The 2020 F1 season has kicked off in Austria, with the free practice sessions on the 3rd of July. The results of the 2 sessions were pretty much as expected. Mercedes had the best lap times in both the sessions. Both Silver Arrows drivers finished in the order that fans have got so used to seeing by now, with Lewis Hamilton setting the best lap time followed by Valtteri Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton will be looking to start the defense of his world championship crown, come Sunday. However, it’s worth remembering that Lewis hasn’t had the best of races in Austria. In the last three years, the 6-times world champion has, surprisingly, never finished on the podium at Spielberg. In fact, had his collision with teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016 been any worse, his podium drought here would have been even longer.
The 2016 world champion recalled the aforementioned incident while answering fan questions on his YouTube channel. He spoke about how the altitude in Austria doesn’t allow the brakes to cool sufficiently, which resulted in his collision with Lewis.
He said, “It’s quite a difficult track (Austria), particularly on the brakes. Braking temperatures get sky high due to the fact that you’re a little bit high on the altitude. There is less density and less cooling as a result. The braking is so tough because you have such huge brakings always.”
“I remember I ran out of brakes when I last raced there in 2016. That also lead to my collision with Lewis because I had a brake pedal that just went to the floor, going into turn two, where we had the collision.” Luckily for Lewis, the impact wasn’t that bad and he managed to win the race. However, Rosberg sustained a damaged front wing and dropped out of the podium places, finishing 4th.
Hamilton will be looking to win his first race in Austria after 4 years, come Sunday. He’ll also be hoping to win the next Austrian GP which is only a week later. A start like that would give him the foundation he needs, to win his 7th world championship title.