Rosberg Value To Retain Austrian Crown
Austrian Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg will be hoping to cut Lewis Hamilton’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship at this week’s Austrian Grand Prix in Speilburg.
The Season So Far
Normal service was resumed in Canada last time when Lewis Hamilton led all the way to take his fourth victory of the season and extend his lead over Nico Rosberg in the Drivers’ Championship to 17 points. Rosberg took second, whilst Valtteri Bottas claimed his first podium finish of the season, thanks partly to Kimi Raikkonen’s spin on the 28th lap.
Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa started at the rear of the grid but made impressive progress to finish fifth and sixth respectively.
The Red Bull Ring, Speilburg, has a straightforward layout, similar to the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Canada, though with even fewer corners, and multiple straights. Over half of each lap will be spent at full throttle and the high altitude will put an extra strain on turbos. Power is key at this circuit and several teams are introducing power unit updates, most notably Ferrari and McClaren.
In The Pits
Red Bull owns the circuit in Speilburg, so you might expect them to be pulling out all the stops on their home turf. They have been enduring a poor season, but even if the team’s continuing mechanical problems aren’t enough to put you off backing Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat at big odds, you should bear in mind that both Red Bulls are likely to start at the back of the grid as a tactical ploy – taking the hit of a mandatory grid penalty for using five engines, leaving them free to use a new engine in Hungary, a track that is likely to be more suitable to their car’s set-up.
After being deposed from his usual spot at the top of the podium in Monaco and Barcelona, Lewis Hamilton was once again to the fore in Canada, and is a predictably short-price in the antepost market this week.
Those looking to oppose him could draw some comfort from the fact that he finished second behind Rosberg in this race last year, although he was hampered by a scrappy qualifying session. But the main reason to side with his team-mate is price.
Rosberg may be relying on Hamilton making a mistake or suffering a mechanical fault, but at 2/1 the German is still value.
Ferrari will be bringing a new power unit to Austria and it will be interesting to see if this helps them to close the gap on Mercedes. All the evidence of the last few months suggests that is unlikely, but in Sebastian Vettel, they have a driver capable of squeezing the maximum performance out of his car. He scythed through the field in Canada after starting at the back of the grid and assuming he starts a little closer to the leaders in Austria, he is a good bet at 9/1 to capitalise on any Mercedes slip-ups.
*Prices correct at time of publication.