Winners and Losers at the Austrian Grand Prix

Winners and Losers at the Austrian Grand Prix

23 June 2014 – Formula 1 returned to Austria for the first time since 2003 and it was Nico Rosberg who led home Lewis Hamilton to collect Mercedes' sixth 1-2 of the season. We also witnessed a first-time podium finisher in Williams driver Valtteri Bottas. GPUpdate.net presents its winners and losers from the eighth round of the season.

Winners

The Red Bull Ring was an unknown quantity to all but four of the drivers – in terms of Formula 1 standards – but across practice it looked as if Nico Rosberg was off the pace compared to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Nonetheless, in qualifying it was Hamilton who dropped the ball by first running wide and then spinning under braking for Turn 2. Rosberg ran wide on his first lap while in an ironic twist of fate Hamilton's spin scuppered any hope the German had of improving on his second run. Rosberg profited from Williams' conservatism in the race but nonetheless passed Sergio Pérez at a crucial moment and repelled the advances of Bottas when his tyres were past their best towards the end of the second stint. A couple of slow stops for Hamilton gave Rosberg a breathable advantage and while the Briton cut the gap in the closing stages, Rosberg hung on. This was a weekend in which Rosberg was probably not the quickest driver, yet he remained composed to extend his championship advantage to 29 points.

Valtteri Bottas
has had a solid start to the season but despite being within the top 10 throughout the year he has gone about his business in an unassuming manner, consequently not getting the attention his talent deserves. However, across the weekend in Austria he was on top form and proved it by topping third practice and setting a strong lap first time out in qualifying. But on his second lap he blew his chance by dipping a wheel onto the grass and had to play second fiddle to team-mate Felipe Massa. At the start he lost out to Rosberg but swiftly gained back the position on the run up to Turn 2. From there he jumped ahead of Massa during the first round of stops but in turn lost out to Rosberg, who he nonetheless challenged over much of the next stint. But while he ultimately regressed a little he retained third place to collect his maiden podium in the sport – a deserved success which can be a springboard for more top results in 2014.

Sergio Pérez
arrived in Austria off the back of a couple of accident-related retirements, with his penalty from Canada hanging over him. However, Force India believed that 'new elements' – along with stewards being able to hear Pérez's side of the story – would result in the sanction being overturned. Ultimately Pérez's penalty was upheld and he was forced to start from 16th on the grid. But from there he made admirable progress and exploited one of his best attributes as a driver to eke out the life in his tyres. He ended up in the lead and from there  maturely resisted the temptation to race faster rivals on a different strategy. Team orders allowed him past team-mate Nico Hülkenberg while an error from Kevin Magnussen, on fairly worn tyres, aided Pérez's advance to sixth. He felt afterwards that he could have finished on the podium; without his grid drop there's every chance he'd have been in the hunt.

Losers

The last few events have been troublesome for Lewis Hamilton. He was sauntering towards the title lead following four straight wins but was bested by Rosberg in Monaco before suffering another mechanical failure in Canada. Throughout practice in Austria he appeared seamless but when it mattered in qualifying he blew both of his chances, the first a slide wide while the second was an uncharacteristic spin. He was able to recover slightly after a bullet of a start and overhauled Massa by pouncing after the Brazilian's first stop. A series of rapid laps enabled him to jump Bottas but in missing his marks slightly he cost himself a second – a deficit which would prove crucial as he tried to hunt down Rosberg. Second place earns him a decent haul of points but he needs to return to the top step of the podium soon – what better place to do that than at Silverstone?

For four years the combination of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have swept all before them so company co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz duly decided to host a race at the renovated Red Bull Ring for this year. Vettel, however, was off the pace from the first practice session and he narrowly avoided damaging his RB10 when he dropped it on the exit of the final corner. His Q2 exit came as little surprise in the circumstances although he was once again usurped by team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Vettel retained his position at the start but slowed on the second lap, before his car got going again – just as the field lapped him, ironically forcing Ricciardo to run wide. A collision with Esteban Gutiérrez was clumsy although the stewards restrained from handing him a penalty. Red Bull opted to retire him mid-distance to save the engine but this was another problematic weekend for Vettel, who has yet to click with the current spec cars. This was hardly an event for the team to remember either, as Ricciardo struggled to eighth place.

A couple of teams had underwhelming weekends in Austria – Lotus was off the pace while reliability problems for Toro Rosso masked what had been a promising situation, especially for Daniil Kvyat. But a loser for this weekend has to be Sauber. That their current position in the pecking order is expected is a sad indictment of their fall from grace, but a series of errors compounded a woeful Sunday. The team released Gutiérrez from his first pit-stop prior to his right rear wheel being securely fastened; as a result they ordered him to stop immediately. However, the radio message was also distributed to Adrian Sutil – circulating at racing speed on track – who duly obliged and lost almost 10 seconds before the mistake was realised and rectified. Sutil went on to finish 13th and while points weren't lost, it was an amateurish error from the team. To compound matters, Gutiérrez was handed the obligatory 10-place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix.

Phillip Horton
Twitter: @PHortonF1

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 22 July 2017

  2. 17:02

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  3. Cowell: Honda should not be underestimated 16:24

    Cowell: Honda should not be underestimated

    Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell believes McLaren and Honda's ability should not be underestimated, and expects the partnership…

    F1
  4. Renault says double top 10 finish 'critical' 14:48

    Renault says double top 10 finish 'critical'

    Jolyon Palmer will receive Renault's new floor, run by Nico Hülkenberg in Britain, at next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, with…

    F1
  5. FIA: Halo is 'best solution' for F1 in 2018 12:36

    FIA: Halo is 'best solution' for F1 in 2018

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has defended its decision to introduce the head protection device, dubbed the halo, in the…

    F1
  6. Brown: Norris 'a future World Champion' 11:18

    Brown: Norris 'a future World Champion'

    McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown has hailed the team's rising star, Lando Norris, and feels the young Briton has the ability…

    F1
  7. GPUpdate's MotoGP mid-season review 09:24

    GPUpdate's MotoGP mid-season review

    Just 10 points covers the leading four riders from three teams at the halfway mark of a predictably unpredictable campaign.…

    MotoGP
  8. Video: Renault's 2017 Formula 1 teapot 05:32

    Video: Renault's 2017 Formula 1 teapot

    Renault continues its celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of its Formula 1 debut... with a yellow teapot.

    F1
  9. Friday 21 July 2017

  10. Haas says it will retain drivers for 2018 16:34

    Haas says it will retain drivers for 2018

    Haas will retain its current driver line-up of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in Formula 1 next season, according to team…

    F1
  11. Pirelli analysis ongoing over Räikkönen tyre 16:24

    Pirelli analysis ongoing over Räikkönen tyre

    Pirelli has confirmed that a slow puncture caused Sebastian Vettel's failure during last weekend's British Grand Prix, but that…

    F1
  12. Magnussen says seventh still Haas' aim 15:42

    Magnussen says seventh still Haas' aim

    Haas driver Kevin Magnussen insists seventh place in the standings remains the squad's target for this year, and feels a higher…

    F1
  13. Feature: STR reaches nadir after clash 13:56

    Feature: STR reaches nadir after clash

    Toro Rosso has scored just four points in four races, its prospects in Britain severely dented by a first-lap collision between…

    F1
  14. Video: New York ePrix passing action 12:12

    Video: New York ePrix passing action

    Watch all of the overtakes caught on camera during Formula E's inaugural visit to the streets of New York.

    FE
  15. Sauber wants return to 2012 form - Wehrlein 11:14

    Sauber wants return to 2012 form - Wehrlein

    Pascal Wehrlein says there is a "desire" within Sauber to return to its 2012-level of competitiveness, as it bids to climb back…

    F1
  16. Russell: Mercedes 'secondary' in 2017 10:12

    Russell: Mercedes 'secondary' in 2017

    George Russell says his role with Mercedes is "secondary" in 2017 as he focuses on winning the GP3 championship, which he…

    F1
  17. Lauda: Halo is the 'wrong' choice for F1 09:06

    Lauda: Halo is the 'wrong' choice for F1

    Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda has labelled the planned introduction of the halo head protection device in Formula 1…

    F1
  18. Video: WRC champion Ogier drives F1 car 05:42

    Video: WRC champion Ogier drives F1 car

    Watch as four-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier completes his first Formula 1 run with Red Bull.

    F1
  19. Thursday 20 July 2017

  20. Leclerc will 'keep pushing' despite title lead 16:58

    Leclerc will 'keep pushing' despite title lead

    Dominant Formula 2 title leader Charles Leclerc insists he will not change his approach in the feeder category, despite having…

    F2
  21. Wolff: FIA had 'no choice' over halo introduction 16:25

    Wolff: FIA had 'no choice' over halo introduction

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, had "no choice" but to introduce the 'halo' head…

    F1
  22. Vandoorne concludes wet Magny Cours test 15:39

    Vandoorne concludes wet Magny Cours test

    McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne concluded Pirelli's two-day wet-weather test at former French Grand Prix venue Magny Cours on…

    F1
  23. Video: DS Virgin's New York dominance 15:18

    Video: DS Virgin's New York dominance

    Re-live DS Virgin Racing's dominance of the inaugural New York ePrix as the squad swept to both pole positions and wins courtesy…

    FE
  24. Honda: Token system exit has aided trajectory 13:58

    Honda: Token system exit has aided trajectory

    Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa says the removal of Formula 1's token system has aided the manufacturer this season, and will…

    F1
  25. Kubica sure he can perform at high level 13:33

    Kubica sure he can perform at high level

    Robert Kubica says he is convinced he can "get back to the driver I've been" after his Formula 1 tests across the past couple of…

    F1
  26. Rossi hopes Toronto podium a 'breakthrough' 12:50

    Rossi hopes Toronto podium a 'breakthrough'

    Alexander Rossi says he hopes his podium finish at Toronto will act as a "breakthrough", after a difficult spell in the wake of…

    Indy
  27. GPUpdate gets to know... Valtteri Bottas 11:10

    GPUpdate gets to know... Valtteri Bottas

    F1 drivers answer hundreds of questions at each Grand Prix, but how much do we know about their lives away from the track?…

    F1
  28. Hamilton certain British GP will be saved 10:02

    Hamilton certain British GP will be saved

    Lewis Hamilton says he "doesn't believe for a second" that the British Grand Prix will fall off the Formula 1 calendar, despite…

    F1
  29. Vaidyanathan joins European F3 with Carlin 09:17

    Vaidyanathan joins European F3 with Carlin

    Carlin has confirmed that Ameya Vaidyanathan will race for the team in European Formula 3 across the remainder of the…

    F3
  30. Video: British Grand Prix strategy analysis 05:54

    Video: British Grand Prix strategy analysis

    Mercedes reflects on the British Grand Prix as it analyses its strategy and answers questions sent in by fans.

    F1
  31. Wednesday 19 July 2017

  32. FIA pushes through 'halo' for 2018 debut 19:11

    FIA pushes through 'halo' for 2018 debut

    The FIA has pushed through the introduction of the head protection device, dubbed the 'halo', for the 2018 Formula 1 season…

    F1
  33. Three teams carry out Pirelli tyre testing 18:28

    Three teams carry out Pirelli tyre testing

    Williams, Haas and McLaren carried out further 2018 tyre testing with Pirelli at Silverstone and Magny Cours respectively on…

    F1
  34. F1 recruits Nielsen as Sporting Director 16:44

    F1 recruits Nielsen as Sporting Director

    Formula 1 has appointed Steve Nielsen as Sporting Director, working within the Motorsport Division, with the Briton to take up…

    F1
  35. Feature: Hamilton hits back at his critics 16:06

    Feature: Hamilton hits back at his critics

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton put in one of the most dominant displays of his Formula 1 career in Britain, silencing those who had…

    F1
  36. Newgarden: Consistency key for IndyCar title 14:46

    Newgarden: Consistency key for IndyCar title

    Penske driver Josef Newgarden believes consistency will be the key factor during the IndyCar title run-in, after he propelled…

    Indy
  37. 13:28

    Gallery: WRC Champion Ogier in F1 test

    F1
  38. Ogier: Formula 1 run a 'dream come true' 13:27

    Ogier: Formula 1 run a 'dream come true'

    Reigning World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier labelled his first run in a Formula 1 car as a "dream came true" after completing…

    F1
  39. Sainz Jr. has learned from saga over future 12:32

    Sainz Jr. has learned from saga over future

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says he has learned from the confusion over his Formula 1 future, which swirled around the Spaniard at the…

    F1
  40. Video: Hamilton's British GP celebrations 11:12

    Video: Hamilton's British GP celebrations

    Go behind-the-scenes with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton as he celebrates his British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone.

    F1
  41. Brown: Alonso 'very clear' he wants F1 stay 10:28

    Brown: Alonso 'very clear' he wants F1 stay

    McLaren chief Zak Brown says Fernando Alonso has made it "very clear" that he wants to remain in Formula 1 next year, as the…

    F1
  42. In photos: Story of the British Grand Prix 09:18

    In photos: Story of the British Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton dominated proceedings at Silverstone to lead a Mercedes 1-2, as an off-the-pace Ferrari was struck by late tyre…

    F1
  43. F1 teams favour Super Softs for Hungary 08:36

    F1 teams favour Super Softs for Hungary

    Formula 1 teams have overwhelmingly favoured the Super Soft compound for next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Medium…

    F1
more news