F1 News: Austrian Grand Prix Under Threat Of Intense Thunderstorms

The Austrian Grand Prix faces potential disruptions due to intense thunderstorms throughout the race weekend, creating a challenging and unpredictable environment for teams and drivers.
Max Verstappen seen during the 10th stop of the FIA Formula One World Championship at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on July 2, 2023.
Max Verstappen seen during the 10th stop of the FIA Formula One World Championship at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on July 2, 2023. / Red Bull Content Pool

The upcoming Austrian Grand Prix race weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg is facing potential disruptions due to thunderstorms, making the weather a critical factor for teams and drivers alike. As the F1 circuit continues to evolve with the Sprint weekend format, the dynamic and unpredictable weather patterns forecasted for this weekend could play a pivotal role in race strategies, especially during the crucial Free Practice session on Friday morning.

This is the current weather forecast according to Weather.com.

Friday - Free Practice 1 & Sprint Qualifying:

The weekend will kick off with relatively stable weather on Friday. During the day, the skies over Spielberg will be partly cloudy with temperatures peaking at 28°C. The wind will be gentle from the northeast at about 4 mph, and the humidity will stand at 61%. Nightfall brings clearer skies and a dip in temperature to a low of 16°C, with humidity increasing to 82%. This sets the stage for what initially appears to be a standard race weekend, but conditions are set to change rapidly as the weekend progresses.

Saturday - Sprint Race & Grand Prix Qualifying:

By Saturday, the weather situation is expected to escalate with the development of thunderstorms in the afternoon, which could affect both the Sprint Race and the Grand Prix qualifying sessions. The temperature will reach a slightly higher high of 29°C, and the afternoon brings a 30% chance of rain, increasing humidity levels to 60%. As evening approaches, scattered thunderstorms are more likely, hitting a 40% chance of rain, with nighttime temperatures maintaining a mild 17°C. These variable conditions could introduce significant challenges, including track wetness and visibility issues.

Sunday - Grand Prix:

Sunday presents the most severe weather of the weekend, with consistent thunderstorms predicted throughout the day, thereby potentially impacting the Grand Prix itself. The likelihood of rain skyrockets to 80%, accompanied by a high of 26°C and winds coming from the east-southeast at about 5 mph.

Significance of Weather:

For F1 teams, adapting to the rapidly changing conditions will be crucial. With the Sprint format leaving little room for error, the strategy calls made during Friday’s Free Practice session become even more critical as teams gather data and adjust their setups for the varying weather conditions expected throughout the weekend. The ability to swiftly adapt to changing conditions could very well determine the outcome of the races, highlighting the importance of strategy over speed in uncertain weather.

Lydia Mee


Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.