Lewis Hamilton is not a stranger to hanging out with celebs. Nonetheless, recently, the current world champion seemed star-struck. This is when Arnold Schwarzenegger, an action-movie legend, appeared on the Melbourne stage to interrogate the top three.
The following are some of the major talking points about the Austrian Grand prix:
· There will be approximately twenty-car grid for 2015 based on an official entry list. This is two cars down compared to last year’s race after the exit of Caterham. The million-dollar question is, will Manor Marussia manage to race in Melbourne? Recently, the team confirmed its intention to race with its 2014 modified car. This might or might not comply with the circuits’ 107% rule. The rule holds that any driver, with a Q1 lap outside 107% of the best Q1 time, will not be permitted to race. However, exceptions exist to the drivers that do not manage to stay within the 107% window, but have achieved the set acceptable time during their practice.
· From 2014-2015, at only one time did an Austrian GR winner proceed to claim the championship at the season’s end. That would be in 2011. During this time, Sebastian Vettel racing for Red Bull (currently with Ferrari) won 11 races en route to winning the second driver’s title. Strangely, from 2000-2009, Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella (2005) and McLaren’s David Coulthard (2003) stood out as the only victors in Melbourne that did not walk home with a trophy at the end of the season.
· This year will see an even split of five champions and five rookies. Two squads will run the all-rookie tandems. This year, Manor Marussia has enrolled Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens. Toro Rosso has enlisted MxVerstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. Of great importance to note is that both the Toro Rosso drivers have with them racer fathers. A former formula one driver, Jos Verstappen boasts of 106 starts under his belt. A world rally champion, Sainz is the elder brother.
· For fans of Fernando Alonso, it is quite unfortunate that he is out of the running during the season opener. He suffered a concussion after crashing out on the second pre-season test. Doctors advised him to avoid the Austrian GP in order to minimize the high chances of a second impact syndrome. The fans can wait his return during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
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