2023 Austrian Grand Prixview: Key Insights and Stats

2023 Austrian Grand Prixview: Key Insights and Stats
2023 Austrian Grand Prixview: Key Insights and Stats

The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix is set to be an exciting event in the world of Formula 1 racing. Held at the picturesque Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, this prestigious race offers not only a thrilling competition but also stunning views of the Styrian mountains. As one of the highly anticipated races on the 2023 F1 calendar, fans around the world eagerly look forward to seeing how their favorite teams and drivers will fare on this challenging circuit.

With twists, turns, and elevation changes, the Red Bull Ring presents a unique set of challenges for both drivers and their cars. Teams will need to devise race strategies and tactics that can effectively tackle this 4.3-kilometer track. As the race weekend unfolds, spectators can expect intense battles on track and memorable moments that will solidify the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix’s place in the annals of F1 history.

Key Takeaways

  • The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix will take place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with teams and drivers facing a challenging circuit
  • Car performance and race strategies will be crucial to navigate the track’s features, including elevation changes and tight corners
  • Fans can enjoy the race weekend on television, streaming, and live at the venue, with much excitement and anticipation surrounding key moments and battles

Race Weekend Overview

After winning every race of the 2023 season between them, the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are the overwhelming favourites to take victory at their team’s home race, Verstappen at 2/7 and Perez at 8/1. Lewis Hamilton, a podium finisher last time out in Canada, is 12/1, while Charles Leclerc is the favourite of the Ferrari drivers, but he is a longshot at 22/1.

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Austrian native Toto Wolff, team boss at Mercedes, is hopeful that his teams recent return to form will continue at what has been a happy hunting ground for Wolff.

‘There were plenty of positives to take from the last race in Canada. Although we didn’t get both cars to the chequered flag, a podium was a solid result and we saw encouraging signs from our updated package.

‘Austria is always a special weekend, as it’s my home race and I have good memories from the track; both with the team but also from my early years racing there and teaching as an instructor. It’s also the second Sprint of the season so it will be interesting to see the impact it has on the weekend, at a more traditional circuit.

‘It’s a short lap in Spielberg and looks straightforward on paper; several long straights broken up by a range of slow, medium-speed and fast corners. But it’s a challenging one to put together and get right.

‘We will aim to build on the momentum we have generated over the past two races and continue our positive trajectory with the car. It’s a venue where the W14 should perform better than in Canada, but we won’t take anything for granted. As always, we will be working hard to maximise our performance and deliver strong results,’ said Wolff.

Sprint Weekend Format

The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, held at the iconic Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Styria, follows the Formula 1 sprint weekend format. Over the course of three days, events include two practice sessions, qualifying, a sprint event, and the main race.

On Friday, teams participate in one practice sessions to fine-tune their setups and gather crucial data. Following this, the traditional qualifying session occurs, determining the starting grid for Sunday’s feature race.

Sergio Perez won the first sprint race of 2023 in Azerbaijan, and will be looking to repeat the achievement this weekend.

‘It’s always a great race in Austria, it’s obviously the home of Red Bull and that makes it extra special for all of us in the Team. I also can’t believe how many Mexican fans make the trip, every year on the green carpet arriving into the circuit I see the Mexico flag, which makes me smile.

‘For me my focus will be on track though because I know how important it is for me to have a consistent weekend and really produce a result, I know I am capable of. The weather looks like it could be tricky and it’s a Sprint weekend so time in the car to set-up will be minimal and critical, we must maximise every moment we have to prepare.

‘I had fun at the last Sprint weekend in Baku and it was a very successful time but at a very different circuit. I want to achieve the same again but know I need to step up to achieve that,’ said Perez.

Sprint Shootout

The Sprint Shootout, a new racing concept introduced to Formula 1, is a shorter race that takes place on Saturday. The results of the Sprint Shootout are a standalone race, with no bearing on the main Austrian Grand Prix event on Sunday.

With points awarded to the top eight finishers of the Sprint Shootout, teams are provided with an added incentive to perform at their best during this high-stakes event. This new format further enhances the excitement and competitiveness of the race weekend in Spielberg.

At the Red Bull Ring, the combination of high-speed straights and elevation changes creates a unique and challenging racing experience. Formula 1 drivers and teams must adapt to the Austrian circuit’s particularities and employ strategic decisions to survive the Sprint Shootout and emerge triumphant in the main Grand Prix event.

Track Features and Challenges

Österreichring; A1-Ring; Red Bull Ring; or simply Spielberg or, for those harking back to an even earlier time, when the race was on an airfield downstream from the modern venue, Zeltweg; this track has undergone as many identity changes as it has had alterations to its layout. Philosopher Plutarch once wondered how many changes to an entity would be possible before it would lose its identity: and while the Red Bull Ring is no ship of Theseus, the same could be asked about the Styrian circuit.

Gone is the daunting layout of the Österreichring, its sweeping corners on which Peterson, Brambilla and home hero Lauda all fought, consigned to history; parts of the original track remain in use in its new, shorter, nimbler layout, first used in 1997, but the track is very much different. Reception of the new layout wasn’t universally positive: yet the argument that constitution is not identity was reinforced by the series of entertaining, exciting races that the new track was able to provide – and that are still a feature of the Red Bull Ring to this day.

In the new Ring, the tradition of one of Formula One’s classic venues blends with the modern to produce a track that is exciting, fan-friendly, and boasting some of the most impressive facilities in the sport. Old and new come together, not as opposites but in synergy, to create something unique. It’s a race to look forward to; an event to savour and appreciate.

The circuit features a total of 10 corners, which include high-speed turns, tight hairpins, and elevation changes. One of the most iconic corners is Turn 1, a steep uphill right-hand bend that often sees plenty of overtaking action. This corner is particularly tricky for drivers because it requires late braking and precise car positioning to carry the optimal speed through it.

Another demanding aspect of the Red Bull Ring is its grid layout, as the start-finish straight is relatively short, and the run down to Turn 1 can be chaotic. Drivers must react quickly and navigate their cars through the tight pack to avoid collisions and gain positions.

The track also presents several high-speed sections like the straight between Turns 2 and 3, which allows the drivers to push their cars to the maximum. These straights, coupled with a series of fast and slow corners, challenge the teams to strike the right balance between aerodynamic downforce and straight-line speed. Moreover, the varying camber of the track adds complexity to the racing line, making it crucial for drivers to adapt throughout the race.

It’s almost by philosophical design, then, that this track is the one to see the debut of a new pilot project by the sport, with its introduction of sustainable sources of energy to power the operations of the paddock and a projected reduction of more than three quarters of its CO2 generation. The most traditional of sports powered in the most innovative of ways, in a classic venue reimagined for the future. Like the birth of a child, a new page is added, the latest in a long and cherished book: one that builds on the heritage and importance of all that was before, but a blank one and full of potential.

Race Strategy and Tactics

The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix will showcase a variety of race strategies and tactics by teams and drivers, emphasizing the importance of tire management, pit stops, and gap control.

Tire Management plays a crucial role in determining the race’s overall outcome. Teams will have to consider various factors like weather, track conditions, and predicted race pace to choose their tire compounds before the Grand Prix’ commencement. This includes options for soft, medium, and hard tires. Many drivers will opt for a one-stop strategy, with a few daring to experiment with a two-stop approach.

Free Practice sessions greatly contribute to teams’ overall race strategy, but we will see one less session this weekend as the race is a Sprint Shootout round. Data collected during the two practice sessions will help teams understand tire degradation rates, fuel consumption, and suitable car setups for the Red Bull Ring circuit. Teams also use these sessions to fine-tune their pit stop strategies and tire selection.

Pit Stops in Austria could have significant implications on the final race standings. Quick and efficient pit stops ensure minimum time loss and optimal track position for drivers. Some drivers will opt for an early pit stop, known as the undercut strategy, to attempt to gain a place when their rivals pit in the following laps. Others will try the overcut, staying out longer to capitalize on a lighter fuel load and cleaner track.

Current Driver’s Championship leader Max Verstappen hasn’t put a foot wrong in terms of strategy, and will be hoping for another faultless performance this weekend.

‘This is the second Sprint race of the season, they are always more hectic and complex compared to a normal race. The weather looks a bit unpredictable too so it will definitely mix things up a little bit.

‘Of course, Austria is a home race for us. I’m looking forward to seeing all the support again at the track, hopefully we’ll put on a good show for everyone in the grandstands. We always enjoy coming back to Austria and I’m excited to try to add another trophy to the collection for the Team. We’ve had some good results there already so let’s see what we can do.

‘I had some fun in the lead up to the race with Yuki too. We drove some mega trucks in a quarry, we had a fun day together and it’s always nice to see Red Bull coming up with crazy things for us to do!’

Television and Streaming

The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix will be broadcasted on various television channels and streaming platforms, ensuring fans worldwide can catch all the adrenaline-fueled action.

In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports F1 will provide comprehensive live coverage of the event, including practice sessions, qualifying, and the main race. For those without a Sky subscription, Channel 4 will offer highlights packages throughout the weekend.

Viewers in the United States can tune in to ESPN for complete race weekend coverage, with broadcast agreements guaranteeing full access to every event. ESPN also has a streaming service, ESPN+, available to subscribers looking for a more flexible viewing experience.

In Australia, fans can watch the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix on Fox Sports or the streaming platform Kayo Sports, which both offer extensive coverage of Formula 1 events.

Additionally, Formula 1’s official streaming platform, F1 TV, is accessible in many countries around the world, providing live coverage, on-demand replays, and exclusive content for die-hard fans. Users can choose between F1 TV Access, which provides live timing and audio commentary, or F1 TV Pro, which offers live video streaming, multi-screen layouts, and camera feeds from each driver.

Live Experience

Attending any Grand Prix provides fans with an exhilarating experience, and this year’s race in Austria is no exception. The Rolex Grosser Preis von Österreich is hosted at the picturesque Spielberg circuit, located in the heart of the Styrian region. Spectators can expect an incredible atmosphere, excellent seating options, and a weekend full of thrilling racing action.

Ticketing for the event is well-organized, offering various options to accommodate different budgets and preferences. Fans can choose from numerous grandstand seating options, which include excellent viewing points around the track. Access to the main grandstand allows visitors to experience the high-speed straights and tight corners up close. Discounts are available for early-bird purchases and group bookings.

Graz, the capital of Styria, is the closest city to the Spielberg circuit and offers numerous accommodation options for race weekend visitors. The public transportation system is convenient and well-connected, providing efficient travel between Graz and the racetrack. Fans can also opt for park-and-ride services or taxis to reach the venue.

During the race weekend, visitors can explore a myriad of activities and attractions in Graz, such as local events, concerts, or historical landmarks. The city’s vibrant atmosphere adds to the overall excitement of the race weekend, creating a memorable experience for all.

In terms of merchandise and memorabilia, the Austrian Grand Prix offers a wide variety of options for fans. Official team outlets, such as McLaren’s McL60 store, offer exclusive merchandise and products for fans keen on showing their support for their favorite teams and drivers.

The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix is not just about the racing action on track; it is also about the live experience, encompassing ticketing options, grandstand views, local attractions, and fan opportunities. The combination of these elements contributes to a great weekend of racing, ensuring that everyone can find something to enjoy during their visit.

2023 Austrian Grand Prixview – Key Stats

  • Max Verstappen led every lap of both races held at the Red Bull Ring in 2021, becoming the only driver to win at the same track twice in the same year in championship history.
  • The Red Bull Ring is the highest European track on the 2023 calendar at 700 metres above sea level, but it’s still less than halfway to the altitude of Checo’s hometown of Guadalajara, which is found at 1,550 metres above sea level.
  • With a lap record of just 1:02.939, set by Valtteri Bottas in 2020, the circuit in Spielberg is the shortest in terms of time on the 2023 calendar.
  • Despite that, it ranks fifth in terms of shortest distance, clocking in at 4.318 km. Only Monaco, Zandvoort, Mexico City, and Interlagos are shorter.
  • With just 10 corners, the Ring has the fewest of any track of the current F1 circuits. At the same time, Turns 2, 5 and 8 are taken at full throttle and are therefore not considered to be corners in an engineering sense.
  • Unsurprisingly given the nature of the track, we see the fewest amount of gear changes of any lap across the season at just 32.
  • There are large demands placed on a car’s handling in Austria, whilst at the same time the circuit demands good mechanical grip at low speed (Turns 1, 3, and 4) and strong performance at high speed (Turns 6-7 and 9-10). Engineers have to find the best compromise with set-up in order to achieve the best lap time.
  • This weekend sees the second running of the new Sprint weekend format – teams will partake in FP1 on Friday before Qualifying takes place that afternoon. Saturday sees the Sprint Shootout followed by the F1 Sprint, with the Austrian Grand Prix taking place on Sunday.
  • The difference in elevation of 69 metres between the lowest and highest points at the circuit is one of the largest of the season. That is unsurprising given the track’s location in the Styrian mountains.
  • It also has a steep gradient from track edge-to-edge in places, as exemplified by Turns 3 and 4. The circuit here slopes up towards the apex as the car drives over the crest while accelerating out of the corner. This can result in one wheel leaving the ground, causing challenges with braking, stability, and traction.
  • The track has three very hard braking zones in succession on the approaches to Turns 1, 3, and 4. As the brakes are unable to cool down sufficiently over the rest of the track, as the lap is relatively short, it has an impact on the maximum pressures and general wear and tear experienced.
  • For that reason, teams must apply as much cooling as possible to the brakes. That poses a challenge in warming up the front tyres. With a short out-lap, it is difficult to get them in the right operating window for a qualifying lap.
  • The Ring is notorious for its aggressive kerbs and is considered to be one of the toughest tests for vehicle suspension. This especially applies to the kerbs at the exit of T1, T6, and T7, which take a high toll on the cars due to their amplitude (i.e. the gap between the highest and lowest points of the kerbs) and the frequency (speed effect) at which they are taken.

2023 Austrian Grand Prixview – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main changes to the Red Bull Ring track for 2023?

The Red Bull Ring has undergone some modifications in 2023 to enhance the racing experience. Key changes include improvements in track surface, updated safety barriers, and minor adjustments to specific turns. These changes aim to provide a better balance between overtaking opportunities and technical challenges for the drivers.

How can I get the best view of the race at the Austrian Grand Prix?

To get the best view of the race, consider purchasing tickets for grandstands or hospitality packages. Popular grandstands include the Start-Finish Grandstand, which offers a view of the pit lane and starting grid, and the West Grandstand, which overlooks Turns 1 and 2. Hospitality packages typically include access to exclusive areas, premium seating, and additional amenities.

What are the accommodation options for the 2023 Austrian F1 race weekend?

For attendees seeking accommodation during the 2023 Austrian F1 race weekend, there are multiple options available. Hotels and guesthouses in the nearby towns of Spielberg, Zeltweg, and Judenburg can provide convenient lodging. Alternatively, there are several campsites near the Red Bull Ring for fans who prefer a more immersive experience. Booking in advance is strongly recommended, as accommodations tend to fill up quickly during race weekends.

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