F.1 – Road To Austria

The Formula 1 is ready to make his comeback in Styria, the green heart of Austria, for its second Grand Prix marked Red Bull Ring, after its return in the calendar.

We speak about a medium-fast track, which is not too aggressive for tyres; this is why Pirelli will bring Soft and Supersoft compounds for the third consecutive race. The number of stops will play an important role in the final result. Last year, most of the teams opted for three pit-stops, but for this year the winning move could gamble on the two pit-stops. Another big unknown element will be the weather, which is always very variable and rainy, shifting race’s ground.

With regard to the first row, I do not expect big news, with Mercedes ready to act a new family battle between Hamilton and Rosberg. The situation behind them is more uncertain: Ferrari and Williams get ready to fight. Last year here Williams colored the entire front row with Massa’s pole position – followed by his teammate, Bottas – thanks to a chronometric result that was really close to the record marked by Michael Schumacher, who could be beaten this year.

The Austrian track requires a good engine and it will not be easy to fight against Mercedes’ Power-Unit. I expect that Force India will be ready to battle for the top ten, thanks to Nico Hulkenberg, galvanized by his win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 919 Hybrid Porsche. Compared to 2014, some scenarios have changed: Red Bull and McLaren are far away from the top zones, although the “rumours” speak about signs of growth. At Ferrari, the Finnish driver is called to a good weekend, to ward off the criticism and bring home those points necessary to Maranello to retain the second position in the Constructors’ Championship. Honestly, I do not agree with all these criticisms against him, even if he is certainly losing the comparison with his teammate.

As happened in 2014, even this year there will be the Legends Parade, whose theme is dedicated to the turbo cars of the ’80s. I am glad that on track there is also the Minardi M186-01 with Pierluigi Martini at the wheel, together with Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, respectively in 1984 and 1985’s McLarens, Gerhard Berger on the F1-87/88C, Jean Alesi with Renault RE50-03 of 1984 and Martin Brundle with Lotus 98T of 1986. In short, this is another reason to go and see the Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring.

Gian Carlo Minardi