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Austrian F1 Grand Prix 2018: Start Time, Drivers, TV Schedule and More

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2018

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari look on for the national anthem on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 24, 2018 in Le Castellet, France.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Charles Coates/Getty Images

The 2018 Formula One season is poised to take another intriguing turn on Sunday as the drivers head to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton put himself back on top of the driver standings a week ago when he steered his Mercedes to victory from pole position in France. The defending champion now leads Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 14 points, with each seeking to become five-time winners of the prize.

It was Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas who raced to victory in Austria in 2017, and the circuit tends to produce some thrilling pieces of driving.

Here are the key details for the race weekend and a preview of what to expect from this showdown in Spielberg.

    

Date: Sunday, June 24

Time: 2:10 p.m. BST/9:10 a.m. ET

TV Info: Sky Sports F1 (UK), ESPN2 (U.S.).

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), ESPN Player (U.S.).

    

For a full list of the competing drivers, visit the Formula 1 website.

    

Hamilton Out to Build Momentum

Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton holds his trophy as he celebrates on the podium after the Formula One Grand Prix de France at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, southern France, on June 24, 2018. (Photo by Boris HORVAT / AFP)        (
BORIS HORVAT/Getty Images

So far in the 2018 F1 season, neither Vettel nor Hamilton have been able to string together a sequence of wins to pull away from the other.

Following a dominant performance in France, the Mercedes man will be hopeful a run can start, especially given we're in the middle of three consecutive weekends that have races on the calendar—the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is up next.

The win at France was one of the most straightforward of Hamilton's career, as he capitalised on a brilliant pole lap and problems for Vettel to coast home. The most encouraging thing for the four-time world champion may have been how he was dominant over the whole weekend.

As noted by the Mercedes Twitter account, the win for Hamilton was a significant one, as he's now sampled victory at every F1 venue he's raced at:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

Grands Prix on the 2018 @F1 calendar that @LewisHamilton has won at least once... 🇦🇺 🇧🇭 🇨🇳 🇦🇿 🇪🇸 🇲🇨 🇨🇦 🇫🇷 🇦🇹 🇬🇧 🇩🇪 🇭🇺 🇧🇪 🇮🇹 🇸🇬 🇷🇺 🇯🇵 🇺🇸 🇲🇽 🇧🇷 🇦🇪 That's right... All of them! 👊 https://t.co/jwy1cguI1T

Hamilton was fourth in Austria last year, and his most recent victory at the circuit came in 2016. If he is to win this weekend, he'll most likely have to hold off a big challenge from Vettel, who let ground slip in France.

In fairness to the German, he actually recovered well after a tangle with Bottas going into the first corner that saw him at the back of the pack and with a five-second penalty.

As noted by Autosport Live, Hamilton wasn't pleased with the error that hampered his team-mate:

Autosport Live @autosportlive

Hamilton's verdict on the Vettel/Bottas collision at the start as he sees a replay: "Took him right out. That's crazy!" #F1

Vettel didn't let the issue hold him back too much, though, as he scythed through the field up into fifth position.

It was enough for the Ferrari man to be voted as the Driver of the Day:

Formula 1 @F1

The votes are in... Your #F1DriverOfTheDay is... Sebastian Vettel! #FrenchGP 🇫🇷 #F1 https://t.co/dvIG0h8Qnw

Vettel will be chasing his first win in Austria this weekend, as his best finish at the Red Bull Ring since its return to F1 in 2014 is his runners-up spot from last year. The German has also suffered two retirements at this track.

If the title race isn't going to become a two-horse one, Red Bull will be looking to Daniel Ricciardo to turn in a big performance here. The Australian is 49 points back on Hamilton ahead of this weekend; his team-mate Max Verstappen is a long way behind but appears to be coming into some form after two podiums in the last two races.

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