IndyCar GMR Grand Prix and Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix Preview

The weekend of 4th/5th July is set to see IndyCar and Formula 1 in action, amongst other series. The latter is due to contest the second round of its 2020 season on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course while Formula 1 is set to start its 2020 season in Austria, supported by Formula 2 and Formula 3.

Formula 1

Formula 1 will be beginning its 2020 season with the first of two races to be held in Austria, with the second taking place next weekend. This weekend’s race is the start of what is currently an eight race schedule although there is work behind the scenes to identify and confirm more races that will ultimately form this season.

The Red Bull Ring has seen Red Bull Racing, thanks to Max Verstappen, take victory in the previous two seasons. The Red Bulls should be contenders once again, alongside Mercedes, for the race victory although the Silver Arrows have hit trouble in the last two seasons either through strategy errors or through reliability. The latter should be mitigated slightly by the fact that Austria is the start of the Formula 1 season rather than the ninth round of the season as it has been for 2018 and 2019.

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Scuderia Ferrari could also feature in the fight for victory, especially considering that Charles Leclerc was Verstappen’s main challenger in 2019 while Kimi Raikkonen finished second for the Scuderia in 2018 and Sebastian Vettel finished second in 2017.

Behind the usual three teams are those that form Formula 1’s ‘Class B’ championship although this could be slightly fragmented compared to previous seasons as there are questions surrounding Racing Point’s competitiveness after they appear to have taken heavy inspiration from Mercedes 2019 challenger and are therefore expected to take a big step up in their competitiveness. Don’t be too surprised if one or both of the Racing Point’s are able to run, and ultimately finish, inside the top six especially if either of the top three teams have a particularly difficult race weekend.

The question that will also start to be answered by the end of the race weekend is how close the ‘Class B’ teams are to one another as the favourites to lead are probably Racing Point but McLaren and Renault have ultimately won out in finishing fourth in the previous two seasons.

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Two other midfield teams worth watching during the weekend are Haas and Williams, both of whom endured trying 2019 campaigns. In the case of Williams, to start off with, it will be worth seeing whether the gains they made over the winter will be enough to bring them back to being a serious challenger in the midfield having spent the majority of the 2019 season rooted to the back of the grid. Austria is also perhaps a good venue to gauge exactly how the 2020 Haas compares to its difficult 2019 car as the American team recorded a 4-5 finish at the Red Bull Ring in 2018 before slumping in 2019, finishing sixteenth and nineteenth.

There are a lot of questions surrounding drivers, teams and the sport in general going into the race weekend, some of which will either be answered or start to be answered by the time the chequered flag, hopefully, falls on raceday.

Formula 3 and Formula 2

Formula 1 won’t be the only series competing in Austria this weekend as it is set to be supported by Formula 3 and Formula 2 as the two series begin their 2020 campaigns.

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In Formula 3 there has been plenty of movement of drivers including at Prema Racing team, who dominated the 2019 season, as the Italian team will be fielding an entirely new lineup. It will hopefully be another competitive and exciting season after the series first season in 2019.

The hope of another competitive and exciting season, minus the tragedy, can also be applied to Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix fielding a slightly inexperienced lineup having won the Drivers’ championship in both 2018 and last season.

IndyCar

IndyCar will be contesting the second race of its revised 2020 calendar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as it runs on the road course.

Scott Dixon enters the weekend as the early championship leader after winning last time out at Texas ahead of Simon Pagenaud and defending champion Josef Newgarden. Pagenaud is one of two drivers on the grid to have previously won the IndyCar event, the other being Will Power while Rinus VeeKay won one of the two Indy Lights races last season.

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It will be great to have Formula 3, Formula 2, Formula 1 and IndyCar all in action during the weekend. Here’s hoping as well as great entertainment on track that all those competing or working at the Red Bull Ring and Indianapolis Motor Speedway stay safe.

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