2015 Austrian Grand Prix Race Review

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On Saturday, we saw Lewis Hamilton taking Pole Position for the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

Nico Rosberg leads the start of the Austrian Grand Prix. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg leads the start of the Austrian Grand Prix. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/Sutton Images.

The Austrian GP is underway! Lewis Hamilton doesn’t a good start off the line but Nico Rosberg does and manages to take the lead into the first corner of the race. Hamilton tries to get past his team mate into Turn 2 but locks up and Rosberg defends his position well.

Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari after the incident with Fernando Alonso on Lap 1 of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/Sutton Images.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari after the incident with Fernando Alonso on Lap 1 of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/Sutton Images.

As we head into the next few corners, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have a massive incident which sees Raikkonen receiving a tap from behind from Alonso, losing control of his Ferrari and crashing into the barriers taking Alonso with him and Alonso’s McLaren-Honda ending up on top of Raikkonen’s Ferrari.

Luckily both drivers were okay and they wasn’t hurt from the accident. This then brought out the Safety Car while the marshals recover the cars from the accident. At the end of the lap, Danill Kvyat pits to replace a broken front wing.

The Safety Car leads the field until Lap 7 of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to LAT.

The Safety Car leads the field until Lap 7 of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to LAT.

Lap 2 sees Will Stevens retiring from the race officially with an oil leak after stopping on the track. Lap 7 we are back racing in Austria. On the track, Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean go wheel to wheel with each other and bang wheels with each other. The next lap sees Ericsson being investigated by the stewards after jump starting the race.

On Lap 10, Jenson Button officially retires from the race after a transmission problem on his McLaren-Honda has ended his race early. Two laps later, Ericsson receives a drive through penalty from the stewards after jump starting the race which he serves at the end of the lap as Grosjean runs wide at the final turn.

Nico Rosberg leads

Nico Rosberg leads the Austrian GP on Lap 19. All rights reserved to LAT.

Lap 13 sees the stewards announcing that they will be investigating the incident between Raikkonen and Alonso after the race. Two laps later sees Valtteri Bottas passing Max Verstappen for position.  Lap 19 sees Rosberg leading the race from Hamilton by 1.8 seconds. There is a battle between Grosjean and Sergio Perez for tenth place on the track; with the Lotus team asking Pastor Maldonado if he was being held up by Grosjean. Maldonado said yes and Grosjean could be asked to move over if he can’t make it past Perez.

At the end of Lap 21, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson stops just before the finish line stating to his team on the radio that he lost power. His team ask him to do the shut down procedures but Ericsson was able to get the car back running and continued on during the race.

On Lap 25 of the race, Rosberg leads Hamilton by 4.2 seconds. On the outside of Turn 3, Bottas passing Nico Hulkenberg for fifth place on the track with a great move. At the end of the lap, Hulkenberg pits for new tyres as does Sainz Jr. Two laps later, Grosjean and Felipe Nasr have a great battle in the next few corners and Grosjean passes him for twelfth place.

Valtteri Bottas in the second half of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to LAT.

Valtteri Bottas in the second half of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to LAT.

Meanwhile, Hulkenberg and Bottas are battling with each other once again and Hulkenberg going into Turn 2 passes Bottas for seventh place. The next lap sees the stewards investigating Sainz Jr for speeding in the pitlane. The next lap sees Sainz Jr receiving a five second penalty for speeding in the pitlane as Kvyat passes Verstappen for tenth place.

On Lap 33, Grosjean passes Kvyat for position on track as Rosberg pits for new tyres and hands the lead over to Hamilton on Lap 34. There is a battle between Perez and Maldonado for fifth place on the track. Lap 35 sees Hamilton leading Vettel by 10.7 seconds before he makes his pitstop at the end of the lap.

Sebastian Vettel takes the lead of the Austrian GP

Sebastian Vettel takes the lead of the Austrian GP on Lap 36. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/ Sutton Images.

Lap 36 sees Sebastian Vettel leading the Grand Prix from Nico Rosberg by 5.8 seconds. Grosjean goes off the circuit with gearbox problems and is stuck in third gear. But he is able to continue on the track for now. At the end of the lap, Vettel pits for new tyres and there is a problem with his stop which allows Felipe Massa to gain third place.

Nico Rosberg regaining the lead of the Austrian GP

Nico Rosberg regaining the lead of the Austrian GP on Lap 37. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/ Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg regains the lead of the race on Lap 37 by 4.5 seconds from his team mate Hamilton. Bottas after a good battle for a few laps manages to pass Maldonado for sixth place. The stewards announce that Hamilton is under investigation for crossing the white line on the pit exit. At the end of the lap, Carlos Sainz Jr officially retires from the race.

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat on Lap 41 of the Austrian GP. All rights reserved to LAT.

At the end of Lap 38, Grosjean officially retires from the race with gearbox problems. The next lap sees Hamilton receive a five second time penalty from crossing the white line on the pit exit which will be added to his race time at the end of the Grand Prix. On Lap 41, Maldonado in two great moves passes Nasr firstly and then Kvyat for track position. Shortly after Nasr passes Kvyat for tenth place.

Lap 43 sees Perez passing Kvyat for 11th place on the track. Lap 45 sees Rosberg leading the race from Hamilton by 6.6 seconds. Lap 47 sees Perez passing Nasr for tenth place at Turn 3. Laps 50 and 51 sees a battle between Maldonado and Ricciardo ongoing and by the end of Lap 51, Maldonado repasses Ricciardo for position on the track.

On Lap 61 of the race, Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Nasr are battling each other for tenth place, with Ricciardo passing Nasr for the position, while Pastor Maldonado is chasing Max Verstappen for seventh place and Vettel has reduced the gap to Massa by 0.8 seconds by Lap 64 of the race. The gap between Vettel and Massa is now reduced to 0.4 seconds by Lap 67.

Nico Rosberg wins the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Felipe Massa in third place. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg wins the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Felipe Massa in third place. All rights reserved to Mark Sutton/Sutton Images.

On Lap 70, Maldonado passes Verstappen at Turn 1 after Verstappen locks up going into the corner. Rosberg leads Hamilton by 2.3 seconds on the final lap of the race. Rosberg takes the chequered flag and wins his second consecutive win at the Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton is second 8.8 seconds behind Rosberg but was ahead of Massa who achieved his first podium of the year and his 40th podium of his career with third place 17.5 seconds behind Rosberg.

Vettel is a credible fourth 18.1 seconds behind Rosberg, Bottas finished a credible fifth 53.6 seconds behind Rosberg, Hulkenberg was a credible sixth 1.04  seconds behind Hamilton, Maldonado finishes seventh 1 lap down on Rosberg, Verstappen finished in eighth 1 lap behind Rosberg, Perez finished in ninth 1 lap behind Rosberg and Ricciardo picked up the final point in tenth 1 lap behind Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton leads the Drivers’ Championship with 169 points, Rosberg is second with 159 points, Vettel is third with 120 points, Raikkonen is fourth with 72 points, Bottas is fifth with 67 points, Massa is sixth with 62 points, Ricciardo is seventh with 36 points, Kvyat is eighth with 19 points, Hulkenberg is ninth with 18 points and Grosjean is tenth with 17 points.

Mercedes lead the Constructors Championship with 328 points, Ferrari is second with 192 points, Williams are third with 129 points, Red Bull are fourth with 55 points, Force India are fifth with 31 points, Lotus are sixth with 29 points, Sauber are seventh with 21 points, Toro Rosso are eighth with 19 points and McLaren-Honda are ninth with 4 points.

Conclusion

I feel that McLaren have had an terrible race today after all their problems this weekend. It is sad to see my team where they are currently, but this season has to be a building and foundation year for both parties and have to go through this process in order to get to the other side and become more competitive.

This weekend has shown that McLaren have had a small step with their performance and pace with the car but the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again as quickly as possible.

The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Massa getting third place in the race today. I do feel that Massa drove a superb race to gain third today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant job today and has shown that despite not having the outright pace to challenge their rivals, he drove a great race to claim this result today.

Ricciardo, Perez, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Maldonado and Bottas do deserve mentions. Firstly, Grosjean deserves a mention for most of the weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. As I have already stated before, I believe that Grosjean managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with a point for his efforts after everything that he encountered during the race.

Also, Ricciardo did a credible job to finish tenth. But I do feel that he did struggle with aspects of the car and was only able to finish in that position. Throughout the race, Ricciardo showed that he can race and race well if provided with the opportunity to do so but I am sure that he will only use this to push himself further to perform in 2015.

Perez did extremely well to gain ninth place today. Perez this weekend has managed to extract pace and performance from the car, but has looked a bit uncomfortable as you would be with waiting for the B car to arrive in Silverstone. And I feel that the results that Perez achieved today will only spur on the Force India team to try and keep this momentum going further into the 2015 season and try to catch the Red Bull team for fourth in the Constructors Championship.

Hulkenberg did a credible job to finish in sixth place today after achieving his Le Mans debut win last weekend with Porsche. His race may have been a lonely one but he battled through to get some points after showing form throughout the weekend and this will only motivate the team and himself further to keep this up as the season moves to Silverstone in a few weeks time.

Maldonado had a good race to get seventh place and scored his second points of the season after a bad start to the season; even if it hasn’t been his fault some of the time. This will only spur him on to try and achieve results like this for the rest of the season while also picking up much needed points for the Lotus team who moved behind Force India in the Constructors Championship today.

Bottas had a great race today to get fifth place today. He battled his way through the field and created some great overtaking moves to get there. Bottas may not have had the weekend that he wanted with Williams after what his team mate has achieved today, but he did the best that he could do and picked up some more points for the team who have extended their lead over their rivals Red Bull in the Constructors today.

Vettel drove a solid race to get fourth place today. Even though Vettel could have got third if he didn’t have the problem in his pit stop, he still managed to beat his team mate who sadly had an incident with Alonso on the first lap but I am glad both drivers are okay from that. This season we have seen Vettel showing why he was approached by Ferrari in the first place and that he is without a doubt a potential winner this season again if he can get everything together in a weekend.

Hamilton deserves a mention. He drove a solid race today to second place. He may not have won the battle with Rosberg; and had a poor start; but he did a great job to maintain his great start to the season with a podium at every Grand Prix in 2015 so far.

All that is left to say about this race is that Rosberg deserved to win today and he needed to in order to keep the battle going with Lewis.  His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with him and have shown that they are just the best team on the grid at the moment.

Will Silverstone in two weeks time be yet another race Mercedes will win? Or can their rivals catch up to them? And who will be leading the championship, will it be Rosberg or will it be Hamilton? Only time will tell!

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