Austria has a rich history in Formula One, having hosted 28 F1 races over three incredible circuits. Here are 5 holy sh*t facts that have wowed audiences of the Austrian Grand Prix.
5. Twenty-One drivers have won in Austria, but a native driver has only won in Austria once. Niki Lauda triumphed in 1984 after three successive failures to do so from pole position from 1981. The Austrian drove his orange and white McLaren MP4-2 to the championship in 1984 too.
4. The first Austrian Grand Prix came in 1964, and took place at Zeltweg, an unforgiving, bumpy as f*ck runway. Ferrari won the grand prix with Lorenzo Bandini at the wheel. Bandini’s team-mate John Surtees won the championship that year.
3. Because of Nico Rosberg’s back-to-back victories in Speilberg, he remains the only driver on the current grid to taste victory on Austrian soil. Whether he can complete the hat-trick will depend on him keeping cool when the hungry Hamilton challenges.
2. If Kimi Raikkonen can somehow pull a win out of nowhere, he will become Formula One’s most successful Finn ever, surpassing Mika Hakkinen’s tally of twenty victories. Ferrari are going into this weekend with a very aggressive tyre strategy, opting for more softer compounds than their rivals. If the risk pays off and Kimi breaks the Finnish record, he probably won’t celebrate that much… His first victory came in 2003 at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
1. This weekend, it is very likely that we will witness the fastest lap in Formula One for 25 years. After a huge resurfacing job and with a massive improvement in this year’s power units, it is likely that the front-runners will be looking at a 1m05s or 1m06s in qualifying. This will smash Schumacher’s record of 1m07.908s around the circuit, which remains (for now) the fastest lap in Formula One since 1990.
Here’s Schumi’s quali lap from the same year, although the record was recorded in a Friday practice session: