Formula 1 strategists will have endured a sleepless night as they wait to find out whether it’ll be a rain-soaked 2023 Austrian Grand Prix with an unpredictable weather forecast for raceday at the Red Bull Ring.
After a stormy and exciting sprint Saturday, there’s the chance of more rain for the grand prix and as events across F1, F2 and F3 have shown, it’s crucial to get the switch from dry tyres to wet and back again spot on.
With rain coming thick through the mountains, and the track drying out rapidly once its gone, George Russell showed fortune favours the brave in Saturday’s sprint race as he was the first to switch to slick tyres and climbed into the points as a result.
But will we see a repeat of that in the grand prix itself?
Will it rain at the Austrian GP?
It’s 50-50. As any seasoned F1 fan knows, the sport usually has a knack of finding that dry 50% where possible, but for those who live with glass (or rain gauge) half full, there’s plenty of reasons to get excited ahead of the grand prix.
The forecast temperature has also risen a few degrees from what was expected ahead of the weekend too, meaning if rain does fall it’ll likely dry off quicker making that
However, the chance of rain has fallen since the long-term forecast earlier this week. It was over 50%, and tipping 60% from some outlets in the week ahead of the drivers’ arrival in Spielberg, but that’s dropped to around 40% for the 3pm local time race start.
It’s set to stay at that throughout the two hours that the grand prix will run, so there’s a decent chance of some precipitation over the race but it’s unlikely to be anything that requires more than intermediate tyres.
The forecast temperature has also risen from midweek by a fair few degrees, up to the mid-20 degrees Celsius. So if it does rain, the track will dry that little bit quicker and the optimal window for switching back to slick tyres will be all the smaller.
Aside from that, wind isn’t expected to rise above 5mph so drivers shouldn’t have too much to deal with on that front.