McLaren are the most successful team at the Spielberg track, Renault haven’t scored in Austria since 1983 and Toro Rosso have the lowest finishing rate at the circuit. Here’s how the teams’ histories compare at the Red Bull Ring!
Mercedes had won every Austrian Grand Prix they had competed in until their double DNF last year. Competing in every race since 2014, they took two consecutive 1-2 finishes at the track in 2014 and 2015, then two 1-4 finishes in 2016 and 2017. Nico Robserg failed to finish on the podium as a result of his last lap crash with team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2016, and Hamilton finished fourth in 2017.
A Mercedes driver has never failed to reach the final part of qualifying in Austria, with their worst qualifying result at the track being ninth place with Lewis Hamilton in 2014, a result of him having his first lap time in Q3 deleted for exceeding track limits and then spinning on his second attempt. The team have locked-out the front row three times at the circuit, most recently last season.
Ferrari have not won in Austria since 2003, but have finished on the podium in all of the last three seasons at the Red Bull Ring. The team have scored two 1-2 finishes at this track, the first at the first race here in 1970 and their last in controversial circumstances at the 2002 event. Ferrari have recorded three double DNFs at this track, but haven’t suffered a double retirement since 1987. Since the track returned to the calendar in 2014, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel’s retirements in 2015 and 2016 respectively are the only occasions where a Ferrari driver has failed to score. The 1976 Austrian Grand Prix is the most recent F1 race which Ferrari did not appear at.
Ferrari have taken pole on seven occasions at Spielberg, including a solitary front row lock-out in 1983. Since F1 returned to the track, Sebastian Vettel is the only Ferrari driver to have qualified on the front row here, having done so in 2017. Kimi Raikkonen is the only driver to fail to reach the final part of qualifying for Ferrari at the circuit, having been eliminated in Q1 in 2015 due to a miscommunication which saw him without enough time to set a more competitive lap time.
Red Bull won at their home event for the first time last season, as Max Verstappen took victory. Verstappen is the only driver to have taken multiple podium finishes for the team at the Red Bull Ring, having also finished as runner-up in 2016. Daniel Ricciardo also finished on the podium here in 2017, meaning Red Bull have secured top three finishes in all of the last three seasons at the track. They’ve also recorded a DNF here in each of the last two seasons.
Sebastian Vettel in 2014 and Daniel Ricciardo in 2015 are the only Red Bull drivers who’ve failed to reach the final part of qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. The team are yet to qualify above fifth here, though Ricciardo and Verstappen have each started from fourth in the last two seasons as a result of grid penalties for other drivers.
Renault’s second, and latest, win in Austria came back in 1983, at the hands of Alain Prost. Eddie Cheever also finished fourth on that day, which is the most recent time that Renault have scored a point at the circuit. Since their comeback to the sport, Jolyon Palmer’s eleventh place in 2017 is the team’s best finish at the track.
Renault have taken three poles in Spielberg, and have locked out the front row twice, in 1980 and 1981. Last season, both Renault drivers reached Q3 for the first time, with the team having previously recorded a Q2 exit and three Q1 eliminations.
Haas have picked up points on every visit to the Red Bull Ring so far, and finished a best ever fourth in last year’s Austrian Grand Prix. While Romain Grosjean took the team’s best result, Kevin Magnussen also finished fifth, making it the first Austrian race in which both Haas drivers scored points. Magnussen’s retirement here in 2017 is the only time a Haas car has failed to finish a race so far at this circuit.
Last season was also the first time both Haas drivers reached the final part of qualifying in Austria, with Grosjean recording their only other Q3 appearance in 2017. The team have never recorded a Q1 exit at the track, with Magnussen’s fifteenth place in 2017 their worst qualifying effort so far.
McLaren have taken the most wins of any team at the Austrian Grand Prix. They won six of the nine races at the track between 1984 and 2001, while Kimi Raikkonen’s second place in 2002 is McLaren’s most recent podium appearance at the track. They recorded their first double non-finish here in 2015, with Jenson Button’s sixth place in 2016 being McLaren’s best finish in Austria since the event returned to the calendar in 2014.
McLaren have taken pole four times in Austria and have locked-out the front row twice, in 1999 and 2000. The team have reached the final part of qualifying only twice at this circuit – in 2014 and 2016. Jenson Button started from third on the grid at the Red Bull Ring in 2016, marking the team’s best grid slot in recent years.
Racing Point (Force India)
Aside from 2016, when both of their drivers retired, Force India scored points with every other entry at the Austrian Grand Prix. Their best result here was sixth place, which they recorded three times – with Sergio Perez in 2014, Nico Hulkenberg in 2015 and Esteban Ocon in 2018. Without their two DNFs in 2016, a Force India driver never finished below ninth at the track.
Last season marked the first time neither Force India driver reached the final part of qualifying in Austria, while 2017 was the only time both drivers reached Q3. Their best qualifying result here came in 2016, when Nico Hulkenberg qualified in third, which became a front row start following Nico Rosberg’s grid penalty.
Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
With Charles Leclerc finishing ninth and Marcus Ericsson tenth, 2018 marked the first time Sauber scored points in Austria since 2001. Kimi Raikkonen’s fourth place in 2001 is the team’s best result at the circuit, while Pedro Diniz and Mika Salo scored the team’s only other points at the circuit with sixth place finishes in 1999 and 2000 respectively. The team have not recorded a non-finish at the circuit since 2003.
Jean Alesi recorded Sauber’s only front row start at the Austrian Grand Prix, qualifying in second in 1998. Felipe Nasr’s ninth place in qualifying in 2015 is the only time Sauber have reached Q3 since the track’s return to the calendar, while Charles Leclerc’s Q2 appearance last year is the team’s only non-Q1 elimination in the last three seasons.
Toro Rosso have the lowest finish rate of the current teams at the Austrian Grand Prix, with at least one car retiring on all five of their visits here so far. While their maiden appearance here in 2014 is the only time both cars have failed to finish the race so far at the track, points have been hard to come by for the team here, with Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz being Toro Rosso’s only points scorers with eighth places in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Toro Rosso have qualified in the top three in Austria on three occasions, but only one of those occasions has been in the past three seasons. Their best qualifying result here so far is seventh. Both Daniil Kvyat in 2014 and Max Verstappen in 2015 achieved this result.
Williams have won the Austrian Grand Prix three times, including a 1-2 finish in 1987. 2018 marked the first time the team failed to score at the event since 2001. Williams scored podium finishes in both 2014 and 2015 at the Red Bull Ring, but have failed to finish in the top eight since then. The team have recorded six double non-finishes here, but Felipe Massa’s DNF in 2016 is the only non-finish for a Williams driver at the track since its return to the calendar.
Williams took their most recent pole position here in 2014 thanks to Felipe Massa. It marked the second time the team had locked-out the front row at the track. The team reached Q3 with both cars in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but since then Lance Stroll’s Q2 appearance last season has been their only non-Q1 elimination.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.