Lewis Hamilton comes to the Austrian GP with some belief. The seven-time world champion, who is sixth on the driver standings, scored consecutive podiums heading into this weekend. He is hungry for his first win this season and the Red Bull Ring gives him a golden opportunity. 

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari, who took 150 races to finally win at a crash-marred Silverstone last Sunday, will aim to collect a second straight podium in Austria

Lewis Hamilton wants that first win:

Hamilton, who has won at least one race in each of the past 15 seasons in F1, needs one victory this season to eclipse Michael Schumacher and set another record. 

Also read: After epic Verstappen-Schumi British GP battle, their dads’ old interview resurfaces

“With a little bit more digging and a little bit more hard work hopefully we can get a bit closer. I truly believe we can get a race win this year,” Hamilton said. “Earlier this year definitely I wasn’t sure we would ever get a win in this car.”

Carlos Sainz wants more:

The Spaniard scored his first F1 pole and win at Silverstone last week. He beat the likes of Max Verstappen and held Sergio Perez to cross the line. 

“This win has given me more and more hunger to do it again as soon as possible, and to keep fighting for wins,” the 27-year-old Sainz said. “It’s very personal and it’s difficult to describe what goes inside someone’s head. I can just tell you that it feels great, that it has sunk in little by little.”

Also read: F1: Winners, losers (and Max Verstappen) from the 2022 British Grand Prix

Ferrari face problems:

Charles Leclerc, who got off to a flying start in 2022, has seen his graph fall race by race. The Monaco driver is third on the driver standings with 138 points. 

In the British GP, he was frustrated after teammate Sainz did not move aside quickly enough earlier in the race and later on, following a safety car, was baffled his team kept him out for track position rather than bring him in for faster tires.

Team principal Mattia Binotto even appeared to give him a talking to afterward, rather than consoling him.

Second sprint of the season:

Austria is the second race this season featuring a sprint race, where the winner collects eight extra points. Verstappen overtook Leclerc to win it in Imola then won the race with a fastest lap bonus for a maximum of 34 points overall.

Also read: F1: A year after causing horror crash, Lewis Hamilton aims dig at Max Verstappen

The starting order for the sprint race was decided by a qualifying session later Friday after a traditional first practice session. The finishing order of sprint races then sets the grid for Sunday’s GP.

The race weekend is sold out with 300,000 fans attending over the three days at the Red Bull ring in Spielberg, nestled among the rolling hills of Styria.