Lewis Hamilton was untouchable in France last week, his drive around the Paul Ricard Circuit proving to be a tour de force as he reclaimed the Drivers’ Championship lead.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be desperate to get back on course this weekend in his battle with the Brit but Austria is a track where Mercedes have reigned supreme the last four years.
The Silver Arrows appeared untouchable in France, their upgraded power unit giving them a sizeable edge around a track which played to their strengths. With the Red Bull Ring sharing similarities with last week’s venue it could be another tough weekend for the chasing pack to stay on the coat tails of the Silver Arrows.
Certainly Mercedes have enjoyed this race since its return to the calendar four years, winning every Grand Prix following its reintroduction.
Last year it was Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas who came out on top, just edging out Vettel, and the Finn cannot be discounted from securing his first win of the season at 15/2, while he’s 20/33 to be on the podium.
Ferrari proved last year they can be quick around this circuit so Mercedes will need to be on top of their game, less they let the Scuderia wrestle back the momentum in the Drivers’ title fight.
Despite the track being named the Red Bull Ring, the home team have yet to come close to triumphing at their own circuit. That appears unlikely to change this year but in Max Verstappen they have a man who can at least grab one of the top three spots.
The Dutchman has been excellent in the last two races, finishing runner-up in France, and appears to be relishing this track.
The rumours of a move to Ferrari grow stronger by the week for Charles Leclerc, who now has four points finishes in his last five races.
Having got his Sauber into Q3 last week, the 20-year-old looks to have another good chance at edging himself towards Kimi Raikkonen’s Scuderia seat with another points finish.
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