F1 heads back to the European season, starting this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix at Speilberg

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Lewis Hamilton ended Nico Rosberg’s winning streak with a measured drive in Montreal to win his fourth Canadian Grand Prix.

Last year Hamilton ran into problems at Austria where a spin in qualifying left him ninth on the grid. An aggressive opening lap and impressive mid-race move on Felipe Massa salvaged second, but he was the quickest man on the circuit all weekend—he should have won.

The Red Bull Ring suits his style. He hasn’t made as many mistakes in qualifying this year and a repeat of his 2014 spin is unlikely.We backed Hamilton for the win in Canada, and won. It is no surprise to see him as short as 1/2 in places to win this weekend.

Sebastian Vettel endured a miserable time as a Red Bull driver at last year’s race, but he looks set for a stronger showing this time out. His Ferrari pace after engine upgrades was hidden by qualifying issues in Canada and he and Raikkonen should push the Mercedes pair in Spielberg. Austria is a similar sort of track to Canada—long straights and few corners compared to many circuits so we can expect Ferrari to again be strong. Vettel should beat off Williams to at least get on the second row of the grid.

Horsepower is key at the Red Bull Ring. Mercedes are the class of the engine field and at least three of their teams—Mercedes, Williams and Lotus—should easily get both cars into the points.

The Lotus drivers should have a good shot a top six finish here. Whilst Mercedes itself, Ferrari and Williams should occupy the front three rows in qualifying, the Lotus should soon translate good practice and qualifying performances into the race itself and skybet amongst others offer evens Romain Grosjean to hit the top six which appeals

Add the Ferrari pair too and providing those four teams have reliability, there will be just two opportunities for Renault-powered teams to reach the points—and reports are that both Red Bull drivers may be taking full new power units. The resulting penalties would see them start right at the back. Renault have a run of consecutive points-scoring races stretching back to the 2008 European Grand Prix. This weekend could see it broken.

If this happens, Force India—who will have the new, upgraded Mercedes engine for the first time—look most likely to round out the top 10. Already consistent in races, either Hulkenberg or Perez look reasonable bets and of the two Perez appeals at even money generally for a top ten finish, including with SkyBet

McLaren suffered a double retirement in Montreal. Neither Fernando Alonso nor Jenson Button ever looked likely to be among the points scorers. Straight-line speed was the primary issue. The FIA’s race data showed Alonso was slowest of all, behind even the two Manors, at two of the three recorded speed traps. Button was slowest of all in the third.

The team are bringing a new aerodynamic package to the Austrian race, centred around a new, shorter nose.
Like the Renault-powered teams, it won’t matter too much what aerodynamic improvements are made until the
engine package is competitive

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