The third consecutive Grand Prix is scheduled for next weekend, namely the Grand Prix in Austria. Just like last week, the Formula 1 drivers will be at the Red Bull Circuit in Spielberg and that means we will likely see the same race as last weekend. What factors will make next weekend’s race different? Read it in this preview from F1 max.
Red Bull will also form the backdrop for the race in Austria next weekend. The track is owned by Red Bull owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, and as such can be considered a home race for Red Bull Racing. The circuit near the Alps is very short: in qualifying, the drivers were ahead of the lap time by one minute. Curious about all the characteristics of fenugreek and what makes fenugreek so special? Check out the link below for a preview of last week, with an in-depth analysis of the Red Bull Circuit.
What can teams save in one week?
Last weekend Verstappen was once again superior in the RB16B. The Dutchman took pole position by nearly a tenth over Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen was unstoppable in the race. On the last lap on Sunday, the difference between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was about 35 seconds, but this gap can also be explained by the extra stop Hamilton made before the end. All in all, you’d expect a favored turn for Verstappen for this weekend, as the teams only had a week to improve their car for the second race weekend in a row.
However, most teams will try to change their composition from the last race of the weekend. The circuit in Austria requires a complex set of compressive strength, while at the same time not creating significant air resistance to the three straits. Analyzing last weekend’s data, teams can look for a different set-up, perhaps with a larger or smaller rear wing, or some changes to the front wing.
For example, Toto Wolff is already hinting at a W12 tuned differently this weekend in a preview press release from Mercedes. “We did a lot of practice last Friday and we think the data will help us put a faster car on track for the second weekend. So I think the drivers have to deal with better balance in the car,” said the world champion team boss.
New tires are made for different conditions
One factor that will significantly change lap times this weekend is the selection of different tires from tire supplier Pirelli this weekend. In order to force other tactical considerations into the race, other types of tires have been included. Instead of C2, C3, and C4 tires (C1 being the hardest, C5 the softest, editing), the teams will get C3, C4 and C5 tyres next weekend. This means that last week’s medium tire will be the hard tire next weekend, and the soft tire last week will be the medium tire for the next race.
Softer tires automatically mean faster lap times. According to Pirelli’s information, the lap time difference between the C4 and C5 tires is about 0.6 seconds. This means that during qualifying, we’ll see lap times of 1:04000 or faster, provided circuit conditions are the same as last weekend’s times. However, the drawback of the faster C5 tire is that this rubber heats up more quickly, so drivers will log slower lap times if they immediately demand everything from the tire in the first sector of the circuit. So in France we saw that the Red Bull drivers were better able to warm up the tire gradually during the flying lap, which saved a lot of time in the twisty third sector. The presence of the C5 tire also makes this important in Austria, although the Red Bull circuit is much shorter than the Circuit Paul Rijkaard.
Most likely, the lack of the tougher C2 tire means teams in Austria will choose two stoppers during the race. Knowing that two laps on the medium tire last weekend won’t be enough to finish the race, teams will have to look for a strategy with two pit stops, also because race regulations dictate teams that have at least two different types of tires to use. Teams are expected to choose a strategy with two stints on the hard tire (C3) and one assignment on the medium tire (C4) on Sunday.
Inauspicious weather is coming
Another factor that can change the ranking of offside in Austria is the weather. Weather.com It reports a good chance of rain, especially in light of the race. Temperatures in Spielberg are slightly cooler than last weekend at 24 degrees and cumulus clouds form over the circle on Saturday. These developments could trigger thunderstorms outside, but the chance of bad weather is much higher on Sunday. Then a 90 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms is forecast, taken throughout the day.
If there is indeed a thunderstorm in the race next weekend, this could have consequences for the qualifying and racing track. The last time there was a severe thunderstorm during a Formula 1 session was the second free practice for the US Grand Prix in 2015, when practice was canceled because off-track guards would otherwise be in danger. So there is a chance to postpone or cancel a session in Austria next weekend if there is a thunderstorm.
Verstappen can strike a new blow in the tournament
For the 2021 Championship, Verstappen can do excellent work in the RB16B this weekend. Last Sunday, the Limburger scored his fourteenth victory of his career, increasing his lead over rival Hamilton to eighteen points. With a fresh win, Verstappen exhausted at least six points, making the difference over 22 points.
Written by: Maurits Kappetijn
[email protected] | @mauskappeijnf1