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. Sunday 28 August 2016

  2. 21:18

    GP2 photos: Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP2
  3. Seven GP2 drivers handed time penalties 21:17

    Seven GP2 drivers handed time penalties

    Seven GP2 Series drivers have been handed 10-second time penalties for a DRS infraction during the Sprint Race at…

    GP2
  4. 17:43

    F1 photos: Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps

    F1
  5. Magnussen 'will be ready' for Italian GP 17:41

    Magnussen 'will be ready' for Italian GP

    Renault's Kevin Magnussen says he will be fit to compete at next weekend's Italian Grand Prix after a frightening accident at…

    F1
  6. Alonso: Spa showing was 'unthinkable' 17:32

    Alonso: Spa showing was 'unthinkable'

    Fernando Alonso says McLaren-Honda's performance at the Belgian Grand Prix, which yielded a Q3 appearance and points, was…

    F1
  7. Hülkenberg hails 'massive' Force India result 17:04

    Hülkenberg hails 'massive' Force India result

    Nico Hülkenberg lauded a "massive" result for Force India as the team moved above Williams in the scrap for fourth position in…

    F1
  8. Vettel plans to talk to Verstappen over conduct 17:03

    Vettel plans to talk to Verstappen over conduct

    Sebastian Vettel says that he is planning to speak with Max Verstappen over his driving standards when the dust has settled on a…

    F1
  9. Räikkönen: Verstappen actions 'not correct' 16:21

    Räikkönen: Verstappen actions 'not correct'

    Kimi Räikkönen feels that Max Verstappen's driving was "not correct" after the pair went wheel-to-wheel during the Belgian…

    F1
  10. Verstappen unhappy with Ferrari drivers 15:57

    Verstappen unhappy with Ferrari drivers

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen labelled Sebastian Vettel as "illogical" and rebuked criticism from Kimi Räikkönen, following…

    F1
  11. Hamilton surprised at podium from back row 15:45

    Hamilton surprised at podium from back row

    Lewis Hamilton says third position at the Belgian Grand Prix exceeded his expectations as he moved forward from the back row of…

    F1
  12. Ricciardo: Red Bull achieved maximum result 15:32

    Ricciardo: Red Bull achieved maximum result

    Daniel Ricciardo reckons Red Bull achieved the maximum result possible as he secured second position at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  13. Rosberg says he had race 'under control' 15:25

    Rosberg says he had race 'under control'

    Nico Rosberg says he had everything "under control" as he cruised to victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, his sixth triumph of the…

    F1
  14. 14:55

    In full: 2016 Belgian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  15. Rosberg wins dramatic Belgian Grand Prix 14:51

    Rosberg wins dramatic Belgian Grand Prix

    Nico Rosberg triumphed in an incident-packed Belgian Grand Prix, which was split in two after a heavy crash for Kevin Magnussen…

    F1
  16. Magnussen taken to hospital with ankle cut 14:26

    Magnussen taken to hospital with ankle cut

    Kevin Magnussen has been transported to hospital for routine checks after sustaining an ankle injury during a high-speed crash…

    F1
  17. Belgian GP halted after Magnussen crash 13:31

    Belgian GP halted after Magnussen crash

    Sunday afternoon's Belgian Grand Prix has been suspended after 10 laps following an enormous accident for Renault driver Kevin…

    F1
  18. 12:42

    Follow the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix live!

    F1
  19. 12:22

    Revised starting grid for the Belgian GP

    F1
  20. Mercedes breaks seal on Hamilton's gearbox 12:16

    Mercedes breaks seal on Hamilton's gearbox

    Mercedes has broken an FIA seal on Lewis Hamilton's gearbox ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, in a move that will enable him to…

    F1
  21. Giovinazzi beats Malja to victory in Belgium 10:12

    Giovinazzi beats Malja to victory in Belgium

    Antonio Giovinazzi claimed his third GP2 victory of the season as he passes Gustav Malja mid-distance during the Sprint Race at…

    GP2
  22. Honda confirms 60-place penalty for Alonso 09:58

    Honda confirms 60-place penalty for Alonso

    McLaren engine supplier Honda has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will take a 60-place penalty for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix…

    F1
  23. 09:01

    GP3 photos: Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP3
  24. Aitken takes maiden GP3 victory at Spa 08:58

    Aitken takes maiden GP3 victory at Spa

    Renault youngster Jack Aitken secured his maiden GP3 victory during a race punctuated by Safety Car periods at…

    GP3
  25. Steiner: Gutiérrez grid penalty 'very unfair' 08:42

    Steiner: Gutiérrez grid penalty 'very unfair'

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has labelled Esteban Gutiérrez's grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix as "very unfair…

    F1
  26. Hamilton prefers grid over pit lane start 08:33

    Hamilton prefers grid over pit lane start

    Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he was always eager to start the Belgian Grand Prix from the grid, rather than…

    F1
  27. Software issue hurt Williams in qualifying 07:22

    Software issue hurt Williams in qualifying

    Williams has confirmed that both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were hampered by a software problem on their power units…

    F1
  28. Video of the Day: Ricciardo in Los Angeles 05:04

    Video of the Day: Ricciardo in Los Angeles

    Daniel Ricciardo, along with a close group of friends, visits Los Angeles to experience its car culture.

    F1
  29. 04:34

    IndyCar photos: Saturday's Firestone 600

    Indy
  30. Rahal steals Texas victory from Hinchcliffe 04:32

    Rahal steals Texas victory from Hinchcliffe

    Graham Rahal will be credited with leading one lap in a race that spanned two months, but he led the lap that matters most…

    Indy
  31. Saturday 27 August 2016

  32. 17:38

    F1 photos: Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps

    F1
  33. Pérez: Force India maximised qualifying 17:36

    Pérez: Force India maximised qualifying

    Sergio Pérez reckons Force India maximised its potential by claiming sixth and seventh on the grid for the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  34. 17:08

    GP3 photos: Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP3
  35. Leclerc controls GP3 opener in Belgium 17:06

    Leclerc controls GP3 opener in Belgium

    Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc claimed his third GP3 Series victory of the season after dominating proceedings at…

    GP3
  36. Ricciardo 'not too disappointed' with qualifying 16:56

    Ricciardo 'not too disappointed' with qualifying

    Daniel Ricciardo says he is "not too disappointed" with his fifth-place grid slot in Belgium, given this weekend's precarious…

    F1
  37. Button: Q2 lap as good as 2012 pole run 15:50

    Button: Q2 lap as good as 2012 pole run

    Jenson Button reckons the lap he posted to reach the final phase of qualifying in Belgium was as good as his run to pole…

    F1
  38. 15:48

    GP2 photos: Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP2
  39. Gasly extends advantage with third GP2 victory 15:46

    Gasly extends advantage with third GP2 victory

    Pierre Gasly moved into a 23-point advantage in the GP2 Series as he cruised to his third victory of the season at…

    GP2
  40. Hamilton: Spa 'worst time' to take penalties 15:17

    Hamilton: Spa 'worst time' to take penalties

    Lewis Hamilton says the Belgian Grand Prix has proven to be the "worst time" to take his engine-related grid penalties, given…

    F1
  41. Räikkönen felt pole position was possible 15:03

    Räikkönen felt pole position was possible

    Kimi Räikkönen felt that pole position was within his and Ferrari's reach at the Belgian Grand Prix, after finishing within…

    F1
  42. Verstappen: Red Bull can be 'very pleased' 14:42

    Verstappen: Red Bull can be 'very pleased'

    Max Verstappen reckons Red Bull can be "very pleased" with its efforts during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, as he…

    F1
more news