The eighth round of the Formula 1 World Championship 2021 will take place this weekend at the Austrian Red Bull Ring. The Styrian Grand Prix is a special round to replace one of the earlier rounds that have been canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
It was also on the calendar last year, and like last year the Red Bull Ring will host both the Styrian Grand Prix and the regular Austrian Grand Prix next weekend.
The Red Bull Ring is a compact circuit roller coaster with a hectic, somewhat short, distance of 2.688 miles. There are only 10 corners and a complete lap only takes 68 seconds. There are four long straights, each preceded by a slow corner, and that puts the engineering focus on traction and speed on the straight.
Red Bull Ring, venue of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Austria
Another problem to be considered is the weather. Given the altitude of the Red Bull Ring (around 2,100 feet), temperatures can be a bit chilly even during the current summer period. The mountain location can also make the weather a little unpredictable. The current forecast provides for mild temperatures and a few showers both in qualifying on Saturday and in the race on Sunday.
Interestingly, Pirelli has nominated different tire combinations for the Grand Prix of Styria and Austria, even though the races are on the same track and only a week apart. For this weekend’s race, the C2 will be the P Zero White Hard, the C3 will be the P Zero Yellow Medium and the C4 will be the P Zero Red Soft. For the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend, the P Zero White hard will be the C3, the P Zero Yellow medium will be the C4 and the P Zero Red soft will be the C5. Teams usually use a one-stop strategy.
At the beginning of the weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ championship in 2021 with 131 points. Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes-Benz AMG is second with 119 points and Sergio Perez from Red Bull is third with 84 points. In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull leads with 215 points against the 178 from Mercedes and 110 from McLaren. The winner of last year’s Styrian Grand Prix was Hamilton for Mercedes.