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PREVIEW: Austrian GP up next for F1 field following Silverstone rollercoaster

Drivers’ Championship leaders Max Verstappen and Charles LeClerc will be looking to atone for subpar performances at the British Grand Prix when they take to the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari

Drivers' Championship leaders Max Verstappen and Charles LeClerc will be looking to atone for subpar performances at the British Grand Prix when they take to the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

This is a venue that has tended to favour Verstappen in the past with the Red Bull ace winning here in 2018, 2019 and last season.

Austrian Grand Prix
Sunday 10 July
Red Bull Ring

To Win Race Outright

Max Verstappen 17/20
Charles LeClerc 5/2
Carlos Sainz 9/1
Sergio Perez 10/1
Lewis Hamilton 10/1
George Russel 16/1
Lando Norris 125/1

Previous Race

The British Grand Prix certainly delivered the goods with drama aplenty out at Silverstone. The frenetic nature was evident from the first lap with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Williams’ Alex Albon’s crash seeing both drivers in need of medical attention and George Russel also forced to retire from the race.

Late pit strategy would be the biggest influence on the day with wet weather and a safety car in the dying salvos wrecking Charles LeClerc – who had led the field for much of the race – to have to settle for fourth place. Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz were the benefactors from Ferrari’s ill-judged pit stops with Sainz taking race honours, Perez claiming second and Hamilton taking the final spot on the podium.

While Sergio Perez had a decent enough day out at Silverstone, the same cannot be said of his teammate and Drivers’ Championship leader, Max Verstappen, who suffered damage to his car and was forced to nurse it home and settle for seventh place. The Red Bull man was beaten across the line by Fernando Alonso (fifth) and Lando Norris (sixth), while he just managed to hold off Mick Schumacher who brought his car home in eighth only .2 of a second behind Verstappen.

The remaining points-scoring positions went to veterans Sebastian Vettel (ninth) and Kevin Magnussen (tenth).

Track – Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring

Once one of the most formidable race tracks in the world – during its heyday as the Osterreichring – Austria’s Red Bull Ring has been somewhat subdued over the years with Red Bull Racing – the company that purchased the track in 2011 – making a number of changes to it.

It’s a decent-sized track measuring in at 4.318 kilometres that stretches over 71 laps, which consists of 10 turns. There’s a rather nice straight that runs from turn one (Niki Lauda Kurve) to turn 3 (Remos).

From the starting line to the first corner (Niki Lauda Kurve) is a rather short distance and this means we usually get a lot of early drama as drivers go full tilt to get a good jump off the grid.

Last year saw a pretty interesting podium at the Red Bull Ring with Max Verstappen taking race honours while Valterri Bottas claimed second and Lando Norris rounded out the top 3.

In terms of the weather for this weekend, the current forecast – *article was written on Wednesday 7 July – calls for morning showers on Friday and Sunday but the wet weather could well run into the afternoon on both days so keep an eye on the forecast.

Value Bet: Podium Finish – Yes – Lewis Hamilton – 2/1

Mercedes have seemingly started to get their act together with Hamilton bagging back-to-back podium finishes. And while the Red Bull Ring isn’t the Brit’s favorite hunting ground, he does have a respectable record at the track winning the 2016 edition while finishing second in 2014 and 2015. I’m happy to back him to come good at 2/1!

To Win Race Outright: Max Verstappen @ 17/20

The price might be extremely short but one simply cannot look past Verstappen here. He’s won three of the last four races staged. He has also tended to produce the goods after a poor result this season so I’m backing him to atone for a sub-standard British Grand Prix by bagging a win at Reb Bull’s home circuit.

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