The week just past was, to say the least, full of words that burst like soap bubbles at the meeting in Paris which was completely useless as it brought nothing except a reprimand in regards to an action that remains questionable.
During the weekend in Austria Sebastian Vettel will have the eyes of the marshals focussed on him and this could give an advantage to Lewis Hamilton in a possible scuffle with his direct rival. There is certainly tension between the two drivers, even though, considering the tight race for the world title, I never believed in a peaceful coexistence between them. This may be an extra hassle for Mercedes considering that my sources speak of a possible arrival of the German driver at Brackley as soon as 2018.
We will be going to a short circuit (barely 4,318) in which the weather could play an important role, but it is fast enough to give us close performances. Pole position could be decided on the edge of thousandths of a second.
Ferrari must be ready to counter the Mercedes domination, being careful to watch over its shoulders at the host Red Bull which will play at home and will give its all in qualifying to gain the front row and to mess with the fight at the fight at the top since it has opted for 9 sets of Ultrasoft, as opposed to eight for Mercedes and the 7 of Vettel and Raikonnen.
This season’s surprise is Force India which is confirming the fourth place it conquered last season. It was an extraordinary result for a small team which was bothered by no small number of financial problems and also called on to manage a fiery struggle between Perez and Ocon. The Mexican must redeem himself after the negative experience in Canada when he did not heed team orders, above all in view of the driver’s market.
Gian Carlo Minardi