 –  6:25 A.M. on ESPN2
  • Sprint Race: Saturday, 7/9 – 10:25 A.M. on ESPN2
  • Rolex Austrian Grand Prix: Sunday, 7/10 – 8:55 A.M. on ESPN2

How to Watch: International

For a full list of Formula 1 broadcasters by country, click here.

Fans can follow along with live timing on the official F1 app, available for free on the App Store and other stores.

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Featured Image Credit: Red Bull Racing