After such complete domination from Red Bull at last week’s Styrian Grand Prix, the big question remains, will Mercedes rise to the challenge?
Mercedes lacked a lot of pace when compared to the Red Bulls and to make up for that pace, Mercedes are going to have to work hard. Granted they will have a bunch of new data to work with from last week that will be especially useful considering we are at the same track this weekend. But I doubt that will be enough to improve drastically enough in order to fight the Red Bulls.
The real way they are going to improve is by developing the current car further. There have been talks from team principal Toto Wolff suggesting that might be off the table, but Lewis Hamilton has recently come out against that. “If we’re not going to develop and improve the car for the rest of the year, this is the result you’re going to see, because, as I’ve said, they’ve [Red Bull] really eked out performance in these last few races.”
Mercedes’ Chief Technical Officer-to-be, James Allison, told F1 Nation that they would indeed be upgrading the current car. If that’s true, then we can look forward to a tighter race.
The Red Bull team should be sitting nice and comfortable ahead of the weekend with such a stunning performance last week. This weekend’s performance will depend entirely on Mercedes and whether or not they develop their car. What can be improved when Max Verstappen had a 15 second lead ahead of Hamilton?
Ferrari will be very interesting to look at this weekend after a great performance last week. As long as no accidents befall either driver, Ferrari might be able to take P5, and if they’re very lucky, P3. Though they will have a tough fight against this year’s superstar, Lando Norris. But the Ferrari’s showed great pace and had they not had a few issues during qualifying and Charles Leclerc didn’t have his accident with Pierre Gasly, the results could have been great. This is definitely something to look out for as the Ferrari’s generally have great qualifying pace. Here’s hoping they can keep it together.
At McLaren, Norris will likely continue his stellar performance but the real driver to watch is his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo faced a shocker last weekend due to a loss of power early on in the race. If Ricciardo can keep his morale up, this might be a race that he improves in because, for one, it’s the same track as last weekend, which means he might be able to judge things a little better with the car than he would’ve otherwise. Or he continues on his tragic downward spiral. He still isn’t used to the car but hopefully being on the same track will improve his confidence.
Pierre Gasly will be itching to get back on the track after last weekend saw him DNF on the first lap. He had a great qualifying time, as did his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, and the AlphaTauri’s will be looking to gain some ground this weekend to make up for last weekend. Gasly will certainly give the Ferraris something to worry about that’s for sure.
It’s shaping up to be a very exciting weekend indeed. The race will start at 11pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.