It's the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix this weekend, the first of two back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Max Verstappen heads into this round with a 12-point lead over Lewis Hamilton after a thrilling victory at last weekend's French Grand Prix. It sets the stage for surely another spectacle.
Last time out at both Formula One Austrian rounds it was Mercedes that took home the trophies, with Lewis winning one and Valtteri the other. But, fast forward to 2021 and Max is looking stronger than ever. Anything can happen at the Ring.
Contract talks continue between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG, but there's still no further news from the team on their call on that second seat for 2022. Also, maximum capacity crowds will be welcomed back to Silverstone, on 18 July.
There's still no word from the Australian Grand Prix Corporation on the Australian F1 Grand Prix, which is set to go ahead in Melbourne in November. Stay tuned.
Rain is forecast in Austria for Friday with showers expected in the morning on Saturday, but no threat to qualifying later that day or the race on Sunday.
The first Grand Prix was held at the Red Bull Ring in 1970 for 18 consecutive years, followed by a break, with Grands Prix starting up again from 1997 to 2003. F1 outgrew the circuit, and once it was updated the racing resumed in 2011. The track's length is 4.318km. The race on Sunday will cover 306.45km over 71 laps.
Lap record: 1:05.619, Carlos Sainz (2020)
|Free Practice 1||Friday 25th June||19:00||Fox Sports 506 / Kayo|
|Free Practice 2||Friday 25th June||23:00||Fox Sports 506 / Kayo|
|Free Practice 3||Saturday 26th June||20:00||Fox Sports 506 / Kayo|
|Qualifying||Saturday 26th June||23:00||Fox Sports 506 / Kayo|
|Race||Sunday 27th June||23:10||Fox Sports 506 / Kayo|
2021 teams and drivers
|Alfa Romeo||Kimi Räikkönen & Antonio Giovinazzi|
|Alpine (previously Renault)||Fernando Alonso & Esteban Ocon|
|AlphaTauri||Pierre Gasly & Yuki Tsunoda|
|Aston Martin (previously Racing Point)||Sebastian Vettel & Lance Stroll|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz|
|Haas||Mick Schumacher & Nikita Mazepin|
|McLaren||Daniel Ricciardo & Lando Norris|
|Mercedes-AMG||Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas|
|Red Bull||Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez|
|Williams||George Russell & Nicholas Latifi|
Niki Lauda is the only Austrian driver to have won his home race. This was in 1984, the year he took his third and final World Championship.
Alain Prost is the most successful driver in Austria with three wins. Since F1 returned to the country in 2014, Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton have all won at the Red Bull Ring twice (given 2020 saw two races held at the circuit).
The 1976 Austrian Grand Prix was the last F1 race completed by a female driver. The race was Lella Lombardi's final race appearance.
The Red Bull Ring is the fourth-shortest track on the schedule, after Monaco, Mexico's Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and Brazil's Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos.
It's too close to call heading into this round, which is a great thing to be able to report. We all know who the main contenders are with the battle well and truly on between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis has had success here in the past, but so has Max. In fact, they're at a tie when it comes to wins. This is also Red Bull's home track, surely giving Max extra ammunition.
Bottas will have plenty of fire in him after his team's disastrous strategy calls last time out, while Ferrari will be looking to bounce back and regain points after tyre issues hindered their French Grand Prix.
Lando Norris remains strong this season and has had a podium at the Ring before – so look out for him. Here's hoping Daniel's confidence will continue into the weekend.
There's only five points between AlphaTauri and Aston Martin in the constructors' standings so look out for that battle in the mid-pack.
Who will come out on top? Let us know your predictions for the weekend.
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