Austrian Grand Prix 2014 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds
The 2014 Formula One Austrian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday.
It will be held at the Red Bull Ring, close to the city of Spielberg in the Styria region. It will be the 27th Austrian Grand Prix and the 26th at this venue.
Or rather, the 26th at this location.
Spielberg was once host to a fearsome old circuit, the Osterreichring. It held races from 1970 to 1987 before being discarded in favour of modern, safer venues. F1 came back to Austria in 1997 to a new track which had been built on the ruins of the old one—the A1-Ring.
It held the Austrian Grand Prix until 2003 before again disappearing from the calendar.
Now owned by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, the circuit has a new name and improved facilities.
This will be the first "home race" his young team has ever had.
Read on for a full preview of the race weekend, including current standings, a circuit map and guide, tyre and DRS information, weather forecast, odds and session and TV times.
Nico Rosberg has a 22-point lead in the drivers' standings, thanks to team-mate Lewis Hamilton's DNF in Canada.
Daniel Ricciardo's cushion to Sebastian Vettel is 19 points.
The current Top 10 are:
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||79|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||60|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||57|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India||20|
In the constructors' championship, Mercedes' lead has been cut by seven points. But they still have more points than second and third combined.
Sauber are still without a point, making this their worst-ever start to a season.
Red Bull Ring
The Red Bull Ring, formerly known as the A1-Ring, was the first full circuit designed by Hermann Tilke. It features the fewest corners of any circuit on the current calendar and one of the shortest laps.
Only Monaco and Interlagos are shorter.
It was built on the site of—and based on the layout of—the old Osterreichring. If you look at satellite images of the circuit, most of the old track is still visible (Red Bull Ring on Bing Maps).
It's not a perfect venue for F1. The new circuit lacks the brutal character of the old one, with the quick sweeps replaced by tight, slow turns, while the straights may not be long enough for "modern" overtaking. The old name was nicer, too.
But as Tilke tracks go, this is still one of the best.
A lap begins, as laps always do, on the pit straight. The track rises on the run up to Turn 1, a tight right-hander with an uphill braking zone. This means the drivers can brake a little later than they would if the approach was flat.
We may well see some contact here on the opening lap because there's only really room for one car—the two- or even three-abreast racing we see at some tracks won't work here. Crashes were quite common when F1 visited the venue in the past.
This is one of the three best overtaking spots on the circuit, and with some DRS assistance, we might even see some late-braking lunges.
It leads out on to the Red Bull Ring's longest straight.
The straight goes first downhill then uphill through a series of tiny curves as it heads towards Turn 2, an even tighter right-hander. As straights go, it's a beauty.
The braking zone is again uphill, meaning the drivers can brake a little bit later.
This was always the premium overtaking location in the past, but with DRS now a factor elsewhere it may no longer be the preferred spot.
It leads out onto another, shorter straight.
This straight isn't really straight either. It undulates up, down, up and down again, ending with the downhill braking zone for Turn 3.
Again it's a slow right, the circuit continuing to drop downhill through the corner. There's a DRS zone leading into here, so again overtaking might be possible.
Turns 4, 5, 6 and 7
After three corners in isolation, they start to come thick and fast. Turn 3 exits into a long, gentle right-hander which is Turn 4.
It leads into Turn 5, a medium-speed downhill left. After a short straight comes Turn 6, another left, and again it's medium-speed.
Turn 7 is a flat-out right-hand kink immediately after the exit of Turn 6, and it leads out on to a short straight.
Turns 8 and 9
Coming towards the end of the lap, the drivers head downhill through the medium-speed right of Turn 8.
Still going downhill, they brake for the final corner, Turn 9. This one is a slow-medium right-hander. A good exit is crucial, but it can be tricky to get it right—expect to see a few cars run wide on the outside here, especially during practice.
We're now on to the pit straight, and it's a clear run to the start-finish line.
The pit lane entry is on the inside immediately after Turn 8, and the exit is just after Turn 1.
Tyres and DRS
The Red Bull Ring doesn't have many corners. None of them are super-fast tyre-killers, but there are a few longer corners towards the middle and end of the lap. Wear levels should be low but still noticeable.
Pirelli are bringing the red-marked supersoft and yellow-marked soft compound tyres. It will be the third race in a row for this combination, which worked well in Monaco and Canada.
The tyre company expects two stops all round, but because no one has tested at the circuit for many years, there's an element of uncertainty.
We'll have more of an idea after the race fuel runs on Friday.
There will be two DRS zones for the Austrian Grand Prix, and interestingly neither will be on the longest straight.
The first zone will have its detection point 360 metres before Turn 2. The activation point is 85 metres after Turn 2, and the zone ends with braking for Turn 3.
The second will have a detection point at the exit of Turn 8, and the activation point is 110 metres after the final corner. The zone runs the length of the start-finish straight, ending with braking for Turn 1.
The Red Bull Ring lies in the foothills of the Alps and has a climate which sees warm summers and cold winters. Rain occurs all year round.
The forecast for the coming weekend is mostly for warm, sunny conditions. A shower or two is possible on Friday and maybe even on Saturday, but Sunday should be dry.
Despite being outscored at the last two races, Lewis Hamilton is odds-on favourite to win in Austria ahead of Nico Rosberg.
Daniel Ricciardo is 18-1 to repeat his Montreal victory.
The Top 10 favourites are:
Red Bull are 8-1 to record a home win, with Ferrari 33-1. Williams are 40-1, Force India 66-1 and McLaren 125-1.
A safety car appearance is considered a 50 percent possibility, with 5-6 for it to take to the track and the same odds for it to stay in the pits.
And with Sauber aiming for their first points of the season, Adrian Sutil is 12-1 for a Top 10 finish. Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez is 16-1.
All odds from Oddschecker.com and correct at the time of publication.
Session and TV Times
As always, the Austrian Grand Prix weekend will consist of three free practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
The session times are as follows:
|Practice One||Friday||10 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||2 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||11 a.m.|
All times are given in Austrian local time (CEST). Formula1.com has a handy one-click tool to convert them to your own timezone.
In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports F1 will be showing live coverage of all sessions. The following table shows the TV times in BST.
|Session||Day||On Air||Session Starts|
|Practice One||Friday||8:45 a.m.||9 a.m|
|Practice Two||Friday||12:45 p.m.||1 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||9:45 a.m.||10 a.m.|
|Qualifying||Saturday||12 p.m.||1 p.m.|
|Race||Sunday||11:30 a.m.||1 p.m.|
The BBC are only showing highlights of qualifying (from 4:45 p.m. on Saturday) and the race (from 7:30 p.m. on Sunday).
In the United States, NBCSN will have live coverage of second practice on Friday (starting 8 a.m.), qualifying on Saturday (starting 8 a.m.) and the race on Sunday (coverage from 7:30 a.m., race start at 8 a.m.). NBCSN times are EDT.
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