2023 Formula 1 – Race 10: Austrian Grand Prix
Venue: Red Bull Ring, Austria.
Race Date: 2nd July 2023
The Formula 1 circus rolls into Austria, with every team on the grid scheming to catch up with Red Bull and the truly dominant Max Verstappen. The Dutchman cruised to yet another win in Canada last time out and the race for the Driver’s Championship looks to be all but done and the season hasn’t even reached the halfway stage. In a week where Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took a step into F1, investing in Alpine, the Austrian Grand Prix has enjoyed a relatively low-key build up but with the team at the top of the tree, it could be a party atmosphere for everybody in attendance at the Red Bull Ring.
In front of their home fans, it will be all about Red Bull this weekend, but can any other driver upset the form book here in Austria?
Despite only being 10 races into the season, the Driver’s Championship for 2023 looks to be boxed off once more, with Max Verstappen on the cusp of his third consecutive triumph. The lack of challenge certainly won’t concern the Dutchman, who has been imperious this term, combining his lightning quick car with his supreme driving skill. The Red Bull Ring should be rocking for Verstappen this weekend and he will be keen to put in a dominant performance for his adoring fans.
The general party atmosphere surrounding Red Bull is sure to extend to Sergio Perez, who has enjoyed a very good season as understudy to Max Verstappen, but the void remains clear to see. Two race wins for the campaign represents progress for Perez, who is still able to mix it with the big boys and he has a real handle of Red Bull’s excellent car. This could be a pressure-free race for the Mexican and he will be ready to pounce should the chance arise.
The story of Fernando Alonso returning to the top table of Formula 1 has certainly caught the eye and he has always enjoyed racing here at the Red Bull Ring. He hasn’t managed to pick up a race win as yet this year, but he has threatened in plenty of races and how he would love to get off the mark for the season here in Austria.
Top Six Finish
Continually picking up points is the priority for every driver on the grid and the competition will be fierce in Austria this weekend:-
Performances and results have been steadily improving for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes and whilst they will have written this season off from a title perspective, getting to grips with the possibilities of this car will be his priority. Hamilton remains as competitive as ever and he looks to be on the brink of agreeing a new deal with Mercedes, suggesting his time at the top of the sport is far from over. This should be a good fit for Hamilton, who could be bang in the mix for a top 6 finish or better.
The story surrounding George Russell is a similar one, with the Brit starting to show the full extent of what he can do behind the wheel for Mercedes. Whilst the void to Red Bull is far too big to breach, Russell is picking up valuable racing experience and he is very much seen as the future of this transitioning Mercedes team. Conditions should suit Russell and whilst finishing at the top of the podium seems unlikely, a top 6 finish is well within his grasp.
Every driver on the grid has seen their season put into perspective by Max Verstappen but none more so that Charles Leclerc. The man from Monaco has been way off the pace in plenty of races this season and Ferrari clearly have a huge void to fill at the mid-point of the season. Recent performances have suggested that both Ferrari and Leclerc are starting to find some speed and form and this here in Austria will be a real test of both Leclerc’s and Ferrari’s credentials for the remainder of the campaign.
2023 F1 Austrian Grand Prix Best Bets:
Race Winner: Max Verstappen – 11/20
Top Six Finish: Lewis Hamilton – 1/4