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Wesley Branton | June 12, 2014 @ 4:00 am
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Formula One™ fans are thrilled, as we gear up for the next race in Austria. Finally we see the return of the Austrian Grand Prix, after vanishing from the calendar for a decade (2003). Some people know it as Österreichring or A1-Ring, but it is known now as the Red Bull Ring.
Although Red Bull has purchased the track and changed the name, we will see the same track layout that we saw the other 25 times that the event was hosted. The same long, high speed straights and the same tricky corners. With the cars’ new handling and speed, this event will be much different than the 2003 Austrian Grand Prix.
As with any new track (or in this case returning track), drivers will have to learn how to race the track and will all have the same level of experience at the track. However, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa have all had the chance to race this event at least once in their career. Button has the advantage over the other past participants, having placed the highest (2nd). Although, since these drivers have had ten years to let their rust build up, we may not even see this advantage.
Of course, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo will be trying to earn the highest possible results for the team, this being their team’s track and home Grand Prix. And with the momentum favouring Ricciardo, he may have pretty good chances of a podium finish at least. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes will also be trying to score the highest finish after the collapse of their perfect season in Canada.
Personally, I am thrilled to see an old track make a return after so many years and I can’t wait to see what style of racing this beautiful track has to offer. I certainly look forward to making my predictions after qualifying on the 21st of June.