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It’s going to be a scorcher in Styria as record temperatures are set to play their hand during this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. Join The Roar for live updates and coverage from 11pm (AEST).
A popular fixture since its return to the Formula One calendar in 2014, the Red Bull Ring has seen its fair share of action and drama, with its short and fast layout.
Only 4.3km comprises a lap of the Red Bull Ring, with plenty of straights to lay down the power and sharp braking zones to promote overtaking – which during the 71-lap grand prix should be aplenty.
Tyres have been a talking point since the French round of the championship only seven days ago and the high track temperatures will mean once again the drivers may favour the medium and hard compounds.
Despite the desire for a multi-stop race, the likely strategy options for the leading drivers will see a one-stopper with a change from medium to hard.
Until last year, the Red Bull Ring was dominated by Mercedes AMG who had claimed the past four consecutive victories. Despite their immaculate record in recent history, the Silver Arrows endured one of their worst races in 2018 here – where it was the namesake Red Bull team who won.
Though with their perfect record so far this season, it is difficult to go past Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to execute another perfect weekend. Even Valtteri Bottas, who now faces a daunting 36-point deficit to his teammate in the standings – is a previous winner in Austria and has form at this circuit.
It was the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc though who’s been the quickest so far this weekend, sticking his car on pole position ahead of Hamilton and 2018 Austria winner in Max Verstappen.
Bottas qualified fourth fastest, while a disappointed Sebastian Vettel who suffered from mechanical issues in Q3 was only ninth in the end. Both Alfa Romeos and the McLaren of Lando Norris starred to qualify ahead of the four-time world champion.
A trio of drivers will have been hit by grid penalties too for change of power-unit componentry and they are Carlos Sainz, Alexander Albon and Nico Hulkenberg who will drop 5-places on the grid.
With Ferrari taking only its third pole of the year, can it be the chance at last for Leclerc to convert the top spot on the grid to his first Formula One win?
Who can survive the heat in the hills and come out on top at the Red Bull Ring? Tune in on The Roar from 11pm AEST for live blog coverage of the Austrian Grand Prix.