PREVIEW: Austrian Grand Prix - Start times, odds and predictions

26-06-2019 12:05 | Updated: 26-06-2019 12:57
by Joseph Tyrrell
General
PREVIEW: Austrian Grand Prix - Start times, odds and predictions

Formula 1's first doubleheader of the season concludes this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix following another routine victory for Mercedes in France. Can Ferrari close the gap? Will Mercedes' dominance continue? And will McLaren replicate their impressive French form?

Flashback

12 months ago it was far less plain sailing for Mercedes in Austria. A double retirement for the Silver Arrows meant Max Verstappen was able to take a surprise win for Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen finished second and Sebastian Vettel was able to come home in third to take the World Championship lead.

Mercedes' weekend had started brilliantly, winning two of the three qualifying sessions and most importantly locking out the front row in a race they were expected to dominate. However, a disastrous start for pole sitter Bottas meant he dropped from first to fourth on the opening lap before recovering for P2. Bottas was forced to retire on lap 14 with a gearbox failure and then 50 laps later Hamilton followed suit meaning Mercedes suffered a double retirement for only the third time since they returned in 2010 and the first since the infamous 2016 Spain incident.

That allowed Verstappen to steal the win, his first of the season with Raikkonen and Vettel completing the podium. Vettel's P3 was enough to secure a return to the top of the Drivers' Championship by just one point.

Further down the field Haas made a statement of intent, coming home in P4 and P5 whilst Esteban Ocon recovered from his disastrous home Grand Prix in France, to finish sixth. Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson completed the point scoring places. Only 14 drivers completed the race with Lance Stroll bringing up the rear in 14th place.

What to expect

After a mixed Canadian Grand Prix for Mercedes despite another win, it was business as usual in France for the defending champions with their sixth one-two of the season. Despite Ferrari bringing more upgrades to the race at the Red Bull Ring, they face an uphill battle to beat Mercedes with the leaders having a better all-around package than the Scuderia.

Mercedes had won four in a row until last season's disaster and the 2017 winner, Bottas is normally strong in Austria. On pole in 2018 and winner a year earlier, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him on top again.

One of the more fun tracks on the calendar the Red Bull Ring features a long straight out of turn one before sector two and three feature a big uphill section followed by a series of quick downhill corners.

Schedule

Friday 28th June

FP1 - 10-11:30 AM

FP2 - 14:00 - 15:30 

Saturday 29th June

FP3 - 11-12 AM

Qualifying - 14:00-15:00

Sunday 30th June

Austrian Grand Prix - 14:10-16:10

Race winner betting odds (Odds checker)

Lewis Hamilton - 4/5

Valtteri Bottas - 10/3

Sebastian Vettel - 11/2

Charles Leclerc - 13/2

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