Will British Drivers Be Successful In June’s Austrian Grand Prix?

Formula 1 2022: Austrian Gp
Formula 1 2022: Austrian Gp

June sees the Austrian Grand Prix take place on June 28. Could it be a good weekend for British drivers?

The 2024 F1 season is again seeing Max Verstappen leading the drivers’ championship and Red Bull top of the constructors’ list. Verstappen is a very short 1/25 to win the title and Red Bull around the same price to again win the constructors’ title.

Hopes of a British title win are pretty slim despite the recent performances of Lando Norris in Miami. He’s 50/1 to win the drivers’ championship but could well be a future champion.

The Austrian Grand Prix has not been a happy hunting ground for British drivers in recent years. The last victory there was achieved by Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes back in 2016. That was the first time a British driver had stood at the top of the podium since David Coulthard 23 years ago.

Before that there had been wins for John Watson (1976), Nigel Mansell (1987) and Eddie Irvine in 1999. That reads like a list of great British drivers from the past but can the new generation create their own share of history?

Three years ago, recent Miami Grand Prix winner Lando Norris put in an impressive performance to finish third in the Austrian Grand Prix. He was second in qualifying, his best ever result at that time. It was a welcome performance for McLaren as that was their best result in qualifying since 2012.

In the race itself, Norris did well to finish third. He’d received a five-second time penalty after an incident at turn 4 that saw Sergio Perez heading off the track. That penalty was served in the pits and gave Norris the opportunity to have the tyres changed on his McLaren. Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in the race with  the Williams of George Russell down in 11th.

2022 saw all three British drivers earning points but there was plenty of controversy over the weekend.

The highest finishing British driver in the sprint race was George Russell who claimed fourth place. Lewis Hamilton was down in eighth place, his hopes not being helped by making contact with Pierre Gasly at turn one, though it was the Frenchman’s Alpha Tauri that went into a spin. Hamilton only just earned himself a point, needing to overtake Mick Schumacher with a couple of laps to go.

Lando Norris could only finish 11th in the sprint race. He was forced off the track by Alexander Albon in his Williams.

Sunday’s race produced a win for the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc but it was a good day for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton finished third (but 41 seconds behind LeClerc) with George Russell in fourth.

For the second year in a row, Sergio Perez had problems with a British driven car. This time around it was George Russell who received a five-second penalty after the front left tyre of his Mercedes touched the rear right tyre of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. That saw Perez ending up in the gravel and the damage sustained led to him retiring on lap 24.

Russell needed a new wing on his car. That took him down to 19th so eventually finishing fourth was a pretty good effort by George Russell who’d love to go so well again this year. Lando Norris also did well and finished sixth in his McLaren despite a five-second penalty being imposed for exceeding track limits.

Last year saw Max Verstappen win the Austrian Grand Prix, no big surprise there then. He also won the sprint race so it was another high-scoring weekend for Verstappen and the all-conquering Red Bull team.

The race took place in cloudy conditions and the best finish for a Brit was Lando Norris who finished fourth..

It was a controversial race though and relations were not going well between Norris and Hamilton. Norris wasn’t happy with the former world champion being reported for exceeding track limits on several occasions.

That eventually led to Hamilton being shown a black and white flag for unsportsmanlike conduct and later being given in total a ten-second penalty. Hamilton finished eighth, a place behind Mercedes teammate George Russell.

If you are looking to bet on the F1 title winners, there is the alternative of placing a wager on who’d be top driver without either Verstappen or Red Bull. This market sees Sergio Perez 4/5 to win with Charles Lecerc at 9/2 and Lando Norris at 10/1, according to the recent British bookie offers.

In the constructors’ championship, the absence of Red Bull sees Ferrari at 4/9 and McLaren at 15/8 with Mercedes 100/1. Odds are subject to change but it’s an interesting market if you want to bet on F1 this year.

Now we come to 2024 and with Mercedes struggling, it could well be Lando Norris who is again Britain’s best hope of a podium finish in Austria.

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