Robert Kubica back in the racng seat at the Styrian Grand Prix

Robert’s guide to the Red Bull Ring – Robert Kubica is set to get back into the racing seat this coming weekend at the Styrian Grand Prix, 

The deceptively easy Red Bull Ring made it’s return to the Formula One calendar in 2014, bringing the sport back to Austria for the first time since 2004. Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN reserve driver, Robert Kubica, only competed in this alpine setting in Formula One in 2019, but as he prepares to take to the wheel during Free Practice 1 in the Styrian Grand Prix, he takes us for a virtual tour of the track.

The Red Bull Ring may look like a simple track from the outside, with a short lap featuring few corners, mostly right-handers. It is, however, much more complicated than what its looks give away. It is a track where you cannot make even a tiny mistake, especially in qualifying, as the margins are very small. There are some tricky sections, such as the two left-handers in sector two, where you need to carry quite a lot of speed, and the final two corners, which are extremely challenging and easy to get wrong. All around the track, you are tempted to use the exit kerbs, but it can come at a price: they put a lot of stress on the car, especially the floor, and it is very easy to pick up some damage.

There are three big braking areas and braking stability is very important. They are mostly in the first part of the lap: in particular, turn one is a blind corner, you come uphill and you don’t really get to see where you are going. You need to be extremely precise, as you can ruin a lap before it’s really started with just a tiny mistake. Tyres are also a challenge. Most of the corners are to the right, and by the time you get to the fast left handers, tyre temperature is not optimal.

I personally like this track and I am looking forward to being in the car on Friday. It’s demanding and finding the sweet spot with the setup is complicated – you need good top speeds in the first half of the lap, with good braking stability, but on the other hand you need quite a lot of downforce to lose as little time as possible in the high-speed corners. You need to find a compromise and that is not always easy – and that’s why it’s crucial to make every session count.

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