The F1 field heads for picturesque Austria this coming weekend for the ninth Grand Prix of the season.
The season may still be short of its midway point but it already looks like it’s race over for Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton 77 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel on the Drivers’ standings and Mercedes 140 points clear of Ferrari on the Constructors’ standings as we head for Austria.
Austrian Grand Prix
Sunday 30 June
Red Bull Ring
To Win Race Outright
Lewis Hamilton 66/100
Valtteri Bottas 3/1
Sebastian Vettel 5/1
Charles LeClerc 6/1
Max Verstappen 28/1
Pierre Gasly 300/1
Daniel Ricciardo 1000/1
Kimi Raikkonen 1000/1
It was business as usual for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton as the ‘Brit secured his sixth victory of the season, while Valtteri Bottas’ second-place finish seeing the Silver Arrows claim their sixth one-two finish of the season.
There was more agony for Sebastian Vettel with the Ferrari ace only managing to claim a fifth-place finish out in France. The Paul Rickard was far kinder to his teammate with Charles LeClerc claiming third place.
Red Bull again failed to deliver a solid drive with Max Verstappen claiming a disappointing fourth and Pierre Gasly finishing in a lowly place of 10th.
McLaren had a much better time of it last time out with Carlos Sainz taking sixth and Lando Norris claiming ninth. Sandwiched between the two McLarens were veterans Kimi Raikkonen (seventh) and Nico Hulkenberg (eighth).
Once one of the most formidable race tracks in the world – during its heydey as the Osterreichring – the Red Bull Ring is now a rather tame beast. While the circuit does still possess a few hairy corners that will get the drivers’ blood pumping, it has lost a lot of those fast high sweeping turns that made it such a wild drive back in the 70’s and 80’s.
While the track was totally rebuilt in the mid 90’s, it only became known as the Red Bull Ring in the late 2000’s. It took even longer for a race to be held there again, with Formula 1 only making a return to the track in 2014.
Since making its return to the Formula 1 calendar, the Austrian race weekend had been dominated by Mercedes with Nico Rosberg winning the 2014 and 2015 editions of the race, Lewis Hamilton taking top honours in 2016 and Valtteri Bottas winning 2017 edition. Last season saw their dominant streak come to an end, however, with Max Verstappen claiming the race win and Kimi Raikkonen taking second place.
With the track bordering on the Styrian Mountains and the Styrian Forest, Drivers are often confronted with late afternoon thunderstorms. As it stands there are sunny conditions being forecast throughout the race weekend. (*Article was written on Wednesday 26 June).
Podium Finish – Max Verstappen – Yes @ 3/1
Look, he may not have delivered on this one last weekend but I cannot help but back Max Verstappen to end on the podium at a great price of 3/1.
The Red Bull man has a great record at the track having claimed second place at the venue in 2016 and winning last year’s race.
I’ll be having a moderate crack on him to add to his Austrian podium collection.
To Win Race Outright – Lewis Hamilton @ 66/100
There’s not much value here so I personally won’t be having a strike on it but I cannot see anyone else claiming the race win with the ‘Brit in such fabulous form
Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets