The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team gets back on the race track at Austria’s Red Bull Ring today as the second of three back-to-back grands prix gets underway with Friday free practice.
After a successful last weekend at Paul Ricard in France where Charles Leclerc was in the points paying places once again, the Swiss team goes into this round with a total of 13 points in the Teams’ Championship.
The continuous progress that has been made by the team with the Ferrari-powered Sauber C37 over the recent race weekends should give its two drivers, Leclerc and his team mate Marcus Ericsson, the confidence they need to tackle the Red Bull Circuit.
The Austrian Grand Prix weekend is popular among drivers and fans alike, offering excitement, both on and off track. Being one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, the circuit offers good opportunities for overtaking and challenges drivers, especially with its interesting corner combinations.
"The Grand Prix in Austria is always a fun one to return to. It takes place on one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, with only a few corners. That makes the lap time margins very tight. It has some interesting parts - mainly, it is the second part of the lap that is challenging. There are some very fast corners that require good car balance, as well as commitment from us as drivers. The longer straights and hairpins offer some opportunities for overtaking. The atmosphere is always great, with many fans coming to support us at the track. I really look forward to going back."
"I really look forward to racing in Austria. The Red Bull Ring is my favourite track, next to the one in Monaco. It is very small but has a special rhythm to it that I really like. There are a lot of fans there to support us and many events taking place around the track, which gives the weekend a special feel. In terms of driving, my favourite parts of the circuit are the two last corners. The team has been doing a great job in improving our performance week by week, and we are motivated by the progress we are making. It will be interesting to see what we can do during this upcoming Grand Prix weekend in Spielberg."
The Red Bull Ring, also known as the Spielberg Ring, is a braking-and-traction circuit, calling for "medium-downforce" levels. The balance between the number of corners and lengths of the straights is similar to the track in Montreal. However, the nature of the corners is substantially different with flowing corners in place of chicanes, and changes of elevation. Braking is also a key factor.
Photos: Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - 2018 FIA F1 World Championship