F1 2016: Austrian Grand Prix Preview

Fresh off the back of a commanding victory at the European Grand Prix in Baku, Nico Rosberg heads to the Austrian Grand Prix with high hopes. Having previously won the event in 2015 and in 2014 on its return to the calendar, Rosberg is looking for a hat-trick of wins.

After seeing his lead getting smaller it is once again advantage Rosberg, extending a nine point lead to over 20 points again following struggles for Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan.

Circuit: Red Bull Ring
Number of Laps: 71
Circuit Length: 4.326km
Number of Corners: 9
Lap Record: 1:08.337 Michael Schumacher (2003)
Previous Austrian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 1
Most Successful Team: McLaren (6 wins)
DRS Zones: 2    
Pirelli Tyres: Soft, Supersoft, and Ultrasoft

The Red Bull Ring – formerly the A1 Ring – only features nine corners and these are a mixture of slow, medium and high speed. It is a medium downforce circuit and features a long straight. 66% of the lap is spent at full throttle while brake wear is classed as medium.

Last year Hamilton started on pole position but lost out to team-mate Rosberg early on and had to settle for second. Felipe Massa completed the podium finishers in third place.

Pirelli have brought their Soft and Supersoft compound tyres along with the Ultrasoft. Many teams expect lap records to be broken if the Ultrasoft compound can be used in qualifying. This is currently uncertain as weather forecasts show unsettled conditions and potential thunderstorms during qualifying.

Both Rosberg and Hamilton have new engines for this weekend – Hamilton’s fifth new one of the season meaning he faces a penalty next new engine. Hamilton spent much of the European Grand Prix unable to fix an engine issue due to radio restrictions. He was clearly frustrated and had to settle for fifth place while his team-mate won.

Sebastian Vettel finished as runner up with Sergio Perez securing his second podium in three races. Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth place for Ferrari.

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