Austrian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips

Leigh Copson:

The Austrian Grand Prix is upon us and has picked out our favourite bets for the race at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, July 5 2020.

Austrian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips

The 2020 Formula 1 season finally gets underway this week, with Austria playing host to the first race of the delayed season. All eyes will be on defending world champion Lewis Hamilton as he embarks on his quest for another F1 crown, but will he make a flying start to the defence of his crown or will a suitor to the championship emerge to stake their claim?

It would be very easy to go with Hamilton and Mercedes – they are proven commodity that has dominated the sport for several seasons now. However, the British ace is not renowned for making winning starts and he does not have a sparkling record at the Red Bull Ring. Hamilton has not begun a season with a victory since his 2015 success in Australia and he has not been victorious at this circuit since taking the chequered flag here in 2016. In fact, since that day he has not even managed to make the podium at this track. So while the Mercedes man will always be a tempting Race Winner option, I have to overlook him here.

Instead my backing goes to Max Verstappen. This is Red Bull’s home circuit and home comforts have certainly agreed with the Dutch driver in recent years because he has taken the honours in the Austrian Grand Prix in each of the past two seasons. This year Verstappen will be boosted by an upgraded power unit and improved aerodynamics on his car and he will be desperate to lay down a marker as he bids to finally go from potential world champion to the number one man in F1. He can do just that by claiming the top spot on the podium this weekend, drawing first blood in the title race.

I am also tempted by the prospect of Valtteri Bottas being on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s race. Since signing on with Mercedes he has enjoyed moderate success here, turning pole position into victory in 2017 before securing pole position for the race again 12 months later. Last year he outperformed Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring, finishing third, so history clearly shows that he is more than capable of upstaging his team-mate and he is certainly capable of being in one of the front two slots after Saturday’s qualifying session.

Austrian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips: Circuit Guide

The Austrian Grand Prix has been part of the Formula 1 calendar since 1963 – on and off – and it has taken place at this venue in Spielberg, Styria since 1970. Originally known as the Osterreichring before being renamed the A1-Ring in 1997, this circuit has been known as the Red Bull Ring since it ended a 10-year exile by returning to the Formula 1 schedule in 2014. The circuit has undergone a host of changes over the years, with the biggest coming between 1995 and 1996 when the venue was completely rebuilt due to safety concerns. Fast sweeping corners were replaced by tight bends a long straight was added to provide further opportunities for drivers to overtake. Mercedes have dominated the circuit since the Austrian Grand Prix returned to the calendar, winning four of the six races since 2014, but only one active Formula 1 driver has won this race on more than one occasion – Max Verstappen thanks to his back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019. Alain Prost is the most successful driver in the history of this circuit having won the Austrian Grand Prix three times (1983, 1985 and 1986).

Location: Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria
Number Of Laps: 71
Lap Length: 2.683 miles
Lap Record: Kimi Raikkonen, 1min 6.957 seconds (2018)

Austrian Grand Prix Winners

1963 Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax Zeltweg Airfield
1964 Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari Zeltweg Airfield
1970 Jacky Ickx Ferrari Osterreichring
1971 Jo Siffert BRM Osterreichring
1972 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Osterreichring
1973 Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Osterreichring
1974 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Osterreichring
1975 Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Osterreichring
1976 John Watson Penske-Ford Osterreichring
1977 Alan Jones Shadow-Ford Osterreichring
1978 Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Osterreichring
1979 Alan Jones Williams-Ford Osterreichring
1980 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault Osterreichring
1981 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra Osterreichring
1982 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford Osterreichring
1983 Alain Prost Renault Osterreichring
1984 Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Osterreichring
1985 Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Osterreichring
1986 Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Osterreichring
1987 Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Osterreichring
1997 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault A1-Ring
1998 Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes A1-Ring
1999 Eddie Irvine Ferrari A1-Ring
2000 Mika Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes A1-Ring
2001 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes A1-Ring
2002 Michael Schumacher Ferrari A1-Ring
2003 Michael Schumacher Ferrari A1-Ring
2014 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Red Bull Ring
2015 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Red Bull Ring
2016 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Red Bull Ring
2017 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Red Bull Ring
2018 Max Verstappen Red Bull Red Bull Ring
2019 Max Verstappen Red Bull Red Bull Ring