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Austrian GP talking points after Vettel antics | Trackdays

Austrian Grand Prix Talking Points

05 July 2017
Trackdays

Formula One heads to the Styrian mountains this weekend ahead of what promises to be an intriguing Austrian Grand Prix.

Fresh from an action-packed race on the streets of Baku there is much to talk about even before the cars take to the Red Bull Ring circuit for the first time on Friday.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five of the main talking points heading into the grand prix weekend.

HOW WILL THE GRID REACT TO SEBASTIAN VETTEL'S ANTICS?

Vettel courted plenty of controversy by driving his Ferrari into the side of title rival Lewis Hamilton after deeming that the Mercedes braked too heavily behind a safety car.

The German was hit with a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race but still finished in front of Hamilton to stretch his lead at the top of the drivers' championship to 14 points.

Vettel avoided further sanctions from the FIA, motorsport's governing body, amid speculation he could have been docked points or banned for his actions.

Instead he will be in Spielberg along with the rest of the field, but it will be interesting to see what the other drivers make of Vettel's behaviour and the lack of retrospective punishment from the powers that be.

...AND WILL HAMILTON REACT ON THE TRACK?

While the rest of the grid will have a chance to air their views on Thursday, it will be telling to see their actions on the track once practice gets under way on Friday morning.

Hamilton labelled Vettel a "disgrace" following the incident in Baku as the three-time champion followed the Ferrari home in fifth having seen his hopes of a race win dashed by a dislodged headrest.

Now the 32-year-old will want to do his talking on the tarmac and when Hamilton feels he has a point to prove it is usually quite hard to stop him doing just that.

CAN VERSTAPPEN TAKE HIS RED BULL TO THE MAX?

While his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was avoiding all the trouble in Azerbaijan and taking his Red Bull from 10th on the grid to win the race, Max Verstappen was retiring for the third time in four races.

This is home turf for the Red Bulls and their support will want to see something more akin to Ricciardo's display rather than another failure for the highly-rated Verstappen.

The Dutchman has not finished outside of the top five when he has managed to take the chequered flag but will want to see reliability improve, with Ricciardo having been on the podium for the last four outings.

ANOTHER STROLL IN THE PARK FOR LANCE?

Plenty of questions were asked of Lance Stroll when the 18-year-old took to the wheel of his Williams at the start of the year.

The Canadian seemed a little out of his depth and struggled to make any sort of impact before finishing ninth in his home grand prix back in June.

He followed that up with a stunning drive in Azerbaijan, showing maturity beyond his years to claim his first F1 podium, only losing second place to Valttteri Bottas as the Finn passed him almost on the finish line.

MCLAREN TO BUILD ON MAIDEN POINTS IN BAKU?

It has been another season to forget for the beleaguered McLaren Honda partnership as the eight-time constructors champions continue to make up the numbers.

Fernando Alonso, who has threatened to walk away in the winter if the team do not improve, at least managed to take two points with a ninth-place finish in Baku.

It still leaves the team bottom of the current constructors' standings heading into the ninth round of the season and, with Ron Dennis severing a 37-year bond with the team before the weekend, a continuation of their small signs of progress would be timely.

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