Revealed: Where on the grid Austrian Grand Prix will produce ‘super interesting’ fight

Sam Cooper
Dutch fans in front of the Red Bull statue. Austria, July 2022.

Dutch fans in front of the Red Bull statue. Austria, July 2022.

Austrian driver Ferdinand Habsburg has predicted that F1 fans could be treated to a “super interesting” fight as a result of the Austrian Grand Prix characteristics.

F1 heads to Spielberg and the Red Bull Ring this weekend for the return of the Austrian Grand Prix and it is often one that produces interesting battles up and down the grid.

The past three races have all had different winners from different teams and while Max Verstappen remains a safe bet to take P1 in this year’s event, there is plenty to look forward to lower down the order.

WEC driver Habsburg believes the characteristics of the Red Bull Ring in his home country of Austria will produce a “super interesting” midfield battle between the likes of Alpine, Williams and McLaren.

“Personally, I am somebody that loves to follow not the front of the race, but I love to follow the middle of the race,” the ORF pundit told media including PlanetF1.com.

“Watching to see how Williams does, how the Alpine car does, all of those cars in the midfield and I think the Red Bull Ring is particularly interesting for midfield cars.

“It can make things shine like a Williams which I’m always quite a big fan of. You never know, I feel like these stories are always super interesting but slightly overshadowed by the winner or the podium. But I think the Red Bull Ring will be super interesting around qualifying and then the race.

“Qualifying because you can make a difference with a low drag car and in the race, it’s just really nice for overtaking so it’s always a nice race.

“I remember there was a battle between [Lewis] Hamilton and [Mick] Schumacher at one point in a Haas and it was just like ‘how is this even happening?’ But the Red Bull Ring can bring midfield cars into opposition so I think that’s mainly what I’m focusing on.”

While Red Bull are running away with the title, the battle behind the top four runners is very competitive. At the moment, Alpine have the lead on 44 points but it would only take a few good races for the likes of McLaren to catch up.

For Habsburg, it was in the midfield area where the main source of interest will come this season.

“I think that’s probably the best thing that we’ve got this year,” the 26-year-old said. “Which is that the midfield in every race will qualify almost within a second which is insane.

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“You don’t have the Haas or the Williams just trailing two seconds behind. So I think this new regulatory change with the budget caps and the new aero kits have completely done what they were supposed to do in that sense.

“I do feel like one thing that’s pretty clear is that the Alpine is the head of the midfield pack.

“And then I’d have to probably say that AlphaTauri is the most consistently at the back but it’s very dependent circuit by circuit which one seems to struggle the most.”

Ferdinand Habsburg was speaking on behalf of Rebel Team, his new initiative to recruit fans as members and using the funds raised by their membership fees to finance the careers of young racing drivers. You can read more on Rebel Team here.