Venue: Red Bull Ring
Valtteri Bottas has yet to pass the chequered flag first in a Formula One race this year but is fancied to put that right in our Austrian Grand Prix betting tips.
The Mercedes driver picked up one of his three victories in 2017 at the Red Bull Ring and also made the podium here for Williams back in 2014.
The flying Finn pushed team-mate Lewis Hamilton close in qualifying at last weekend’s French Grand Prix.
However, his race was ruined by an early bump from Sebastian Vettel, who took full blame for that incident.
Bottas said: “I guess it was just not my day; in a way it sums up my season so far.
“But there are some positives – we were strong as a team and I also set the fastest lap of the race, despite the condition of the car.
“I’ll keep my head down, work hard and hopefully the luck will turn around at some point – I think it’s about time.”
How the French Grand Prix finished:
1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Verstappen (Red Bull), 3 Raikkonen (Ferrari), 4 Ricciardo (Red Bull), 5 Vettel (Ferrari), 6 Magnussen (Haas), 7 Bottas (Mercedes), 8 Sainz (Renault), 9 Hulkenberg (Renault), 10 Leclerc (Sauber), 11 Grosjean (Haas), 12 Vandoorne (McLaren), 13 Ericsson (Sauber), 14 Hartley (Toro Rosso), 15 Sirotkin (Williams), 16 Alonso (McLaren), 17 Stroll (Williams), DNF Perez (Force India), Ocon (Force India), Gasly (Toro Rosso)
Mercedes No 1 Hamilton is a worthy favourite at 11/10 after probably the most complete performance of his championship defence in France.
He was fastest out of the blocks in practice on Friday, saw off Bottas to take pole on Saturday and then led all but one lap of Sunday’s race.
Hamilton’s form has been mixed this year, but his win could prove critical as the sport embarks on a gruelling run of five grands prix in six weeks.
However, his record in Austria is not so convincing, giving Mercedes just one of their four straight victories.
The Briton was beaten by Nico Rosberg in 2014 and 2015, prevailed the following year but was only fourth behind Bottas last term.
Vettel can be backed at 9/4 but the opening-lap crash in France was his fifth big error in 12 months.
Despite boasting the quicker machinery for the majority of the eight rounds this season, the Ferrari driver is now 14 points adrift in the championship.
It would seem that Hamilton boasts a stronger mindset in the heat of battle, whereas Vettel loses his cool.
Bwin is offering odds on whether individual drivers will score points at Spielberg this weekend and we’re snapping up 17/20 for Fernando Alonso not to achieve that feat to complete our Austrian Grand Prix predictions.
The Spaniard had to retire late on in France following a woeful performance from the McLaren team at that contest.
There were reports of a mutiny within the camp off the track and Alonso moaned: “I really hope this weekend was a one-off.”
Sadly, we can only see more struggles for this outfit.
Past Austrian Grand Prix results:
2017 Bottas (Mercedes), Vettel, Ricciardo
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen, Raikkonen
2015 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton, Massa
2014 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton, Bottas
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