As the championship moves to the second race of the triple-header, Lewis Hamilton takes charge.
Buoyed by the newly fitted engine, defending champion leads Sebastian Vettel by 14 points after a dominant performance at Paul Ricard. Lewis would like an encore of French Grand Prix to put more daylight between him and Vettel.
After finishing 1-2 in the closely fought qualifying, Mercedes was on course to score second 1-2 finish of the season, though the first corner collision of Valtteri Bottas with Vettel ensured it was less than a perfect weekend.
Mercedes are leading constructors’ championship by 23 points but this could quickly change.
Even though Austria has been a good hunting ground for the Silver Arrows, this season saw some of Mercedes’ forts being demolished by Ferrari.
Toto Wolff also realises this and said, “On paper, we should be in a good position for Austria; we had the fastest car in France and we have shown good performances in Spielberg in the past.
“But you cannot take anything for granted this season, the performance of the top-three teams is too closely matched.”
He knows that the see-saw battle will continue till the chequered flag comes out at Abu Dhabi and they will have to be on their toes to win the championship.
“This makes the 2018 season a great spectacle for the fans and an exciting challenge for the teams. We need to keep pushing hard and keep bringing performance to the track.”
Vettel who made an opening lap error must be itching to make an amend. Even though he trails by 14 points, he knows a strong weekend, like Canada, might change that. He has all the reasons to believe so as Ferrari proved to have a better package than Mercedes on a number of occasions.
Max Verstappen who finished on podiums three times in last four races and Daniel Ricciardo who won as many times as Vettel did, Red Bull will be hoping for a strong weekend here. Even though they never won at the circuit owned by their parent company, the season suggests they can throw a surprise.
Renault have established themselves as best of the rest and they would like to continue their form in Austria.
Alonso who had a miserable weekend after Le Mans high termed French Grand Prix performance as one of the instances. He would be hoping for a change in fortune this weekend and would be expecting better performance from McLaren, who are not able to match Renault despite using the same engine.
Charles Leclerc, who had a dream run at Paul Ricard, would be hoping to repeat the performance to make his case stronger for the Ferrari seat next season.
Now its time to we looked at the some of the interesting stats around drivers and the circuit.