Things to know before the Austrian Grand Prix

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After a hard-fought qualifying session which provided plenty of excitement and action, everything is ready for the 32th Formula One Austrian Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc secured his second career pole position and he will be definitely desperate to convert it into his first race victory.

Rollercoaster for racing cars

Fast and flowing – The 4318-metre-long Red Bull Ring has an average length among the current tracks. However, the average speed is one of the highest due to the fast and flowing nature of the circuit. The layout has just ten corners, but three of them are only curvatures and taken flat-out.

Rollercoaster – The race circuit lies 677m above sea level. The layout goes constantly uphill and downhill, proving the drivers with the feeling of riding a roller coaster. The maximum uphill slope is 12 per cent while the maximum downhill slope is 9.3 per cent. The track has an average width of 12-13m.

Fan-friendly – The average length means that drivers have to complete a high number of laps (71) to cover the whole race distance of 306.58km. It means that the spectators can watch the cars many times circling around the track.

1m06.957 – The current lap record of is held by Kimi Räikkönen. The Finnish driver set the fastest ever race lap in last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

New lap record – Charles Leclerc did not only secure the pole position for today’s Austrian Grand Prix, but he did so with a new fastest ever lap. The time of 1m03.003 is a new absolute record around the Red Bull Ring, however the official lap record is always measured in the race.

Milestone for Kimi Räikkönen

Zeltweg and Österreichring – The Austrian Grand Prix has been hosted on two different venues. Zeltweg played host to the first ever Austrian Grand Prix in 1963, albeit it was not part of the calendar. The venue then joined the World Championship in the following year. As the Zeltweg Airfield was deemed too dangerous due to its narrow and bumpy nature, the FIA removed it from the calendar. A new complex, the Österreichring was built for 1969 and Austria made its return to the calendar in the next year.

300th race - This weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix will be Kimi Räikkönen’s 300th start in Formula 1. This achievement is rather complicated as the Finn has already celebrated his 300th race weekend in Monaco earlier in the year. However, he has missed three start during his career due to technical issues which means that this weekend’s event marks actually his 300th race start. Only four drivers have made more starts than Räikkönen: Jenson Button (306), Michael Schumacher (306), Fernando Alonso (311) and king of the hill Rubens Barrichello (322).

Another milestone - This weekend’s race will be Lance Stroll’s 50th in Formula 1. The 20-year-old Canadian made his F1 debut with Williams at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix. Stroll scored his best result in the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix where he finished third, his only podium finish until now.

Spielberg-expert – Spielberg has always played a special role in Valtteri Bottas’ career. Austria is the only race at which Valtteri has been on pole more than once. The Red Bull Ring was also the scene of the Finn’s first podium finish, with third place in 2014 while with Williams. Valtteri is also one of three Austria winners in the current field.

The masters of Austria – Alain Prost is the most successful driver in history of the Austrian Grand Prix. The Frenchman won on three occasions, once for Renault and two times for McLaren. This latter outfit is the most successful constructor in Austria with a total of six triumphs.

The Lauda-effect – Of 31 Austrian Grands Prix, there has only been one occasion when an Austrian could won. It was Niki Lauda who was victorious on home soil in 1984 when the three-time world champion won with McLaren-TAG.