The races come in quick succession for the rest of the month, with Spielberg hosting the eighth round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship just a week after the last event. The Red Bull Ring is a track that the drivers will know well and should promise a great deal of action throughout the weekend.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Felipe Drugovich still leads the way in the Drivers' Standings as we cross the halfway point in the 2022 season. The MP Motorsport driver retains a 42-point lead over Théo Pourchaire following Silverstone but has been more consistent than his rival. Drugovich has won previously at the Red Bull Ring, winning the Sprint Race back in 2020 in the first of two race weekends there.
Likewise, Frederik Vesti and Dennis Hauger have wins to their names around the Austrian circuit, winning last year during their Formula 3 campaign.
Logan Sargeant's maiden victory in F2 has moved him up to third in the standings, and the American is fired up to push himself further towards contending for the Championship. He is 18 points behind Pourchaire heading into Spielberg.
MP Motorsport is continuyes leading the way in the Teams' Championship, 10 points clear of ART Grand Prix after the French team was able to close the gap last time out and move into P2. Carlin's double podium last weekend moved the team up to third in the Standings.
Campos Racing will have an altered line-up this weekend, with Roberto Merhi replacing Ralph Boschung, as the Swiss driver focuses his efforts on recovery from his on-going neck injury.
FROM THE GRID – Frederik Vesti, ART Grand Prix
“I am very much looking forward to driving at Spielberg this year. In the last three years I've driven there I’ve got the pole and the win. So, in terms of results, it's been a really great track for me. Other than that, since I was very young, I’ve spent a lot of time in Austria, and we previously had a family house there. I just love Austria and I would even like to live there one day! So, I can't wait to go back.
“In a way, it's a very simple track, but that also means it becomes very difficult because all the cars are very similar. All the lap times are within a few tenths of a second in Qualifying and in the race, so you really need to do a good job and a clean lap to be able to do the pole position. So, it's simple, it's quite an easy track, but because of that it makes it incredibly close, and you need to be doing a really good job.
“Red Bull Ring is one of the easier tracks for tyre management because it has not a lot of corners and a lot of straight lines. But for sure, we still need to do a good job and make sure we’re on top of our game in terms of tyre management.
“In terms of overtaking, I think you can set it up during Turn 1 and then you can make it stick in Turn 3, and if you don't make it work at Turn 3 you have another shot in Turn 4. So overtaking is pretty OK, it's not the easiest track, but it's pretty good due to the three or four long straights.”
LAST TIME OUT - SILVERSTONE
F2 had two first-time winners last time out at Silverstone. Jack Doohan took to the top step of the podium on Saturday, winning in the wet Sprint Race while it was Logan Sargeant that prevailed on Sunday, becoming the first American driver to win in the category's history.
In the Sprint Race, rain saturated the circuit ahead of lights out, which meant that conditions would be tricky for every driver on the grid. The lack of another downpour though turned the race into one of tyre preservation, meaning that the drivers that kept onto their wet tyres the longest would enjoy the benefits come the end, and that proved to be the case for two.
Doohan had worked his way up into the lead of the race having started P4 on the grid, but he was soon being chased down by Ayumu Iwasa in the closing laps after his victory looked all but assured.
A great effort from the DAMS driver got him to within a second by the chequered flag, but he ran out of laps in which to catch Doohan for the win.
On Sunday it was Sargeant's turn and the Carlin driver retained his pole position from the start. Following the pit stop phase, his fight was with Pourchaire as the ART driver filled his mirrors as best he could, but never quite getting within DRS range for a prolonged attack on the lead.
Liam Lawson made it a double-podium finish for Carlin, ending the Feature Race third to cap off a hugely successful weekend for the British outfit.
Drivers will be using the yellow-marked medium and the purple Pirelli supersoft tyres this weekend in Spielberg.
Pirelli Motorsport Director, Mario Isola
“The Red Bull Ring is a fairly straightforward circuit with not so many corners – the most demanding for the tyres are the two consecutive left-handers in the middle of the lap, with every other major corner being right-handed. We have nominated the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Purple supersoft tyres, which is the more aggressive of the two different combinations we used during the double header in 2020, when Formula 2 last went to Austria. The extra step between these compounds will ensure a notable performance difference around the short lap and a greater variation between the available strategy options.”