2020 Formula One Styrian Grand Prix preview

Round two of the revised 2020 Formula One World Championship will be held this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, the same circuit which played host to the first round, the Austrian Grand Prix, just one week ago.

It’s the first time in F1 history that two rounds are taking place on the same track in the same season, though it won’t be the last time this season. There will also be back-to-back rounds at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom in August.

This weekend’s round is the special Styrian Grand Prix, with the name coming from the region in Austria where the Red Bull Ring is located. Uniquely, teams have plenty of data from the previous round to help prepare the setup for this weekend’s round.

One difference will be weather. After the fine conditions last weekend, the current weather forecast calls for rain and possibly a thunderstorm for Saturday’s qualifying session, though fortunately we look to be in for fine conditions during Sunday’s race. Pirelli has nominated its C2, C3 and C4 compounds, the same as last weekend.

Red Bull Ring, home of the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix

Red Bull Ring, home of the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix

The Red Bull Ring measures 2.688 miles in length, making it the shortest of the current crop of F1 racetracks.

There are only nine corners and a complete lap takes just 68 seconds. There are four long straights, each one preceded by a slow corner, and that places the engineering emphasis on traction and straight-line speed.

During an early practice session on Friday, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez set the fastest time followed closely by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and then the Mercedes-AMG duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Bottas won the previous weekend.

Going into the weekend, Bottas leads the 2020 Drivers’ Championship with 25 points. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is second with 18 points and McLaren’s Lando Norris is third with 16 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 37 points followed by McLaren with 26 points and Ferrari with 19 points.

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