Rosberg extends championship lead after win in Austria

Rosberg Austrian GP 2014

Nico Rosberg extended his championship lead after edging out his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to victory at the Red Bull Ring.

The Silver Arrows were able to benefit from Williams thanks to a superior pit-stop strategy despite the straightline speed for Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Williams were able to score their best result of the season by finishing in third and fourth, with Bottas achieving his maiden podium.

Massa initially led the Austrian Grand Prix from the first Williams one-two on the grid since 2003, while his team-mate was passed by the fast-starting Mercedes of Rosberg.

But Bottas used Williams’ superior straightline advantage to retake second on the run up the hill to Turn 2.

A superb start on the opening lap from Lewis Hamilton made up for his disappointing showing in qualifying.

The Mercedes driver made up several places including a brave pass on Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari at Turn 8.

Rosberg pitted for the first time on lap 11 of 71, releasing Hamilton to attack the Williams pair.

Hamilton pitted two laps later, while Williams waited an extra tour before bringing in race leader Massa.

The Brazilian lost out during this first round of pit-stops. He was jumped by Rosberg and later passed by Hamilton at Turn 2 on his out-lap.

By contrast, a great in-lap from Bottas, who was last of the leading group to pit on lap 15, kept him ahead of Hamilton and allowed him to jump ahead over his Williams team-mate.

All four ran behind the Force India of Sergio Perez during the second phase of the race, owing to the Mexican running an alternative strategy from P15 on the grid.

Mercedes warned Hamilton about overheating brakes running closely behind the Williams, while Rosberg made a point of continually moving out of Perez’s slipstream on the straights to cool his own car down.

Perez led until lap 27, when Rosberg dived down the inside unchallenged at Turn 2. Bottas followed through up the inside on the exit as Perez ran wide.

Hamilton produced a copycat move at Turn 2 on the following lap to take third place and set fastest lap as he chased after Bottas and new race leader Rosberg.

The top three bunched up as Rosberg ran wide coming out of Turn 1 on lap 30, allowing Bottas to get into DRS range and dragging Hamilton with him, while Massa held a watching brief slightly further back in fourth.

Rosberg took a few laps to recover his rhythm, but managed to gain a two-second lead before Mercedes decided to pit its two drivers for the second time on consecutive tours on laps 39 and 40.

Hamilton came in first and rejoined fifth, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren, while Rosberg’s slightly faster stop ensured he stayed ahead of Hamilton.

Williams decided not to react immediately, pitting Bottas from the lead on lap 42, and the Finn rejoined behind both Mercedes.

Once Massa and the long-running Ferrari of Fernando Alonso came in for their final stops on lap 44 and 47 respectively, the race finally boiled down to a battle royale between the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton was told his brake temperatures were now under control, freeing him up to take the fight to his team-mate, but his front-left brake returned to a critical status before he could get close enough to attack.

He came back strongly again across the final few laps, but finished just under two seconds adrift after a mistake at Turn 3 on the final lap.

Alonso’s marathon second stint helped him finish just a few seconds shy of the Williams drivers in fifth, while Perez converted his alternative strategy into an excellent top six finish by passing Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren at Turn 2 in the closing stages.

Despite that that lost position, Magnussen was able to claim his best finish since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix by finishing seventh.

While Canadian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo, who passed Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India on the final lap despite not being allowed to use his ‘overtake’ button, took eighth.

This was a difficult day for the Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. First Ricciardo drop down from fifth on the grid on the opening lap, followed by world champion Sebastian Vettel momentarily lost drive on the second lap and then retired shortly after half distance to save engine mileage.

In fact, this was a horrible race for the four-time world champion. A lap down due to a loss of power in the Red Bull RB10. Vettel tried to regain lost ground but damaged his front wing while racing with Esteban Gutierrez. The team later on instructed him to stop the car.

Rounding out the top ten is Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. This was The Iceman’s 200th Formula 1 race but there was no reasons to celebrate as his car lacked power.

At least he finished ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren and the lapped Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.

So an interesting race in terms of strategy. Mercedes scored their sixth one-two this season and Nico Rosberg extends his lead in the championship over Lewis Hamilton by 29 points.

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is next and it’s going to be another battle royale for top honours between the Silver Arrows.

Austrian Grand Prix, race results after 71 laps:

1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1h27m54.967s
2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               +1.932s
3. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes      +8.172s
4. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes      +17.358s
5. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                +18.553s
6. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes   +28.546s
7. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes       +32.031s
8. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault       +43.522s
9. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   +44.137s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                +47.777s
11. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       +50.966s
12. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault          -1 lap
13. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari         -1 lap
14. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          -1 lap
15. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari       -2 laps
16. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault       -2 laps
17. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari       -2 laps
18. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault       -2 laps
19. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         -2 laps


Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      59 laps
Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        34 laps
Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault      24 laps

Drivers’ championship:

1. Nico Rosberg       165
2. Lewis Hamilton     136
3. Daniel Ricciardo   83
4. Fernando Alonso    79
5. Sebastian Vettel   60
6. Nico Hulkenberg    59
7. Valtteri Bottas    55
8. Jenson Button      43
9. Felipe Massa       30
10. Kevin Magnussen    29
11. Sergio Perez       28
12. Kimi Raikkonen     19
13. Romain Grosjean    8
14. Jean-Eric Vergne   8
15. Daniil Kvyat       4
16. Jules Bianchi      2

Constructors’ championship:

1. Mercedes                 301
2. Red Bull/Renault         143
3. Ferrari                   98
4. Force India/Mercedes      87
5. Williams/Mercedes         85
6. McLaren/Mercedes          72
7. Toro Rosso/Renault        12
8. Lotus/Renault              8
9. Marussia/Ferrari           2
10. Sauber/Ferrari            0
11. Caterham/Renault          0

Next race: British Grand Prix, Silverstone. June 20-22.

7 thoughts to “Rosberg extends championship lead after win in Austria”

  1. After scoring his maiden Formula 1 podium Valtteri Bottas commented that this was the Williams team’s showing off their true potential over the course of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. has the news story.

    Valtteri Bottas celebrated his “best ever weekend” after securing his first Formula 1 podium at the Austrian Grand Prix.

    The Finn emerged as the strongest of the Williams drivers in the race, despite team-mate Felipe Massa having started from pole position.

    In the end, Bottas was unable to fight for victory with Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, but he felt the team had finally maximised its potential after several missed opportunities in previous races.

    “I think overall it was my best ever weekend,” Bottas, who started from second, said.

    “I’m really happy for us as a team. We were really strong the whole weekend.

    “It’s down to the hard work. We are making progress, getting closer to the positions where we belong.

    “It’s nice to have a clean race and good points for the team. There has been talk about maximising what we had and today we showed what we can do.”

    Although Williams seemed to lose out to Mercedes in terms of race strategy, Bottas admitted his team knew it would be very hard to win.

    “It is a difficult one. We need to work out if there’s anything we could have done better,” said Bottas when asked if he could have won the race with a different strategy.

    “We need to analyse, so it is difficult to say. For the moment I am happy with what we did as a team, but we always aim for better.

    “From the data in practice we knew it would be difficult. We really nailed it yesterday so we knew maybe Sunday would be difficult but actually it was a bit better than expected.”

  2. From the highs of winning the Canadian Grand Prix to the lows of finishing in eighth position at the Austrian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo was left feeling frustrated by his first-lap errors. has the details.

    Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was frustrated with himself for first-lap errors after finishing only eighth in the Austrian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull’s Canadian GP winner qualified fifth in Austria, but fell to 10th on the opening lap.

    “It was frustrating – it’s never nice going backwards on the first lap,” said Ricciardo.

    “Off the line it was actually one of our better starts – we were pseudo-competitive, though Kevin [Magnussen] was better.

    “I basically tried to hang around the outside and it was the wrong thing to do as if you get on the other side of that sausage kerb, you just lose too much on the exit.

    “So I got swamped onto that long straight and we struggle too much on the straights as it is.

    “I was frustrated with myself for that. I’ll have to see if I should’ve cut to the inside and got something better.”

    Ricciardo got back up to eighth by passing Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India with a dramatic move around the outside at Turn 4.

    “The last lap move put a smile on my face, but otherwise it was a pretty sad race,” said Ricciardo.

    “I hadn’t really done anything good all day so I figured I had to do something.

    “Ninth is not a familiar position for us this year, so in my mind I didn’t have much to lose.

    “I got in his tow, got close enough and thought ‘what the hell, let’s go for it’.”

    The other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel slowed on the first lap with an apparent electrical problem, resumed running but retired after a collision with Esteban Gutierrez meant a new front wing was required.

    Vettel confirmed that Red Bull parked the car to save mileage as he was too far behind the field to regain much ground.

    “Sometimes you find yourself without problems, other times you have a lot of problems,” he said.

  3. Valtteri Bottas gave Finland another presence on the Formula One podium on Sunday when the Williams driver celebrated his first top three finish at the Austrian Grand Prix.

    “Really, really happy. Difficult to put into words really. Just really thankful to the team for giving me this car,” the third placed 24-year-old declared.

    “It’s been a long way for us since last year and many, many years at Williams and now it’s so much better. The race was exactly what we needed at this point – clean, nice, everything went like planned really.”

    Bottas, the latest in a line of top Finnish drivers that includes former world champions Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen, made his debut with Williams last year after a stint as reserve.

    It turned out to be a miserable season for the former champions, who scored just five points in total and finished ninth overall – a long way from the 1980s and 1990s when they won nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ championships.

    This season, with a switch from Renault to Mercedes power and technical head Pat Symonds coming on board, they have been a team transformed and are now fifth with 85 points and within reach of Force India and Ferrari.

    They are still off the pace of dominant Mercedes but started Sunday’s race with Brazilian Felipe Massa on pole and Bottas alongside.

    The Finn followed up his best-ever qualifying with a best-ever result while Massa dropped to fourth.

    “I think overall the best-ever weekend,” said Bottas, who took several long swigs of his champagne before spraying the rest at Mercedes’ winner Nico Rosberg and second-placed Lewis Hamilton.

    “We were really strong the whole weekend and that’s down to all the hard work. Of course it was a good track for us.

    “You never know what’s going to happen in the next race but overall we are making progress. Step-by-step we are getting there, getting closer to the positions where we belong. I’m really happy,” he added.

    Williams had chances earlier in the season but failed to capitalise on them through errors and misfortune but Bottas, who had the fastest pitstop of the race, said they had finally shown what they could do.

    “From all the data that we had from practice we knew that in the race it’s going to be difficult and overall Mercedes have still got the quickest car,” he said.

    “We really nailed it yesterday so we knew that maybe Sunday could be difficult but actually it was a bit better than I expected. We were really close to them on pace.”

    Source: Reuters

  4. This was a major disappointing race for Red Bull Racing at their ‘home’ track. The world championship-winning outfit said that this Renault form is simply unacceptable. has the details.

    Red Bull has labelled Renault’s performance in Formula 1 as ‘unacceptable’, and called on the French car manufacturer to make changes.

    The reigning champion endured another frustrating race in Austria, with Sebastian Vettel’s afternoon wrecked by a power unit failure and Daniel Ricciardo only managing eighth.

    And with the team having set Renault a deadline of this weekend to show what its potential could be, Red Bull boss Christian Horner did not hold back on Sunday night when asked about his feelings on the situation.

    “It’s frustrating that we’re in the situation that we are,” he said, when asked for his feelings on Renault’s performance.

    “We’ve obviously had a lot of success with Renault.

    “We’ve won all the races and all the championships that we’ve achieved with Renault power. But the situation just isn’t improving at the moment.

    “The reliability is unacceptable. The performance is unacceptable. There needs to be change at Renault. It can’t continue like this. It’s not good for Renault and it’s not good for Red Bull.

    “We need to work together as partners. There will not be another engine in the back of the car next year, but we want to be competitive and we want to run at the front.”

    When asked to clarify what he meant by changes at Renault, Horner said: “Something needs to happen because whatever’s being done there at the moment isn’t working.

    “It’s not our business, it’s not our responsibility. We’re the end user and it’s just frustrating that it’s not where it needs to be at the moment.”

    Renault deputy managing director Rob White said he empathised with Red Bull’s frustrations at the situation, but was adamant that a path of recovery had been mapped out.

    “The anxiety that Christian feels, and the frustration he feels after a result that is not at the full potential of the performance of car and power unit, is completely understandable and shared by us,” he said.

    “But we are completely committed to making progress as fast as we possibly can – and I think we have shown signs of progress before now and we remain sure of where the expectations of Red bull and Christian lies.

    “We know what is expected of us and individually and collectively we must buckle down in the right direction.

    “This is a process that is completely shared with Red Bull, and the objectives are known and understood.”

  5. Sebastian Vettel escaped a penalty for his Austrian Grand Prix collision with Esteban Gutierrez only because of a new more lenient approach from Formula 1’s race stewards.

    As AUTOSPORT revealed earlier this weekend, the FIA has agreed to not be as strict when it comes to handing down driver penalties for collisions.

    The move came following complaints from teams in last week’s F1 Commission meeting that drivers were scared to be aggressive in overtaking moves for fear of being punished.

    Vettel damaged his front wing in a collision with Gutierrez as he tried to battle his way up the field following an earlier engine problem.

    The matter was investigated by the race stewards, but they decided that in the wake of the F1 Commission request – where only accidents where clear blame can be laid on one driver should penalties be handed out – that no action should be taken.

    A note issued after the stewards hearing said: “In light of the new guidelines from the Formula 1 Commission, there is no further action warranted.”


  6. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso admitted there was no joy in underdog heroics. The double world champion finished the Austrian Grand Prix with fifth position. has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso says he got no satisfaction from being able to fight with some Mercedes-powered Formula 1 cars during the Austrian Grand Prix after finishing in fifth position.

    Ferrari driver Alonso managed to lead a race for the first time this year as a result of a later pitstop, but then finished nearly 20 seconds down on race winner Nico Rosberg.

    The Spaniard was the highest classified driver not using Mercedes power, with the remaining six positions in the top seven going to cars with the German engines.

    Although Alonso said it was positive to be seen as a very strong driver in an inferior car, he admitted he would trade that kind of respect for more victories.

    “Not much, to be honest,” said Alonso when asked if he got any satisfaction from being the best non-Mercedes driver.

    “It’s been five years like this.

    “There is always the satisfaction that everyone believes that you are performing at your best. There’s the respect from the drivers, team principals and fans for the job that you do.

    “But I’d prefer to have no respect and win more trophies.

    “At the moment we are not in that position, so let’s try to be a little bit better and try to do more podiums, more wins, and help the team more and more.”

    Alonso also downplayed the significance of being able to get closer to the Mercedes-powered cars in the latter stages of the race.

    “I think it was just a coincidence,” he said. “First of all [Sergio] Perez was slowing down the group a little bit and we were catching up.

    “I closed on Massa at the end and then when I was close I think he pulled away. Same with [Lewis] Hamilton in the first lap.

    “It was unbelievable the difference between the two cars. If they [Mercedes] run with those settings [all the race] they would lap everyone, but they cannot do it for the whole race.”

    Alonso said after the race that he had done “71 qualifying laps”.

  7. Despite starting the race on the front row, Williams insists victory was never on. has the story.

    The Williams Formula 1 team does not believe it was a genuine contender for victory in the Austrian Grand Prix, despite qualifying both cars on the front row of the grid.

    Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas started ahead of championship leader Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, but both drivers slipped back in Sunday’s race as Rosberg led Lewis Hamilton home for Mercedes’ sixth one-two finish of the season, despite cooling issues with both cars.

    Williams’s head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley told reporters after the race that Williams was managing its own car issues and had to adopt a conservative approach to ensure it finished third and fourth.

    “I think we were beaten by a faster car and a better organised team, so hats off to them because they did a better job than us today,” Smedley said.

    “We were not without problems ourselves and had to manage systems on the car – brakes, tyres, and it was all about that, and about consolidating and making sure we got third and fourth, and we didn’t do anything silly trying to race Mercedes and finish fifth or sixth, or worse.”

    Although Williams lost out to Mercedes at successive rounds of pitstops, after pitting later than its rival, Smedley does not believe Williams could have adopted a more aggressive strategy.

    “I’m not sure we could have done it much differently to be honest,” Smedley added.

    “Mercedes had problems but I don’t think they were running their full pace.

    “If you react to their first pitstop there’s every chance we wouldn’t have got our cars to the end of the race, the tyre wear was that close, so I’m reasonably happy with what we did.

    “We wouldn’t be competitive people if we didn’t feel a slight twinge of disappointment, but you’ve got to look at the positives.”

    Massa fell to fourth by the flag despite leading to the first round of stops, but reckoned he was just unlucky with how his strategy played out.

    “I don’t think it was the late pitstop so much because Valtteri stopped after me and he passed me in the pitstops,” Massa said.

    “I think I was unlucky, because when I came back on the track I was behind one Mercedes and the other was very close behind with hot tyres and passed me easily.

    “Then I lost a lot of time on the same lap with a car going slowly to the pits, and that was enough to lose the position [to Bottas].

    “He was a bit more lucky than me. Normally when you stop before it’s better, but I was not lucky and I did not have the 2.1s pitstop.

    “But I’m still happy with the result and with what I did. Unfortunately it was not enough to be on the podium but it’s a great result for the team.”

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