Lance and Fernando secured a combined 18 points over the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix weekend: nine in the second Sprint of the season on Saturday, and nine in Sunday's race.
The Debrief by Aramco
Hear from Fernando, Lance, Performance Director Tom McCullough and Team Principal Mike Krack as they give their thoughts throughout the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
Need to Know: Austria
The hills of Styria provide a stunning canvas for the Red Bull Ring as it hosts the ninth round of the season and the second Sprint of the season. This circuit has appeared on the Formula One calendar under different guises over the decades but its propensity for hosting great battles has remained unchanged. Read on to find out more.
"I'm looking forward to returning to Europe for four races within the next few months, all on very different circuits. The Red Bull Ring is a challenging and compact circuit with two distinct halves. Whilst the first half has three DRS straights, the second is a sequence of quick corners, so it’s a fun track to race at.
"Our weekend changes slightly with the Sprint format, which means FP1 is very much focused on dialling in the car and getting up to speed ahead of Qualifying on Friday afternoon. The Sprint event on Saturday brings an additional element to consider across the weekend as we try and maximise our points return."
"It was great to return to the podium in Canada. The upgrades we brought to the car seemed to be working well and we will continue to optimise the setup as we go into Austria.
"It’s a fast and short lap here and it usually provides some good racing and overtaking. You have to be careful of the run-off areas and try to avoid damage to the cars with the harsh kerbs. I look forward to seeing what we can do. The target will be to keep up this form and score as many points for the team as we try to take back second place in the Constructors' Championship."
Insight and Speed
The rate of Safety Car deployments is relatively low at the Red Bull Ring. In the last five Grands Prix here there have been five Safety Cars, but three of those appeared in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. As for Virtual Safety Cars, there have been just two VSCs since the system was introduced back in 2015.
It is possible to overtake here but the short lap and small speed differences mean gaining an advantage over the car ahead can be tricky. There have been 27 passes per race on average over the last three races – ignoring restarts and race starts – and the long straight after Turn 12 is the most popular passing zone.
As was the case in Austria last season, the softest Pirelli compounds are in play this weekend. The C3, C4 and C5 compounds are available but there's just one hour of practice – on Friday – due to the Sprint. High-speed corners mean higher tyre degradation and the possibility of a multi-stop race, as was the case in 2022.
Unlocking the Lap
The Red Bull Ring is one of the shortest laps on the calendar but it pushes drivers with elevation changes and a smattering of high-speed corners. SentinelOne takes us through the 10 turns that await in Spielberg.
The long start-finish straight leads drivers uphill into the medium-speed right-hander that is Turn One. It's imperative to carry as much speed as you can onto the following straight that takes you to Turn Three, which is the most challenging corner on the circuit. This sharp right-hand turn includes a raised kerb and tight run-off area. The braking point and exit are both uphill, which means traction is at a premium here.
Then it's downhill to the long Turn Four hairpin that leads through a host of fast turns: left through Turn Six, another left into Turn Seven and right through Turn Eight. This sequence is straightforward but understeer through here can throw the car into the awaiting gravel traps.
Turn Nine is a rapid right-hander and the final corner, Turn 10, requires a good exit to set you up for the long uphill straight.
Powered by How
How do teams and drivers manage traffic?
In Qualifying for the Grand Prix and Sprint, it is imperative to have a clear track ahead. If a driver on a flying lap encounters a rival – or even team-mate – they'll have to take evasive action and lose time in the quest for pole.
Teams will monitor the circuit using telemetry, GPS driver trackers – which show where every driver is on a map of the track – and video to see where there are gaps on the circuit to help their drivers emerge with a clear stretch of road ahead.
Engineers can also use this data to talk to the driver while they're on a warm-up lap, and instruct them to speed up or slow down in an attempt to eke out even more space and avoid the perils of traffic.
With just one hour of practice before Qualifying, the Sprint and Grand Prix in Austria, there isn’t much time to hone the car and get to grips with the Red Bull Ring. We explore this weekend’s track conditions together with Global Partner NetApp, a global hybrid cloud storage partner with solutions that perform across a diverse environment, allowing us to gain insights on weather-related data as well as telemetry data.
Clouds will hang over Spielberg throughout Friday and the risk of rain is at 40 per cent for Qualifying. This means that drivers will need to time their flying laps to get the best conditions possible.
The risk of rain is low for the Sprint Shootout but for the Sprint itself, on Saturday afternoon, there is a 60 per cent chance of precipitation. There is also a significant chance of rain for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with a 50 per cent chance at this early stage.
This could make for a mixed grid and an eventful race.
In Formula One, you’re constantly learning. Every lap, every mile, every second, is an opportunity to further your understanding and, ultimately, discover ways to unlock performance. In partnership with XP Inc., here are some of the key points for the Austrian Grand Prix and Sprint.
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