Austrian Grand Prix: A Birthday Win for Daniel Ricciardo5 min read
Lewis Hamilton is leading the Drivers’ Championship by 14 points as we head to The Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton has momentum on his side after a dominant victory at Paul Ricard last time out.
Last year’s Austrian Grand Prix victor, Valtteri Bottas, has never won has never finished out of the points in Austria and The Red Bull Ring is where he picked up his first Formula 1 podium.
Red Bull’s results in previous years have been far from great, the team have only managed two podium finishes in the last four years at their ‘home’ track. However, this season the Red Bull has looked more comfortable on the power tracks and so they’ll be confident of a good result, perhaps even their first ‘home’ win.
The Red Bull Ring, Home of the Austrian Grand Prix
As always, we look for an early win for the race weekend at practice. Free practice in France was an all Mercedes affair, so seeing both the Mercedes at the top of the market. Both Silver Arrows had brand new power units and they were obviously keen to let them off the reigns from the get-go. Those engines have now been well run-in and now the team could be looking more at longevity of the power units, as opposed to outright pace in practice. For this reason, I’m looking towards Red Bull to light up the timing sheets during practice. Max Verstappen dominated free practice in Montreal and drove a terrific race in France to finish on the second step of the podium, so the obvious choice is to back the young Dutchman to continue his recent good form.
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Lewis Hamilton is seeking his 50th pole position in a Mercedes this weekend and will be looking to drive car number 44 to his 44th career victory. Hamilton failed to take pole at last year’s Austrian Grand Prix and his recent form at the track has not been ideal.
With their current form, it beggars belief that the Red Bull pair are both 20/1 to top the timing in qualifying. The biggest question to me is which one to back? The easy answer is both, as we offer a ‘qualifying winning car’ market and Red Bull are still a tasty looking 12/1
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Sebastian Vettel is yet to win at The Red Bull Ring and himself and Hamilton have only led 30 laps combined at this circuit. So, seeing the pair topping the market is baffling to say the least.
Bottas has more laps at The Red Bull Ring than any other current driver and won last year’s Austrian Grand Prix so, could be an obvious choice for the race coming off the back of back-to-back front row starts.
I, however, think that Daniel Ricciardo will build upon Red Bull’s recent form to grant them their first ‘home’ win. Ricciardo, should he go on to win the Austrian Grand Prix, will become only the third man to win a Grand Prix on his birthday, after James hunt and Jean Alesi.
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