Austrian F1 Grand Prix 2022: Odds, preview and key stories | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors
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Max Verstappen recovered well in the early days of preparation for the Austrian Grand Prix after a disappointing finish at the British Grand Prix.
The Formula One Drivers’ Championship leader took victory in Saturday’s 23-lap sprint race to take pole for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Verstappen started first on the grid for Saturday’s qualifying race, and he faced no challenge from the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on Saturday.
Leclerc and Sainz have their own personal battle to find on track after Sainz took his first career win at the British Grand Prix last week.
Leclerc opened the season as Ferrari’s main threat to Verstappen, but there are just 12 points between him and Sainz in the points standings and Sainz has looked more competitive in recent races.
Ferrari will also have to deal with the pace of Sergio Perez. The Mexican Red Bull driver moved up eight places in 23 laps in the sprint race to finish fifth on Sunday’s grid.
Most of the usual top players start high on the grid for the Austrian Grand Prix, but there is a surprise from the Haas garage. Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher will start seventh and ninth respectively, after strong performances in the sprint race at the Red Bull Ring.
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Max Verstappen (-225; bet $225 to win $100)
Charles Leclerc (+330; bet $100 to win $330)
Sergio Perez (+1100)
Carlos Sainz (+1300)
Lewis Hamilton (+3000)
George Russell (+3000)
Esteban Ocon (+30000)
Kevin Magnussen (+60000)
Fernando Alonso (+60000)
All other pilots (+100000)
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Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Red Bull seems to have the upper hand over Ferrari at the Red Bull Ring.
Verstappen had the fastest car in Friday’s qualifying session, and he took down the Ferraris with relative ease at the start of Saturday’s sprint race.
Verstappen encountered so few problems on Saturday that TV cameras were fixated on Ferrari’s battle for second place and the fight for eighth place, which was the final position for the sprint race.
Verstappen could use a similar start to the sprint race to definitively edge out the Ferrari duo of Leclerc and Sainz.
Of course, there will be some differences between Sunday’s race and Saturday’s sprint race, including pit stops, more laps and the use of different tyres.
But if the Ferrari drivers are fighting for second place, Verstappen can create a gap between him and the red cars that gives him a buffer when he needs to refuel.
Red Bull could be on two podiums if Sergio Perez replicates his pace from the sprint race. He was forced to start 13th due to some grid penalties imposed after the end of the qualifying session.
Perez cut through the middle of the pack and found himself comfortably in fifth position after passing Esteban Ocon.
If Perez had that pace for 23 laps, he could easily catch up on a longer race on the Ferraris and George Russell, who start in the three positions between him and Verstappen.
A double podium should be the minimum objective for Red Bull. The result would help salvage points after Verstappen took seventh place last week at the British Grand Prix.
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JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images
Ferrari came out of the British Grand Prix with a win from Carlos Sainz, but it still felt like the team had messed up their overall race strategy.
Charles Leclerc led the race before a safety car came into play. Leclerc was the only top five driver not to pit, and the decision ended up costing him the win and a place on the podium.
Sainz’ victory at Silverstone was well deserved, but it came with a bit of turmoil due to poor strategy with Leclerc’s car.
The two Ferrari drivers battled it out for second place in Saturday’s sprint race, and the same will happen again on Sunday if neither driver overtakes Verstappen at the start.
A head-to-head clash for second won’t do Ferrari any good on Sunday, with Perez set to challenge from fifth and Russell one of the more consistent drivers in the field.
Ferrari needs to manage the race properly early on so both drivers can have a chance of beating Verstappen in the closing laps, or outmaneuvering him when it comes to pit strategy.
Ferrari’s game plans haven’t been their strong point this season. Leclerc lost a victory at the Monaco Grand Prix due to a strategic error.
Sunday could be the day Ferrari’s strategic luck turns around and makes them a force to challenge Red Bull, but for that to happen Leclerc and Sainz can’t fight at the start and need to focus all their energy on keeping up. . Verstappen.
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Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Haas delivered the biggest surprise on the starting grid, as Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher finished in the top 10 of the sprint race.
Schumacher had one of the best drives of the afternoon. He held off Lewis Hamilton for several laps before conceding eighth place in the final stage of the event.
Schumacher’s drive on Saturday showcased more confidence behind the wheel. He gained a huge boost with his first ever points finish at the British Grand Prix.
Magnussen stayed ahead in the Schumacher-Hamilton battle for most of the sprint race. He will start Sunday alongside Hamilton on row 4 in seventh place.
The promising results from the sprint race come a week after the first double of points of the season for the team at the bottom of the peloton.
Magnussen and Schumacher are in a position to score in the points again on Sunday if their pace stays the same.
The Haas pair will have to fend off threats from Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, but every performance on Friday and Saturday suggests Hass can compete for two top-10 spots.
A second consecutive double podium would be a remarkable achievement for a team that has struggled to score a point for most of the first 10 races of the season.
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