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. Tuesday 21 October 2014

  2. Spa to fight Nissan's use of Eau Rouge name 09:50

    Spa to fight Nissan's use of Eau Rouge name

    The Spa-Francorchamps circuit says it will contest an application from car manufacturer Nissan to trademark "Eau...

    F1
  3. Miami reveals Formula E circuit layout 09:22

    Miami reveals Formula E circuit layout

    Miami has become the latest Formula E host to reveal its track layout for the electric championship. Produced by leading...

    Formula E
  4. Pons retains Tunjo for 2015 FR3.5 season 09:07

    Pons retains Tunjo for 2015 FR3.5 season

    Pons Racing has confirmed that Óscar Tunjo will remain with the team in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series next year. The...

    FR 3.5
  5. Video of the Day: Nasr samples FW08C 05:11

    Video of the Day: Nasr samples FW08C

    Williams reserve Felipe Nasr sampled Keke Rosberg's 1983 FW08C at the team's Partner Day at Silverstone.

    F1
  6. Monday 20 October 2014

  7. Brawn, Domenicali on new Accident Panel 17:54

    Brawn, Domenicali on new Accident Panel

    Former Formula 1 team bosses Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali have joined the FIA's new Accident Panel, which has been put...

    F1
  8. Moscow Raceway earns licence for F1 races 17:14

    Moscow Raceway earns licence for F1 races

    Moscow Raceway has been granted an FIA Grade 1 licence, allowing it to stage Formula 1 races. The track, located some...

    Misc
  9. Wolff confirmed for Race Of Champions 15:04

    Wolff confirmed for Race Of Champions

    Susie Wolff will become the first female driver to compete at the Race Of Champions after signing up for this year's event...

    F1
  10. De Vries gets FR3.5 seat with DAMS 14:43

    De Vries gets FR3.5 seat with DAMS

    McLaren junior Nyck de Vries will compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with reigning champion team DAMS next...

    FR 3.5
  11. Lotus to trial new nose design at Austin 13:58

    Lotus to trial new nose design at Austin

    Lotus will test a new nose during practice for the United States Grand Prix, as the team looks to finalise its design for...

    F1
  12. Rossi says tyre choice crucial to victory 13:23

    Rossi says tyre choice crucial to victory

    Valentino Rossi says choosing the extra-soft Bridgestone front tyre was crucial to his second victory of the season at...

    MotoGP
  13. Force India retains Hülkenberg for 2015 10:08

    Force India retains Hülkenberg for 2015

    Force India has confirmed that Nico Hülkenberg will continue to race for the team next season. Hülkenberg, 27, returned t...

    F1
  14. Silverstone, Le Mans back on FR3.5 calendar 09:19

    Silverstone, Le Mans back on FR3.5 calendar

    The World Series by Renault package, which includes Formula Renault 3.5, will return to Silverstone and Le Mans next...

    FR 3.5
  15. Sainz Jr. elated by championship success 07:22

    Sainz Jr. elated by championship success

    Red Bull youngster Carlos Sainz Jr. hailed his "incredible" season after he succeeded Kevin Magnussen as Formula Renault 3.5...

    FR 3.5
  16. Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates title 05:04

    Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates title

    Mercedes celebrates its first Formula 1 Constructors' success at its bases in Brackley and Brixworth.

    F1
  17. Sunday 19 October 2014

  18. DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test 20:39

    DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test

    Marco Wittmann will receive a Formula 1 test with Toro Rosso as his reward from BMW for winning this year's DTM...

    DTM
  19. Verstappen ends F3 season in third place 17:11

    Verstappen ends F3 season in third place

    Future Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen has finished his sole FIA Formula 3 European campaign in third place after losing...

    F1
  20. Kubica: Formula 1 return would be a dream 14:30

    Kubica: Formula 1 return would be a dream

    Robert Kubica says he has not yet given up on the prospect of returning to Formula 1 at some point in the future and will...

    F1
  21. 13:38

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at Jerez

    FR 3.5
  22. Dominant Rowland wins FR3.5 finale at Jerez 13:37

    Dominant Rowland wins FR3.5 finale at Jerez

    Oliver Rowland claimed victory in the final race of the Formula Renault 3.5 season as he controlled proceedings throughout...

    FR 3.5
  23. 09:20

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  24. Márquez 'not on the limit' before crash 09:19

    Márquez 'not on the limit' before crash

    World Champion Marc Márquez says he was not riding on the limit when he crashed out of the lead in the Australian Grand Prix...

    MotoGP
  25. Rossi wins incident-packed race in Australia 06:50

    Rossi wins incident-packed race in Australia

    Valentino Rossi claimed his second win of the year in an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix after World Champion Marc...

    MotoGP
  26. Video of the Day: Pedrosa on Phillip Island 03:00

    Video of the Day: Pedrosa on Phillip Island

    Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa chose his fondest Phillip Island memory ahead of Sunday's race at the track.

    MotoGP
  27. Saturday 18 October 2014

  28. 13:52

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at Jerez

    FR 3.5
  29. Stevens wins, Sainz Jr. clinches title 13:51

    Stevens wins, Sainz Jr. clinches title

    Carlos Sainz Jr. clinched the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 championship at the very first corner of the final round in Jerez...

    FR 3.5
  30. Ecclestone: Las Vegas targeting Formula 1 race 09:32

    Ecclestone: Las Vegas targeting Formula 1 race

    Bernie Ecclestone says a Formula 1 race could be held on the streets of Las Vegas in the future. Ecclestone has long seen...

    F1
  31. 07:54

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  32. Márquez flies to pole position in Australia 06:21

    Márquez flies to pole position in Australia

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island ahead of Ducati...

    MotoGP
  33. Video of the Day: Bottas let loose in FW18 05:07

    Video of the Day: Bottas let loose in FW18

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was given the opportunity to drive the FW18, Damon Hill's World Championship-winning car...

    F1
  34. Friday 17 October 2014

  35. Button will only stay in F1 with 'competitive' car 16:13

    Button will only stay in F1 with 'competitive' car

    Jenson Button could move to endurance racing if he fails to land a competitive Formula 1 seat for 2015. Fernando Alonso,...

    F1
  36. Andretti: Vettel can return Ferrari to the front 16:03

    Andretti: Vettel can return Ferrari to the front

    Former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti believes that Sebastian Vettel has what it takes to galvanise Ferrari and end the...

    F1
  37. Status GP takes over Caterham GP2 team 14:23

    Status GP takes over Caterham GP2 team

    Status Grand Prix has acquired the Caterham GP2 outfit from ex-F1 team boss Tony Fernandes. The squad will continue to...

    GP2
  38. Pirelli changes Brazil tyre nomination 12:15

    Pirelli changes Brazil tyre nomination

    Pirelli has altered its tyre nomination for next month's Brazilian Grand Prix, amid fears over safety. After initially...

    F1
  39. Fong, Nissany to test Sauber F1 car 11:36

    Fong, Nissany to test Sauber F1 car

    Adderly Fong and Roy Nissany will test a two-year-old Sauber Formula 1 car in Valencia next week. The team has set aside...

    F1
  40. Video: Räikkönen clinches 2007 title 11:32

    Video: Räikkönen clinches 2007 title

    Kimi Räikkönen celebrates his 35th birthday on Friday. To mark the occasion, look back at the moment the Finn clinched the 2...

    F1
  41. Räikkönen says he could continue into 2016 11:21

    Räikkönen says he could continue into 2016

    Former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen says he will "probably" remain at Ferrari for another two seasons, reaffirming that he i...

    F1
  42. 09:08

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  43. Lorenzo fastest at Phillip Island despite fall 09:07

    Lorenzo fastest at Phillip Island despite fall

    Jorge Lorenzo set the standard on the opening day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, despite...

    MotoGP
  44. Sainz Jr. will not change approach for finale 07:19

    Sainz Jr. will not change approach for finale

    Carlos Sainz Jr. has vowed to approach this weekend's Formula Renault 3.5 season finale at the Circuito de Jerez as he would...

    FR 3.5
  45. Video of the Day: Button's top four races to win 05:16

    Video of the Day: Button's top four races to win

    McLaren driver Jenson Button names the four races he would most like to win in a single season.

    F1
more news