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OMNISPORT

Mercedes have won eight out of eight races in this season's Formula One world championship but their dominance at the Austrian Grand Prix was ended 12 months ago.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took victory last year in Austria, when both Mercedes cars retired, and the Dutchman has since become one of the most consistent drivers on the grid.

The mighty Mercedes cars had streaked to four successive victories in Austria before Verstappen's success, with Nico Rosberg winning twice and both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas featuring at the top of the podium.

Hamilton looks to be streaking away with the drivers' championship this season and there is little to suggest he and team-mate Bottas should not be the dominant forces this weekend.

As the race draws near, we shed some light on the Austrian Grand Prix using Opta numbers.

1 - Only one Austrian driver, the late Niki Lauda, has won the Austrian Grand Prix. That success was one of five race wins for him in 1984, the year he claimed his third and final world title.

3 - Bottas is one pole position away from being the first driver to take three poles in a row at the Red Bull Ring track in Spielberg. Only Rene Arnoux has managed this before in three consecutive Austrian GPs, these coming between1979 and 1981.

4 - Hamilton has won the last four F1 races and is one race victory away from equaling his career-best run, which came between the Italian and US grands prix in 2014.

7 - The last seven F1 races at Spielberg have been won by a driver who started from the first two rows on the grid. The last driver to win the Austrian Grand Prix from further back was David Coulthard for McLaren in 2001, who began in seventh.

16 - Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has gone 16 grands prix in a row without winning (excluding retirements), which amounts to the worst such run in his F1 career.

17 - Red Bull's Max Verstappen won his fourth grand prix in Austria last year. He is presently on a run of 17 consecutive race finishes and has taken a top-five place every time.

50 - Mercedes come to this race after recording their 50th one-two in F1, reaching the landmark at the French Grand Prix.

100 - The next driver to secure a maiden career pole position will be the 100th different driver to do so in F1 history.