This weekend, the Red Bull Ring, set in the Styrian hills, will play host to the Austrian Grand Prix. The race serves as round 10 of the 2023 Formula 1 season and will see the return of the revised Sprint race.
The Red Bull Ring features one of the shortest tracks of the season, at just 2.688 miles. It also has just 10 corners, which together with the short length results in a lap time of just over a minute.
There are four long straights, as well as three DRS zones. The latter are located on the main straight, on the climb from Turns 2 to 3, and between Turns 3 and 4. They help overtaking, particularly in the braking area for Turn 3, which is the only really demanding test for the brakes, while going into Turn 4 is another passing opportunity.
The Red Bull Ring is also notorious for its high curbs and is considered to be one of the toughest tests for suspensions. This applies especially to the curbs at the exits of Turns 1, 6, and 7, which take a toll on the cars due to their height and the speed at which the cars are traveling.
Red Bull Ring, home of the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix
The surface is low grip and low abrasion, and the track gets progressively quicker as the weekend progresses. Even though the asphalt is relatively new, the track is quite bumpy in places, which makes it difficult to find consistent grip. Pirelli has nominated the C3 compound as the White hard, the C4 as the Yellow medium, and the C5 as the Red soft.
One other issue to look out for during the Austrian round is weather. Given the high-altitude mountain location of the Red Bull Ring (approximately 2,100 feet), temperatures can be a bit cool and the weather can be unpredictable. The current weather forecast calls for mild temperatures and the possibility of rain on Saturday, though Sunday's race should have fine and sunny conditions.
The Austrian round will mark 2023's second running of the Saturday Sprint race format, after the previous run during round four, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. This season, the Sprint race has been made a standalone event rather than the qualifier for the main race, as was previously the case. It still has championship points on the table for both drivers and teams, however.
Going into the weekend, Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen leads the Drivers' Championship with 195 points. Fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez is second with 126 points and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso is third with 117 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull leads with 321 points, versus the 167 of Mercedes and 154 of Aston Martin. Last year's winner in Austria was Charles Leclerc, driving for Ferrari.