Posted by: ahw3ll | 23/08/2011

F2 – Red Bull Ring Preview

As the 2011 Formula Two season is reaching its climax, the drivers move on to Austria and the new Red Bull Ring – built on the remains of the A1 Ring, which was last used in Formula 1 in 2003. The circuit is famous, or perhaps infamous, for being the site of two Ferrari team orders which decided second place in 2001 and the win in 2002, both in favour of Michael Schumacher.

This marks the first time that the new Formula Two has visited Austria and will be the home race for two of the drivers: championship leader Mirko Bortolotti is half Austrian and will be looking to extend his lead still further. This weekend will also mark the debut of local racer Rene Binder, who has been competing in the German F3 championship this year. Jose Luis Abadin, who scored his first point of the season at Brands Hatch, is unable to compete this weekend, but should be back in action for the next race in Italy.

Bortolotti will race in the first of two home events this weekend

There are still 150 points up for grabs and technically nine drivers can still claim the coveted Williams test drive at the seasons’ end, but realistically this is a two-horse race. Despite both having a relatively quiet (for them) couple of races at Brands Hatch with only one podium between them, Bortolotti and Christopher Zanella still have a comfortable margin over the chasing pack and a gap of 36 points between them. The momentum certainly seems to be with Bortolotti, who has finished ahead of Zanella in every race, bar the two rounds at Magny-Cours that were won by the Swiss driver.

Behind them, there is a close fight for third place between Miki Monras (108 points), Will Bratt (92), Tobias Hegewald (91) and Jack Clarke (82) with fortunes fluctuating between these drivers every weekend. Will Bratt in particular will be looking to make up for his absence in the last races at Brands Hatch, which he had to sit out due to funding issues. Jack Clarke and Ramon Pineiro were the highest-scoring drivers last time out and will be looking to continue their charge up the points table.

A close midfield battle behind the leaders

Early weather forecasts point to a settled weekend in Austria, but the combination of a new track and the pressure of a championship drawing to a close could prompt some chaos in Spielberg.

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