Austria 2019 - GP preview - Williams
It’s the first back-to-back race of the 2019 FIA Formula One season as we head to Austria. Located in the Styrian mountains, the track is one of the highest circuits on the calendar at 600m above sea level. The undulating setting provides a spectacular backdrop and is popular amongst our drivers, despite the short lap.
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer
The Styrian Mountains provide the dramatic backdrop for round nine of the 2019 Championship. The track is one of the highest circuits and has the largest elevation change of any circuit on the calendar apart from Spa. These characteristics combine with the smooth track surface and high kerbs to make it a significant challenge for tyres, brakes and power units alike. The circuit layout, with three long straights, and only nine corners, gives rise to one of the quickest laps of the year: pole position in 2018 was secured with a laptime only just over 63s.
As in France, Pirelli have made available the middle three compounds from their range, and similar strategies can be expected. The front right tyre can get a hard time in the quick T5/6 complex if drivers struggle to keep temperature in it during the rest of the lap.
With Austria being the second of back-to-back European races, the logistical challenge mean that the cars will change little and so our test programme for Friday will concentrate on understanding the tyres.
I enjoy racing in Austria, it is a short track that looks simple, but it is not. The circuit has a long straight with heavy breaking and short corners. The second part of the lap features two left high-speed corners, the last corner is very challenging with a blind entry where you must carry speed. A back-to-back race is an intense period for teams, but we are well prepared as last year Austria was in the middle of three races in a row. Overall, it is a nice track to drive especially with its green surroundings. It has a special feeling and I look forward to returning there.
I am looking forward to the Austrian Grand Prix. It is a track I put it on pole and won, both in GP3 and FIA Formula 2. I have good memories which will give me greater confidence ahead of the weekend. I expect it to be a tough time again for us, but I am going to go out there and focus on getting the most out of the package.
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