The Red Bull Ring will host the ninth round of the F1 season in Spielberg, Austria this weekend, and it has so far been a run away season for Mercedes, who have achieved a 1-2 finish in six of the eight races and lead the Constructors' Championship by over 140 points from nearest rival Ferrari, who themselves are mired in problems.
Last time out in France it was a somewhat processional race, in stark contrast to the rest of the season, with Lewis Hamilton taking the checkered flag to extend his lead in the Drivers' Championship to 36 points over teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Austria may be a short lap, but it has challenging, technical corners and comes with two DRS zones, and with the quick turnaround from France last week, it could well throw up some surprises and eventful racing.
GIVEMEBET looks inside the paddock ahead of the race this weekend:
- Mercedes have a point to prove form last year where neither car managed to finish, allowing Max Verstappen to take the win. Technical issues prevented Hamilton and Bottas registering a finish and team principal Toto Wolff is keen to avoid a repeat. The high temperatures expected this weekend could prove troublesome for Mercedes and their engine cooling challenges, this looks the only thing stopping Mercedes from grabbing a ninth victory of the season.
- While there is seemingly no value in backing a Mercedes win the race at 2/7, they have taken the fastest race lap in six of the eight contests this year, therefore Hamilton at 4/1 and Bottas at 15/4 look tempting propositions for the fastest race lap market.
- McLaren look an interesting prospect this time around. In France, the car responded well to upgrades, registering sixth and 10th place finishes, but that was slightly overshadowed by technical difficulties at the business end of the race.
- They may potentially unleash their new engine, which would incur a grid penalty, but if not, given Verstappen's pessimistic outlook, Pierre Gasly's struggles all season-long, and Ferrari's mountain of issues, you could well see Lando Norris or Carlos Sainz sneaking a top six spot. Norris is 12/5 to nab a top six finish, while Sainz is listed at 5/2 to do likewise.
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