Round nine of the 2017 Formula One World Championship sees teams and drivers head to the mountains of Styria and to the Red Bull Ring, home of the Austrian Grand Prix
Since returning to the calendar in 2014 the race at the relatively short 4.318km circuit (it is the fourth shortest on the calendar behind Brazil, Mexico and Monaco, ) has rapidly re-established itself as a favourite among fans due to its picturesque location, varied programme of events and the prospect of close racing on the fast and ﬂowing conﬁguration.
A medium downforce track, the Red Bull Ring is made up of 10 corners that take in the region of just 68 seconds to navigate. However; the circuit packs plenty of thrills into a little lap time, especially at corners such as the tight Turn 3 (Remus) where historically most overtaking moves are attempted and the high-speed Turn 9 (Rindt).
The circuit conﬁguration places the emphasis on good traction and straightline speed. To aid in the quest for traction, tyre supplier Pirelli once again opts for the softest tyres in its range, with the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres on offer this weekend.
Heading into the weekend in Austria, Sebastian Vettel heads the Drivers’ Championship standings despite a fourth-place ﬁnish last time out in Azerbaijan that came as a result of in- race penalties applied following a collision with arch-rival Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton’s race, meanwhile, was compromised by a pit stop to repair a cockpit surround that robbed him of the lead and eventually saw him ﬁnish in fifth place. Fourteen points now separate the top pair, with Valtteri Bottas closing in on the leaders thanks to a second place in Baku that leaves him 28 points behind Mercedes team-mate Hamilton.
In the teams’ battle, leaders Mercedes currently sit 24 points clear of Ferrari, with Red Bull Racing in third place a further 89 points adrift.