The 2014 Austrian F1 Grand Prix is the country's first major race on the Spielberg circuit since 2003. The focus this year will be on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and how he recovers from disappointments in Monaco and Canada.
Of course, many spectators will also be keen to see what happens between Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa after their ugly collision during the Canadian Grand Prix.
Here's all the relevant TV schedule information and start time for the big event:
|TV Schedule and Start Times|
|Schedule||Date and Time||TV|
|Practice 3||Saturday, Jun. 21, 10 a.m. (BST) / 5 a.m. (ET)||Sky Sports F1 / NBCSN|
|Qualifying||Saturday, Jun. 21, 1 p.m. (BST) / 8 a.m. (ET)||Sky Sports F1 / NBCSN|
|Race||Sunday , Jun. 22, 1 p.m. (BST) / 8 a.m. (ET)||Sky Sports F1 / NBCSN|
|Formula1.com and NBCSports.com|
The eventual lineup is still in doubt, with another practice race to go. But Hamilton has helped shape the possible final order with a fine performance in the second practice.
Hamilton Likely to Have Pole Position
Hamilton's brewing rivalry with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg took another twist during the second practice session in Austria. Hamilton, despite trailing Rosberg by 22 points on the overall leader board, was too quick for his rival.
BBC Sport Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson detailed the quite staggering gap between the two Mercedes drivers: "Hamilton was 0.377 seconds clear of Rosberg, a large margin on a lap of only 70 seconds at the Red Bull Ring."
That is a major disparity in time, one that bodes well for Hamilton ahead of Sunday's race. He simply has to win to keep alive flickering hopes of closing the gap on Rosberg.
Penalty from Canada Stands for Perez
The lineup for Sunday will be altered now that the five-place grid penalty incurred by Perez in Canada has been confirmed. The Force India driver collided with Massa to earn the penalty.
The FIA used Friday morning to review the crash and the subsequent penalty, per Paul Weaver of The Guardian. Their findings have confirmed the original decision, according to Benson:
His infraction in Canada will undoubtedly cost Perez any hopes of sneaking to a surprise win, or even approaching the prime positions, at Spielberg. But that won't stop him wanting to outdo Massa.
Their crash in Canada was one of those stand up and shout at your television moments. It was the last lap, a lot was on the line, not to mention the sheer speed and force of the impact.
Neither side did much to try and broker a peace afterwards, with Williams’ Rob Smedley chipping in to defend his old mate Massa.
If they come near each other on track in Austria, expect tensions to run high and sparks to fly.
This spat is sure to provide an interesting sidebar to the race for supremacy and personal glory between Hamilton and Rosberg.
Can Mercedes Dominate On A Red Bull Circuit?
The Spielberg circuit is Red Bull territory. But it may not favour that team's drivers as much as it does Team Mercedes.
For one thing, Spielberg is littered with high-speed straights. That will certainly suit the front-loaded power found in Mercedes cars.
Of course, Red Bull will be brash about its home advantage, particularly after securing victory in Canada. However, sceptics will maintain that win owed plenty to mechanical gaffes that stalled Hamilton.
Both Hamilton and Rosberg will want to guard against overheating in Austria to avoid some of the same electrical difficulties that blighted them in Canada.
If Mercedes can consign its technical faux pas to history, one of Hamilton or Rosberg should dominate at Spielberg. With the former likely to hold pole position once the race begins, expect Hamilton to win the latest chapter of this increasingly intense personal duel.
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