Everything you need to know about the Austrian GP

Even though the championship feels much more competitive now, Max Verstappen’s lead has actually increased to 69 points.

Fortunately, Laurence Edmondson has analysed just how close it actually is, and has broken down the numbers.

You can’t fault Red Bull for consistency, and that is exactly what McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari need, along with fewer mistakes and a cleaner race to really take the fight to Red Bull, and what a place to do it at their home circuit at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

The track has also had some upgrades since last year, with gravel added to Turns Nine and 10 to prevent repeated chaos of track limit penalties.

As always, the weather promises to be hot in the stunning Styrian mountains, with highs of 30°C, and generally sunny, but so far, Sunday threatens scattered thunderstorms and possibly rain.

Latest news

After months of speculation over his future, Max Verstappen has confirmed he will remain at Red Bull in 2025, ruling out a switch to rivals Mercedes.

Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll will extend their stays at their respective teams for 2025.

Red Bull are wary of Lando Norris and McLaren ahead of the weekend’s race. “On such a short lap it’s going to be so tight,” Red Bull principal Christian Horner said.

Mick Schumacher will do a Formula One test with Alpine next week as the French team continues to mull over its 2025 driver lineup.

Can Lando Norris be champion in 2024? | F1 Unlapped — listen to the latest podcast episode.

Circuit stats & history

Spielberg’s F1 circuit hosted races between 1970-1987 and then again between 1997-2003. Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz originally bought the circuit in 2004, but it was relaunched and branded in 2011 which brought it back onto the calendar for the 2014 season.

Austria played a key role for F1 during the coronavirus pandemic — the Red Bull Ring hosted the opening two races of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign: the Austrian Grand Prix and the Styrian Grand Prix.

Laps: 71 laps of 4.3km. Total distance 306km

Lap record: 1:05.619 – Carlos Sainz (2020)

Most wins: Verstappen with four (2018-2019, 2021, 2023). Of the current grid, Hamilton (2016), Valtteri Bottas (2017, 2020), Charles Leclerc (2022) have all won here.

Most poles: Nobody has more than three poles here — Verstappen, Bottas, René Arnoux and Niki Lauda are all tied on three. Of the current grid, Hamilton (2015-2016) and Leclerc (2019) have been on pole here.

What happened last year

Max Verstappen was perfect last year, taking pole position for the race and the sprint, and winning both. Both Red Bull drivers were on the podium for the race, with Charles Leclerc finishing between them in second.

Who’s going to win?

McLaren and Lando Norris should have won in Spain and they will be the strongest bet to challenge Max Verstappen in Austria, given the car’s strength in high-speed corners.

Mercedes and Ferrari will also fancy their chances at the short circuit which always throws up tight qualifying sessions and overtaking opportunities.

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Can Lando Norris catch Max Verstappen in the F1 title race?

Laurence Edmondson debates if McLaren’s Lando Norris can catch up with Max Verstappen in the F1 standings.

How to watch the GP

Watch on ESPNEWS and ESPN+ (U.S. only).

Live broadcast coverage in the U.K. is on Sky Sports F1, and BBC Radio 5 Live, with Sunday’s highlights on Channel 4.

For news, analysis and updates, follow the coverage with ESPN’s F1 team Nate Saunders and Laurence Edmondson in Spielberg and on social media.

Friday, June 28
Practice – 11:30-12:30 BST / 12:30-13:30 central European summer time
Sprint qualifying – 15:30 – 16:14 BST / 16:30-17:14 CEST.

Saturday, June 29
Sprint race – 11:00-12:00 BST / 12:00-13:00 CEST
Qualifying – 15:00-16:00 BST / 16:00-17:00 CEST.

Sunday, June 30
Race starts – 14:00 BST / 15:00 CEST.

How the championships look

Although Norris has moved up to second in the drivers’ championship, Verstappen’s lead has increased slightly to 69, on 219 overall.

Verstappen would have to be off the podium for several races to prevent him running away with the championship.

Naturally, Red Bull are still ahead in the constructors’ championship by 60 points over Ferrari. McLaren trail in third by 93.

Standings | Calendar | Teams

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