After all of the news stories to come out of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, the drivers have to be excited to get back behind the wheel on June 21 at the Austrian Grand Prix. Formula 1 officials have said that the racing circuit is “not in great shape” since the completion of the race in Montreal almost two weeks ago. That assessment of the current state of F1 comes at a bad time. Drivers were upset for a number of reasons after the Canadian Grand Prix. Nobody felt like their team was at its best, as some complained of a lack of engine power and others lamented their fuel rationing strategies. Those drivers can atone for their mistakes in Spielberg at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.
Fresh off his win in Canada, Lewis Hamilton is atop the standings with 151 points. Hamilton has won four of the seven races so far this season. Nico Rosberg is really the only contender right now. After winning back-to-back races in Barcelona and Montre Carlo, Rosberg finished second to Hamilton in Montreal. German Sebastien Vettel is the only other driver to win a race on the circuit this season, as he took the honors at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur in late March.
It has been a dominating season for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team. Hamilton and Rosberg are teammates and they have clearly been a step above the pack all season long. Scuderia Ferrari, with Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, has had some solid showings. Raikkonen, who has 20 career victories and a championship in 2007, has not won a race since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. Will he get things turned around the week in Austria?
If he does, he will pay out the “Field” odds, since only Hamilton, Rosberg, and Vettel are lined for this weekend’s event. Hamilton is an overwhelming favorite at -185, which implies a 65 percent likelihood that he wins the race. Rosberg will pay +250 and Vettel will pay +800. The field will give a bettor 10/1 on his money, with Raikkonen as the most likely challenger from that group. Raikkonen did have the fastest lap in Montreal. Perhaps Valtteri Bottas can make some noise in Austria. He had his best run of the season in Canada with a third place finish to move into fifth in points. Another challenger that could make an appearance is Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo had the fastest lap in the race at Monaco last month.
The F1 circuit is interesting because it moves around the globe. So far this year, the drivers have raced in Australia, Malaysia, China, Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, and Canada. Following this week’s race in Austria, the drivers will participate in the British Grand Prix on July 5. The race scheduled for next month in Germany was cancelled, which means that the racers will move on to Hungary for their next event.
For this event in Austria, the drivers will drive in a clockwise direction on a 2.688-mile track for 71 laps. With seven turns, including some very tight turns on the first-half of the course, it should be a very exciting race.