Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team endured a challenging BWT Austrian Grand Prix as the triple-header drew to a close. Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel both gave it everything in the battle for points, eventually finishing 13th and 17th.
It's a disappointing end to the triple-header, but I am excited to get going for our home race at Silverstone.
"It was not the race we were hoping for today. I think it is clear, with hindsight, that starting on the Softs was not ideal, although we managed to keep ourselves in the fight for points during the first phase of the race. When we made our first stop to get onto a set of new Hards, we came out in quite a bit of traffic. With cars on different strategies and tyres, it meant we lost time and did not take advantage of the peak of the tyre early in the second stint, which impacted our race. It is a disappointing end to the triple-header, but I am excited to get going for our home race at Silverstone in a couple of weeks. It is a very different circuit and we also have a new weekend format, so it is a clean slate and a chance to bounce back."
It's disappointing not to score points, but we will work hard to understand where we can improve.
"It was not an easy race today, which ended with a trip through the gravel because of the misunderstanding with Kimi [Räikkönen]. I guess he just did not see me in front of him. The first I knew about it was the contact I felt on the left rear. I had made a good exit out of Turn Four and was pulling ahead of Kimi on the right as we approached Turn Five. I do not think there was any intention from Kimi. Even before that, we did not have the speed to fight for points today. The balance inside the car felt alright, but the cars on the Medium tyres had better performance in the opening stint when I was stuck in traffic without any clean air. It is disappointing not to score points, but we will work hard to understand where we can improve before we get to the next race at Silverstone."
We will now start working through today's data in order to put on a good show for the Silverstone crowd.
"A number of factors combined to prevent us from scoring points today, despite both our drivers having done so well to get through to Q3 yesterday. That strong performance showed the underlying pace of our car, but it is possible that other teams that did not get through to Q3 were actually advantaged by that failure since our drivers were both forced to make their first pit stops early as a result of having started the race on the Softs on which they qualified in Q3. We will have to analyse that issue carefully. Additionally, through no fault of his own, Lance was very unlucky to be slowed by debris that lodged itself in a brake duct, while Sebastian was nerfed off the track in the closing stages by [Kimi] Räikkönen. Looking on the bright side, next up is our home race, the British Grand Prix, and we will now start working through today’s data to learn from and build on the positives, in order to put on as good a show as we possibly can in front of the famously passionate Silverstone crowd."
Guide to Spielberg
There's double the track time in Austria for back-to-back races. The field will likely converge, so small margins may well decide these races. Our strategy engineers have analysed historic data and recent car performance to predict the key factors that could determine the result on Sunday, presented in partnership with our Title Partner Cognizant.
Cognizant's Keys to the Race
With three DRS zones (Turns One to Three, Turns Three to Four and Turns 10 to One), there's plenty of overtaking opportunities around a lap of the circuit. In 2020, the first Austrian race had 29 passes after the first lap, before an upswing to 43 the following weekend. A total of 76% of those overtakes were assisted by DRS, underlining its powerful impact.
Overtaking is comparable to Baku. The best opportunities to overtake in Austria come at Turns Three and Four due to the heavy braking point on entry into Turn Three, which can reward late-brakers and offers several angles of attack. With a DRS zone immediately following, the downhill run to Turn Four offers a chance to fight back or power past for position.
The opening race will use the C2, C3 and C4 mid-range before going one step softer for the Austria finale with the C3, C4 and C5. The venue is low on degradation, so expect a one-stop strategy. In 2020, there were four Safety Cars across the two races in Austria, but historically there's a 50% chance of a Safety Car in dry Austrian races, and there has only ever been one Virtual Safety Car, back in 2018. A mid-race interruption could turn the race into a two-stopper.
With laps completed in just over a minute, a lap of the Austrian Grand Prix is action-packed from start to finish. With elevation changes, long straights and a sweeping middle sector, keeping the flow and maintaining high speeds is the key to maximising a lap. Our official Cyber Security Partner SentinelOne presents the key technical facts and stats behind a single lap of the track.
Unlocking the lap
Ten corners are completed in under one minute and 10 seconds, highlighting the high-speed nature of the circuit, boosted by three powerful DRS zones and a sweeping downhill slalom to the flag that rewards precision – and punishes over-commitment.
Drivers will arrive at Turn One at speeds well over 300km/h (186mph) for one of the hardest braking points on the circuit, dropping to fourth gear and 140km/h (86mph) for the medium-speed corner.
It's key to get back on the power quickly as drivers move onto the 800m straight, which incorporates the minor flat-out kink of Turn Two, and climb towards Turn Three for one of the best overtaking spots on the track.
Hugging the right-hand side of the circuit, drivers reach 315km/h (195mph) and sweep left to approach a bumpy braking point. The challenge of Turn Three is then increased by the sharp right-angle of the corner. Mistakes are often made, and drivers can end up on the run-off.
Dropping to second gear and speeds of 80km/h (49mph) while navigating a tricky camber change, drivers get back on the power for another long straight downhill into Turn Four.
Unlocking the lap
With the benefit of DRS, drivers clear 300km/h (186mph) before taking on the challenge of braking downhill into a sweeping curve, which begins a high-speed and flowing downhill second and third sector.
Turns Five, Six and Seven are navigated at high speed, with drivers often lifting rather than braking to maintain a higher average speed.
They exit the complex at over 275km/h (170mph), pulling high lateral g-forces, maximising the outside kerb of Turn Eight before a short straight plunges downhill.
Turns Nine and 10 arrive fast: they’re back-to-back right-handers where over-aggression can lead to invalidated lap times – or worse – for using the run-off.
It's crucial to take the inside kerb at the final corner so a driver can return to the power swiftly for the start/finish straight.
Expect lap times to get progressively quicker across the two weekends as the track rubbers in. With consistent conditions, lap times should also significantly improve for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Lying in the Styrian Mountains and built upon the legacy of the Österreichring, the Austrian races are as beautiful as they are historic. A double-header at the venue also throws up unique challenges for drivers and teams as the triple-header comes to a close. NetApp breaks down the highlight facts and figures.
#IAMSTORIES - Petra
From attending her first Formula One Grand Prix last time out in Styria, to the best ways to experience the Austrian Grand Prix, Petra reveals her love for Formula One, as well as Austria's enduring passion for motorsport.
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