Austrian Grand Prix 2014: B/R Experts Predict Pole, Race Winner and More

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterJune 21, 2014

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 20:  Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing waits in the garage during practice ahead of the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring on June 20, 2014 in Spielberg, Austria.  (Photo by Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images)
Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images

As the Formula One season makes its first stop in Austria for 11 years, our experts are predicting the outcome of the major events at this year's Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes have dominated the season, but a topsy-turvy outing in Canada saw a surprise win for Daniel Ricciardo and made our predictions look way off the mark. Will a similar twist await us this time around?

Joining us is Bob Margolis, who covers NASCAR in the U.S. for Bleacher Report. He'll be pitting his wits against our F1 team, and you can as well.

Here are our best guesses:

 

Mark Patterson: Nico Rosberg has been quicker than Hamilton in qualifying for the last two races, and his edge will tell on a track that is more familiar to him than the Briton. But surely his luck will run out at some point. Sebastian Vettel to salvage something for Red Bull at their home circuit with a fastest lap.

 

Oliver Harden: Normal service should be resumed in Austria with Mercedes returning to winning ways. Hamilton's aggression in those sharp, inviting corners could open the door for Rosberg to take a third consecutive pole, but the 2008 world champion should triumph in a head-to-head battle on Sunday.

 

Matthew Walthert: After suffering reliability issues in Canada, Mercedes will spoil Red Bull's home race at the ultra-fast Spielberg circuit. Hamilton is in need of a good result to start closing the gap to Rosberg again, and he will get it. Valtteri Bottas will score his first-ever fastest lap while battling for the final podium position late in the race.

 

Neil James: Another win for Nico Rosberg in Austria would be a disaster for Lewis Hamilton, so he'll do everything in his power to secure victory on Sunday. Further back, Kimi Raikkonen will summon up the spirit of 2008 to set the fastest lap.

 

Bob Margolis: Expect another standout performance of "catch me if you can" by the Mercedes duo, as each week a different team gets to challenge their superiority with a short cameo appearance. This week it's Williams that will steal some time in the spotlight. Meanwhile Ferrari's Fernando Alonso continues to prove that their '14 car isn't a complete washout.

 

B/R Expert Picks: Austrian GP
ColumnistMark PattersonOliver HardenMatthew WalthertNeil JamesBob Margolis
Pole PositionNico RosbergNico RosbergLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton
Race WinnerLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton
Fastest LapSebastian VettelLewis HamiltonValtteri BottasKimi RaikkonenNico Rosberg
Top TeamMercedesMercedesMercedesMercedesMercedes
Number of Finishers1616161818

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 20:  Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during practice ahead of the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring on June 20, 2014 in Spielberg, Austria.  (Photo by Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images)
Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images

Here's how we did in Canada, and what the results of the race did to our scores so far this season: 

 

B/R Expert Picks: After Canadian GP
ColumnistMark PattersonOliver HardenMatthew WalthertNeil JamesBob MargolisRESULT
Pole PositionLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton Lewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonNico Rosberg 
Race WinnerLewis Hamilton Lewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonSebastian VettelDaniel Ricciardo 
Fastest LapSebastian VettelLewis HamiltonFernando AlonsoLewis HamiltonSebastian VettelFelipe Massa
Top TeamMercedesMercedesMercedesMercedesRed BullRed Bull
Number of Finishers181715171413
Canada Points00100-
Points This Season16191818--

 

How the Scores Are Calculated

The right answer earns you one point, except in the case of total finishers, where you can be two cars either side. However, if you predict the exact correct number of finishers, you pick up two points.

Feel free to play along in the comments to see how you fare against our predictions.