Austrian Grand Prix Facts, Stats & Info

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Facts, statistics and information ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, Round 9 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Still shy of the season’s halfway point, the battle in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship heads to the compact Red Bull Ring.

The 4.318-kilometer (2.683-mile) track in the foothills of the Styrian Mountains operates on a condensed version of the Österreichring, which held Formula One races from 1970 until 1987.

It is a relatively short circuit with only Monaco, Mexico City and Interlagos (Brazil) being shorter. It has just 10 turns – the fewest in Formula One – but covers a wide range of conditions.

The Red Bull Ring is essentially made up of four straights, each ending in tight corners. This puts a premium on traction and strong, straight-line speed.

The prime overtaking zone comes at turn three (Remus), where after heavy braking drivers navigate the sharp corner in either first or second gear. Juxtapose that section with the high-speed turn nine (Rindt), which drivers take at sixth gear, pushing the limits of their car and their resolve.

The Essentials

  • Toughest corner Turn Nine, (Rindt Curve). This is the fastest corner on the lap, taken in sixth gear at 240km/h (150mph). The cars approach it over a crest and the track drops downhill at the apex, so it’s easy to understeer wide at the exit.
  • Most demanding section Turns Six and Seven are the corners most enjoyed by the drivers. They are fast –- fifth gear, minimum apex speed 185km/h (115mph) – and the track drops sharply downhill through Turn Six, giving the drivers a spectacular roller-coaster ride.
  • Biggest challenge Lap length. There are only 10 corners and at roughly 65s, this is the shortest lap of the year in terms of time. That means mistakes are punished hard in qualifying because the smallest error can mean a loss of several grid positions.

Engineer’s Lowdown

  • Braking Medium. There are three significant braking areas on the lap, all of them occurring in the first half of the circuit. The average deceleration per corner is 4.2g and the drivers can expect to use the brakes for a total of 11 minutes during the grand prix.
  • Power The cars use 1.7kg of fuel per lap, which is average.
  • Aero Medium downforce. Top speeds are crucial, but so is slow-speed traction, which is why the teams opt for medium downforce levels. Also, the track is situated at 700m, making this the first high-altitude challenge of the season, which has ramifications for aerodynamics and the
  • Lap distance: 4.318km. Total distance: 306.452km (71 laps)
  • 2017 pole: Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes one minute 04.251 seconds.
  • 2017 winner: Bottas.
  • Race lap record: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes one minute 07.411 seconds (2017)
  • Start time: 1310 GMT (1510 local)

Grand Prix Victories

  • Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel have three wins each this season. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has two.
  • Hamilton has 65 victories from 216 races and is second in the all-time list behind seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher (91). Vettel has 50, Ricciardo seven.
  • Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has now gone 102 races since his last win, in Australia in 2013.
  • Ferrari have won 232 races since 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 79 and Red Bull 57. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.

Pole Position

  • Hamilton has a record 75 career poles, Vettel 54.
  • Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, at 20 years old, can still become the youngest ever pole-sitter this season. The current youngest is Vettel, who did it at the age of 21 years and 72 days.

Podium

  • Hamilton has 123 career podiums and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Vettel has 103, Raikkonen 95.
  • Bottas has had four second-place finishes in eight races, Verstappen three podiums in his last four races.

Championship Points

  • Hamilton leads Vettel by 14 points and is on a record run of 33 successive scoring finishes. He has not drawn a blank since Malaysia in 2016.
  • The all-time record of consecutive finishes is 41, set by Germany’s Nick Heidfeld up to Singapore in September 2009.
  • Mercedes are 23 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.
  • Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) is the only driver on the starting grid yet to score a point in his career.
  • Haas’s Romain Grosjean has yet to open his account for 2018 and including last season the Frenchman has not scored for 12 races in a row.
  • Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc has had four scoring finishes in his last five races. The team’s tally (13) is now more than in 2016 and 2017 combined (seven).

Austrian Grand Prix

  • Austria returned to the calendar in 2014 after an 11-year break. The circuit is owned by Red Bull and is the second highest altitude of the season after Mexico.
  • Mercedes have won all four races since the return. The likelihood of a safety car is generally low.
  • Hamilton, winner in 2016 after colliding with then-teammate Nico Rosberg on the last lap, and Bottas are the only drivers on the current grid to have won in Austria.
  • Austria first hosted a race at Zeltweg in 1964 but triple world champion Niki Lauda, now the Mercedes team’s non-executive chairman, is the only Austrian to have won in Austria (1984).

Milestones

  • Hamilton’s win in France last weekend set a record for the most victories (23) in different grands prix. The Briton also holds the record of winning at 26 different circuits.
  • Sunday’s race is the second in an unprecedented triple-header — three races over three successive weekends (France, Austria, Britain) — and scheduled to avoid a clash with the World Cup final in Russia.

Additional sources: McLaren and Haas F1 Media