Grand Prix 2018 Austrian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

There will be a car in Austria this weekend that should be regarded as one of the most famous ever made. It's a silver-grey colour and in most respects not that remarkable. The chap who drove around in it was an extremely divisive figure. Arrogant and authoritarian, loved by many but equally hated by a good many as well.

Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes?


The car in question sits in the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It's a Graf and Stift Automobile and was the car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife Sophie were murdered on the 28th of June 1914. Just 30 days later and the powers of Europe entered into a war that in four years would see around 31 million (just get that number around your head) people who had taken up arms, killed, wounded or missing in action and the deaths of around 8 million civilians.

At the end of the war, the so-called war to end all wars, Europe was left shattered and broken. The victorious powers took their revenge on the Central powers, dismantling the old orders, pulling apart the Austro-Hungarian empire and in the Treaty of Versailles, attempting to ensure such a thing could never happen again.

The disaffected soldiers of the Central Powers returned home to find a collapsed economy, fragile leadership and no real hope. While the great depression badly affected the globe, it created in central Europe the seeds for another power to rise. The leader of the National Socialists was a down on his luck, former Army Corporal, born in Austria but now settled in Munich. His rise to power has been well documented.

After the second world war the Allied Powers showed they had learnt their lesson from the failures of Versailles and a great deal of effort went in to re-building German industry. Great car makers such as Daimler-Benz and Volkswagen were soon turning out vehicles at an impressive rate. Mercedes dominated for a few years in Formula 1, taking back their place at the head of Grand Prix racing they'd held with their great rivals Auto Union during the inter war years.

Austria had never produced formula 1 cars but they certainly produced great drivers and two of the best known were the 1970 world champion Jochen Rindt and the triple world champion Niki Lauda.

Then in 1987, a drinks company was formed in Austria, modifying an energy drink already on sale in the far east, it became known worldwide as Red Bull. Already involved in sponsoring F1 cars, they eventually purchased the remains of the Jaguar team in 2004 and in 2005, Red Bull Racing was born. Much like Benetton before them, Red Bull took a while to establish themselves in F1, all this changed when along came a German. One Sebastian Vettel. Quickly taking the team to the top step of the podium and then on to drivers and constructors world championships, Austria could now lay claim to having both World Champion Drivers and a World Champion team. Something that America, the great bastion of the motor car cannot yet claim.

Red Bull saw an opportunity to bring F1 back to Austria in the shape of the Red Bull Ring. Formally known as the A1 Ring and before that, the fearsome, Osterreichring and it is here that we will find ourselves this weekend.

Finally, one last bizarre fact that will take us back to where we started.

The First World War ended on the 11th of November 1918. The 100th anniversary will be this year.

The 11th of November 1918 can be written as 11/11/18

The registration plate of the car in which the Archduke was killed?


Bizarre but true.


Podium Finisher
I am a big enough cynic that I believe that, if you dug deep enough into the finances of ANY mega-rich person, they could all be hit with tax evasion. Why do you think Trump won't release his tax returns as he had promised? He's ashamed it would make everyone jealous about how brilliant he is?

If Haas were richer, he could have bought off witnesses rather than threaten them. That's what most really rich folks do.

This is not a typical case of tax evasion. I mean country musician Willie Nelson is paying off $32 million he owed to the IRS (and he is a repeat offender because of his multiple marijuana convictions). Three times Indy winner Helio Castroneves got into legal trouble over 2.3 million and was lucky not to get convicted. appears that Gene Haas did a lot worse than just not pay his taxes, and wandered into conspiracy, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice. This led to his well-earned 16 month prison sentence. See:

Quote of the article: "Don't make me hurt you."

Anyhow, this person's ethical standards are grossly substandard. I would love to have an American team in F1, but would prefer one run by a class act like Dan Gurney. I would be quite happy if Mike Andretti bought out Force India.


Podium Finisher
According to Live Timing:

VER 1:07.623
RAI +1.504
VET +3.181

Yes, but if had not already served out his 5 second penalty, you don't think he would have found another 3.5 seconds. I gather he was taking it easy towards the end.
Yes, but if had not already served out his 5 second penalty, you don't think he would have found another 3.5 seconds. I gather he was taking it easy towards the end.

interesting, yes Verstappen didn't seem to be pushing very hard at the end, but maybe with those tyres he didn't have much more than that, on the other hand Vettel wasn't really pushing very hard either. i personally think that without that 5 seconds penalty we would have seen a totally different race in the last 10 laps, that doesn't mean that Vettel would have won, just he would have tried and Reb Bull would have come up with a different strategy


Champion Elect
Ok lewis relieabilty problems aside. I do wonder what could have happened if mercedes had comprised on strategy in a halfway house that suited nobody. Because i thought it was certain Lewis would going on long on his tyres & battle through


Podium Finisher
True & ill agree that his stubbornness. Is this downfall that he thinks he knows better as for once there was no advantage to pitting as Riccardio proved

You could see his tires on my was clear that they were blistering a lot worse than the Ferraris. He also appeared to be losing time to them at that point. I don't think he really had a choice. He clearly was going to do no better than fourth if he stayed why not?
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