Spielberg (Austria), June 27 (IANS) Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is looking to pay tribute to late three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda with a victory at the Austrian Grand Prix (GP) this weekend.
Hamilton is taking steady steps towards his sixth career world title, just one short of F1 legend Michael Schumacher’s record.
A win at the Red Bull Ring racing circuit in Austria could act as a fitting tribute to Lauda, who was born in Vienna in 1949 and whose photograph was present on the opening page of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport’s website on Thursday, reports Efe news.
The 34-year-old Briton drew level at the end of last season with Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio on five world championships and helped Mercedes win its fifth consecutive constructors title.
Hamilton currently leads the standings with 187 points, 36 ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas of Finland and 76 in front of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel of Germany.
The 34-year-old took his 79th race victory this season at last Sunday’s French Grand Prix, leaving him only 12 wins away from equalling the all-time record of Schumacher, who has not been seen in public since December 2013 when he suffered a serious head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps.
Mercedes, winner of the past five F1 constructors’ titles, has extended its lead over second-placed Ferrari by 140 points in the standings after winning all eight races this season.
If it wins in Austria, Mercedes will equal the all-time record of 11 successive victories set by McLaren in 1988.
Meanwhile, Vettel is hoping to end Ferrari’s 16-race winless streak on Sunday in Spielberg.