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. Friday 30 September 2016

  2. 04:01

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Sepang

    F1
  3. First practice red flagged after Magnussen fire 03:38

    First practice red flagged after Magnussen fire

    Friday's first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix was red flagged after Kevin Magnussen's car caught fire in the pit…

    F1
  4. 02:52

    Follow first practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  5. Magnussen: Team-mate Palmer underrated 02:24

    Magnussen: Team-mate Palmer underrated

    Kevin Magnussen believes his reputation has been hindered by having a rookie team-mate, commenting that Jolyon Palmer is…

    F1
  6. Video of the Day: Bottas' 'My Path' - #1 01:00

    Video of the Day: Bottas' 'My Path' - #1

    Valtteri Bottas begins his 'My Path' series which tells his story of becoming a Formula 1 driver with Williams.

    F1
  7. Thursday 29 September 2016

  8. Video: Daniel Ricciardo on season so far 16:02

    Video: Daniel Ricciardo on season so far

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo discusses his season so far and racing alongside with Max Verstappen.

    F1
  9. Mercedes set for first 2016 title chance 15:32

    Mercedes set for first 2016 title chance

    For the third successive season Mercedes has an opportunity to clinch the Constructors' championship at the 16th round of the…

    F1
  10. Ed Carpenter Racing confirms Newgarden exit 15:04

    Ed Carpenter Racing confirms Newgarden exit

    Ed Carpenter Racing has confirmed that Josef Newgarden will not return to the team for the 2017 IndyCar season. Newgarden has…

    Indy
  11. Canada chiefs confident over 2017 F1 race 14:40

    Canada chiefs confident over 2017 F1 race

    Organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix say they remain "confident" that an agreement will be reached between local officials and…

    F1
  12. 12:04

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Sepang

    F1
  13. Massa has no regrets over retirement call 12:02

    Massa has no regrets over retirement call

    Felipe Massa says he has no regrets over his decision to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, and insists his…

    F1
  14. Drivers offer views on new track surface 10:36

    Drivers offer views on new track surface

    Formula 1 drivers have offered their views on the resurfacing and reprofiling work at Sepang, with Jenson Button suggesting that…

    F1
  15. Video: Vettel previews Malaysian GP 10:22

    Video: Vettel previews Malaysian GP

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to the Malaysia Grand Prix as he goes in search of back-to-back victories.

    F1
  16. Steiner rules out Leclerc for 2017 seat 09:05

    Steiner rules out Leclerc for 2017 seat

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has ruled out giving a race seat to Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc for 2017, stating that a…

    F1
  17. Alonso to trial upgraded Honda engine 08:28

    Alonso to trial upgraded Honda engine

    Fernando Alonso will test an updated engine during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as Honda works through its final…

    F1
  18. Sainz Jr. says Renault interest an 'honour' 07:15

    Sainz Jr. says Renault interest an 'honour'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. has admitted that Renault's interest in acquiring his services is an "honour", though insists his current…

    F1
  19. Brazil organisers surprised by 'TBC' status 07:13

    Brazil organisers surprised by 'TBC' status

    Organisers of the Brazilian Grand Prix have expressed surprise that their race has been given provisional status on next year's…

    F1
  20. Pérez: Next week 'crucial' for F1 future 06:41

    Pérez: Next week 'crucial' for F1 future

    Sergio Pérez says that the next week will be "crucial" for his Formula 1 future as he looks to finally confirm where he will be…

    F1
  21. Comtec in line for V8 3.5 return at Jerez 05:02

    Comtec in line for V8 3.5 return at Jerez

    Comtec will make a return to the Formula V8 3.5 championship at Jerez next month with Australian youngster Thomas…

    FV8 3.5
  22. Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #4 04:04

    Video of the Day: Life in the pit lane - #4

    Andy McMillan discusses his 'wheel off' duties in the next part of Williams' 'Life in the pit lane' series.

    F1
  23. Wednesday 28 September 2016

  24. 18:44

    Latest F1 photos: Wednesday at Sepang

    F1
  25. Formula E 2016/17 calendar confirmed 18:43

    Formula E 2016/17 calendar confirmed

    Formula E's 2016/17 calendar has been formally confirmed, ahead of next weekend's season-opening round in Hong Kong. The…

    FE
  26. McLaren gets 2018/19 FE battery deal 18:32

    McLaren gets 2018/19 FE battery deal

    McLaren Applied Technologies has been confirmed as the exclusive battery supplier to the Formula E championship for the 2018/19…

    FE
  27. Early 2017 compound choices mandatory 17:51

    Early 2017 compound choices mandatory

    The FIA's World Motor Sport Council has revealed that Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli will mandate the number of sets of…

    F1
  28. FIA reveals provisional 2017 F1 calendar 17:37

    FIA reveals provisional 2017 F1 calendar

    The FIA's World Motor Sport Council has released a largely unchanged provisional 2017 Formula 1 calendar, which will once again…

    F1
  29. Lynn to make WEC debut with Manor 16:25

    Lynn to make WEC debut with Manor

    Williams development driver Alex Lynn will make his World Endurance Championship debut with Manor at Fuji Speedway next…

    Misc
  30. Renault e.dams unveils 2016/17 FE livery 16:12

    Renault e.dams unveils 2016/17 FE livery

    Renault e.dams has unveiled a revised blue livery for the 2016/17 Formula E championship, which will begin next weekend in Hong…

    FE
  31. Ericsson escapes cycle collision with chicken 15:54

    Ericsson escapes cycle collision with chicken

    Sauber's Marcus Ericsson has revealed he was lucky to escape with "bruises and scratches" after suffering an unusual incident…

    F1
  32. Abiteboul sure Renault can score more points 14:26

    Abiteboul sure Renault can score more points

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul is confident that the team can add to its points tally after Kevin Magnussen returned…

    F1
  33. Porsche Supercup stays on F1 support bill 12:36

    Porsche Supercup stays on F1 support bill

    The Porsche Supercup will remain as a Formula 1 support race for at least the next three years after signing a new…

    Misc
  34. Video: Hamilton and Rosberg in Malaysia 11:14

    Video: Hamilton and Rosberg in Malaysia

    Watch as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg spend time in Kuala Lumpur ahead of the Malaysia Grand Prix.

    F1
  35. Mercedes out to make up for 2015 defeat 10:06

    Mercedes out to make up for 2015 defeat

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team is focused on maintaining its momentum at its 'second home race' in Malaysia this…

    F1
  36. Buller returns to V8 3.5 series at Monza 08:40

    Buller returns to V8 3.5 series at Monza

    Will Buller will make a return to the Formula V8 3.5 championship with RP Motorsport at Monza this weekend. Buller, 24…

    FV8 3.5
  37.  Preview: Malaysian Grand Prix - Round 16 07:36

    Preview: Malaysian Grand Prix - Round 16

    Formula 1 moves from Singapore to Malaysia for the second race of the sport's late flyaway phase, as the title battle heats up.…

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Life of a suspension bolt 05:26

    Video of the Day: Life of a suspension bolt

    Red Bull, which produces over a million Formula 1 car parts a year, tells the story of a front suspension bolt.

    F1
  39. Tuesday 27 September 2016

  40. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  41. Verstappen: Positive to be 'talking point' 15:36

    Verstappen: Positive to be 'talking point'

    Max Verstappen says it is positive to be a "talking point" in Formula 1, whether comments are good or bad, and insists he has…

    F1
  42. Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP 13:02

    Video: Ricciardo previews Malaysian GP

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo looks ahead to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  43. Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix 11:13

    Soft tyre favoured for Japanese Grand Prix

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed the driver-by-driver selections for the Japanese Grand Prix, with the yellow-marked…

    F1
  44. BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in 10:49

    BMW announces Andretti Formula E tie-in

    German car manufacturer BMW has announced a tie-in with Andretti ahead of the 2016/17 Formula E season, in a move that could…

    FE
more news