Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
The first of four European-based Grands Prix in July gets underway on Sunday as the teams battle it out at the Red Bull Ring in Austria and once again it is Max Verstappen leading the drivers away from pole position.
It’s not all good news for the home team, though, after Sergio Perez’s disasterclass in track limits left him down in 15th, while the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be hoping to put the pressure on Verstappen after qualifying in second and third respectively.
In the second of four new Sprint format races this season, Saturday will be a stand-alone day consisting of a Sprint Shootout and Sprint race, with Friday’s qualifying session setting the grid for the main event on Sunday.
All selections below are priced up with SkyBet, where new customers can get up to £30 in free bets to use on July’s sporting action.
Austrian Grand Prix track guide
Debut season – 1970
Track length – 4.32km
Number of turns – 9
Most wins – Max Verstappen & Alain Prost (3)
Most poles – Max Verstappen (4)
2022 winner – Charles Leclerc
Located in the beautiful Styrian mountains near Zeltweg, the Austrian Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2014 after Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz bought the track and re-opened it as the Red Bull Ring.
With three DRS zones, only nine turns and lap times just over a minute, it is one of the fastest circuits on the Formula One calendar and in recent years has drawn a swathe of Max Verstappen fans – flares and all – due to it being Red Bull’s home Grand Prix.
The main overtaking zones are the long straight between Turns 1 and 2 and the slightly shorter straight after the sharp Turn 2 and leading into Turn 3, while the extremely fast, uphill Turn 1, know as the Niki Lauda Kurve, offers one of the most exciting corners on the calendar.
Austrian Grand Prix predictions
Verstappen to win, Hamilton & Leclerc podium, Gasly & Norris points finish at 6/1
Max Verstappen has won the last four Grands Prix and has won 15 of the last 19 looking back into last season. With another pole position secured, it would take a huge feat for anybody to knock the reigning champion off his perch.
Lewis Hamilton has made good use of the upgraded Mercedes package and could muscle his way onto the podium from a fifth-place start. He has finished in the top three in each of the last two races and the Mercedes looked pacey on the hard tyres in Friday’s practice session.
Leclerc starts from second on the grid and has the advantage of having his teammate just behind him, opening up Ferrari’s strategy options. He was just half-a-tenth off Max Verstappen in qualifying and has been on the podium in three of his last six visits to the Red Bull Ring.
Lando Norris put in a stunning performance on Friday, making good use of the upgrade package on his McLaren to qualify fourth. Holding the Mercedes and Aston Martin’s behind him at bay may be a stretch but there is no reason he can’t claim a fourth points finish of the season, while ninth-on-the-grid Pierre Gasly has finished in the points five times this season and shouldn’t have any issues piloting the consistent Alpine to the points.
Alexander Albon points finish at 11/10
While teammate Logan Sargeant was qualifying a disappointing 18th, Alex Albon once again proved his worth to the Williams team with a fantastic qualifying session, making it into Q3 and starting Sunday’s Grand Prix from tenth.
The downfall of AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo and the shockingly bad tyre wear on the Haas have undeniably helped Williams move up the pecking order, but Albon’s influence cannot be overstated.
Sargeant is yet to score a point this season but Albon took seventh in Canada last time out for his second points finish of the season and he will be confident of a third at a circuit he excels at.
In a different life, the Red Bull Ring could have been the scene of Albon’s first win in Formula One in 2020 were it not for a collision with Lewis Hamilton but he finished fourth here in the following weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix and always looks comfortable and confident around the Styrian mountains.
Back him to claim more valuable points for the improving Williams.
Charles Leclerc podium finish at 10/11
Charles Leclerc hailed Friday’s qualifying session as Ferrari’s best of the season and, while it was still only good enough for second behind the indomitable Max Verstappen, it does put him in a good position for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
The Monegasque driver was just half-a-tenth off Verstappen’s pole position time and Ferrari have a potential strategy advantage with Carlos Sainz in third, too, while Red Bull’s second driver is down in 15th, George Russell of Mercedes is in 11th and the two Aston Martin drivers are in sixth and seventh.
Leclerc tends to go well in Austria, finishing on the podium in three of his last six trips to the Red Bull Ring and being unlucky not to add a couple more to his tally and, providing Ferrari make good use of the advantage they earned in qualifying, the 25-year-old could be on for his second podium of the season.
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