All cameras on Mercedes at Spielberg Circuit
Nico Rosberg (evens for the Drivers’ Championship) has warned Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton (odds-on favourite at 5/6) that he has the psychological edge over the Brit, after extending his lead in the title race 22 points.
Despite this, Hamilton is still 8/13 odds-on favourite to win in Austria, as he begins his mission to close the gap, while Rosberg is 7/4. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo upset the order in Canada for his first Grand Prix victory, and is 14/1 to do so again. At 33/1, he is third-favourite to win the Drivers’ Championship.
The Formula One Championship leader however, admits his teammate’s streak of four victories in a row gave him added motivation to hit back.
“It was really important to bring that run to an end because psychology is a big part of sports,” said Rosberg.
“If you have those results behind you, like I do now, it gives you that little bit extra, that little bit of an edge, so it does help,” added Rosberg.
“With reliability problems like that, it’s not good,” said Rosberg, prior to the Austrian Grand Prix. “We need to be bulletproof.
“It’s a work in progress. We’ve been good with reliability, but we have had a few problems now, so we have to keep on going and make sure it’s 100 per cent.”
Despite Ricciardo’s victory in Canada, his team boss Christian Horner is keeping his feet on the ground, and recognises there is still a lot of work to do to close the gap.
“To get a double podium, to get that first win of the year, was a fantastic performance and great motivation for Renault,” said Horner.
“But let’s not beat about the bush, Mercedes were the quickest car, even though they ran into issues. They were still very, very strong. We have to keep pushing and keep closing that gap down because it is still significant.”
However events unfold at the Spielberg circuit, results so far suggest that this Grand Prix may not go exactly according to the script.