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 25 April 2017

  2. F1 to focus on 'shield' system for 2018 20:13

    F1 to focus on 'shield' system for 2018

    Formula 1 is to favour a 'shield' head protection device for the 2018 season, rather than the previously proposed 'halo' system…

    F1
  3. 17:02

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  4. Pérez: Force India has taken opportunities 15:47

    Pérez: Force India has taken opportunities

    Sergio Pérez has praised Force India for taking its chances in the early rounds of the 2017 season, enough to put the team at…

    F1
  5. Sirotkin to get practice run in Russia 14:15

    Sirotkin to get practice run in Russia

    Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin will make his first practice outing of the season at his home Grand Prix in Russia, the…

    F1
  6. Pirelli expecting one-stop Russian GP 13:30

    Pirelli expecting one-stop Russian GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli is expecting this weekend's Russian Grand Prix to be a one-stop race, given the "low-severity…

    F1
  7. Video: Michelin's all-weather FE tyres 12:04

    Video: Michelin's all-weather FE tyres

    Formula E provides an insight into the technology behind Michelin's all-weather tyres.

    FE
  8. Lorenzo: Front tyre graining hid step 11:12

    Lorenzo: Front tyre graining hid step

    Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo is adamant that he made another "step forward" at the Grand Prix of the Americas, pinning his late slump…

    MotoGP
  9. Newgarden hails 'fluid' Penske integration 09:53

    Newgarden hails 'fluid' Penske integration

    Josef Newgarden has praised Penske for its efforts to help him integrate over the off-season, after he claimed his first victory…

    Indy
  10. Video: Alonso's Alabama IndyCar visit 09:03

    Video: Alonso's Alabama IndyCar visit

    Follow Fernando Alonso as he tours the IndyCar paddock at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    F1
  11. Alonso targets two-car McLaren finish 07:32

    Alonso targets two-car McLaren finish

    Fernando Alonso hopes that McLaren-Honda will be able to record a two-car finish at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, after a…

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Kvyat 360° Sochi lap 05:36

    Video of the Day: Kvyat 360° Sochi lap

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat takes you on a virtual 360° lap of Sochi Autodrom ahead of the Russian GP.

    F1
  13. Monday 24 April 2017

  14. Video: Alonso press conference at Barber 16:04

    Video: Alonso press conference at Barber

    Watch as Fernando Alonso fields questions about his upcoming attempt at the Indianapolis 500.

    F1
  15. In photos: Alonso visits IndyCar paddock 12:35

    In photos: Alonso visits IndyCar paddock

    Fernando Alonso attended last weekend's Grand Prix of Alabama as part of his preparations for an assault on the Indianapolis 500…

    F1
  16. Video: Performing a perfect FE pit-stop 12:02

    Video: Performing a perfect FE pit-stop

    Venturi driver Maro Engel talks through the key elements to pull off a perfect Formula E pit-stop.

    FE
  17. Viñales vows to return 'stronger' after crash 11:12

    Viñales vows to return 'stronger' after crash

    Maverick Viñales says he will quickly put his crash at the Grand Prix of the Americas to the back of his mind and return…

    MotoGP
  18. Venturi calls up Dillmann for Paris ePrix 10:20

    Venturi calls up Dillmann for Paris ePrix

    Tom Dillmann will make his Formula E debut with Venturi in next month's Paris ePrix. Dillmann, who won the Formula V8 3.5…

    FE
  19. Rossi's 2017 title lead 'a great surprise' 10:02

    Rossi's 2017 title lead 'a great surprise'

    Valentino Rossi says it comes as "a great surprise" to himself and Yamaha that he leads the MotoGP title race after the first…

    MotoGP
  20. Video: IndyCar GP of Alabama highlights 09:32

    Video: IndyCar GP of Alabama highlights

    Watch highlights of Sunday's IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  21. Márquez 'back' in title race with Austin win 09:16

    Márquez 'back' in title race with Austin win

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez says he is "back in the championship" fight after his victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas…

    MotoGP
  22. Video of the Day: Prema's 'Guess the song' 05:24

    Video of the Day: Prema's 'Guess the song'

    Prema Formula 2 drivers Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco, along with Formula 4 pair Juri Vips and Juan Manuel Correa, challenge…

    F2
  23. 03:10

    MotoGP standings after GP of the Americas

    MotoGP
  24. Sunday 23 April 2017

  25. 22:50

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Barber

    Indy
  26. Newgarden wins after Power's puncture 22:48

    Newgarden wins after Power's puncture

    Josef Newgarden won for the first time as a Penske driver, holding off Scott Dixon at the Grand Prix of Alabama after race…

    Indy
  27. 21:10

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Austin

    MotoGP
  28. 21:07

    In full: GP of the Americas race results

    MotoGP
  29. Márquez takes fifth straight Austin victory 20:53

    Márquez takes fifth straight Austin victory

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez preserved his perfect record at the Circuit of the Americas as he claimed victory, while…

    MotoGP
  30. 19:00

    Starting grid for the GP of the Americas

    MotoGP
  31. Video: Super Formula Suzuka highlights 13:59

    Video: Super Formula Suzuka highlights

    Watch race highlights from Sunday's opening round of the 2017 Super Formula season at Suzuka.

    SF
  32. Nakajima wins race, Gasly top rookie 13:23

    Nakajima wins race, Gasly top rookie

    Former Formula 1 driver Kazuki Nakajima triumphed at the opening Super Formula round of the season at Suzuka as Red Bull reserve…

    SF
  33. Lorenzo pleased to confirm 'good feeling' 13:06

    Lorenzo pleased to confirm 'good feeling'

    Jorge Lorenzo says he was lifted by confirming the "good feeling" he developed at the preceding round in Argentina, as he…

    MotoGP
  34. Video: GP of Alabama qualifying highlights 10:56

    Video: GP of Alabama qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights from Saturday's track action for the Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  35. Márquez 'didn't expect' Austin pole position 09:24

    Márquez 'didn't expect' Austin pole position

    Marc Márquez says he "didn't expect" to claim pole position for the Grand Prix of the Americas, having struggled across the…

    MotoGP
  36. Video of the Day: Verstappen photobombs fans 05:34

    Video of the Day: Verstappen photobombs fans

    Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen surprises customers at a supermarket in his native Netherlands...

    F1
  37. Saturday 22 April 2017

  38. 23:16

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Barber

    Indy
  39. Power leads Penske trio in Barber qualifying 23:12

    Power leads Penske trio in Barber qualifying

    Will Power led a Penske/Chevy 1–2–3 in qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday, earning the 46th pole of his…

    Indy
  40. 21:34

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Austin

    MotoGP
  41. Injured Rins to fly home for wrist surgery 21:33

    Injured Rins to fly home for wrist surgery

    Suzuki rider Álex Rins will undergo surgery in his native Spain, after fracturing his left wrist, with no time frame yet placed…

    MotoGP
  42. Márquez beats Viñales in qualifying thriller 21:00

    Márquez beats Viñales in qualifying thriller

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez maintained his unbeaten record at the Circuit of the Americas after prevailing in a…

    MotoGP
  43. Avintia continues with Ducati for 2018 20:14

    Avintia continues with Ducati for 2018

    Avintia has renewed its contract as a customer Ducati squad, with both of its riders set to use the Italian manufacturer's 2017…

    MotoGP
  44. Viñales heads crash-filled COTA FP3 17:14

    Viñales heads crash-filled COTA FP3

    Championship leader Maverick Viñales returned to the top of the leaderboard for Yamaha during a crash-strewn third practice…

    MotoGP
more news