Mercedes AMG drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took a hard-fought one-two victory yesterday at the 2014 Formula One Austrian Grand Prix to make it six one-two finishes this season after just eight races—a feat only achieved once before in F1. Rosberg claimed his third win of the season and eighth consecutive podium after starting third on the grid, while Hamilton fought his way up from ninth on the grid to finish just 1.9 seconds behind his teammate.
Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, at third, achieved his first-ever podium finish while his teammate Felipe Massa, starting from pole, finished fourth after the competitive race at the Red Bull Ring. Massa led from Bottas at the end of the first lap and maintained a gap to the chasing Mercedes drivers, who were already close to the top of the field in this initial part of the race. However, Massa managed to hold them off until the first round of pitstops when soon after Rosberg took the lead.
The pit lane would again be Williams' Achilles heel later in the race. A sluggish second stop for Bottas saw him slip behind Hamilton and though there was a brief tussle for the lead between Rosberg and Hamilton on the final lap, the top three order remained the same until the flag.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso crossed the line fifth while Force India’s Sergio Perez benefited from brilliant strategy to climb from 15th on the grid to sixth by the checkered flag. The Mexican finished ahead of McLaren's Kevin Magnussen in seventh and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo in eighth. The final points positions were filled by Force India’s other driver Nico Hullkenberg at ninth and Ferrari's other driver Kimi Räikkönen at tenth.
It was a tough day for reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull Racing driver’s race went wrong almost from the start. After holding his starting 12th place on lap one, he suddenly slowed at the start of the second tour and reported a sudden loss of power. He pulled over to the side of the track but soon managed to get his car going again.
He battled on despite being a lap down on the rest of the field. But on lap 28 he was involved in a crash with Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez. He pitted for a new nosecone but just five laps later he was told to retire the car. It was also bad for Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso, with its drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat both retiring due to car troubles.
Thanks to his continued strong performance, Nico Rosberg’s total in the 2014 Drivers’ Championship extends to 165 points, with Lewis Hamilton still in second with 136 points. Rounding out the top three is Daniel Ricciardo with 83 points. Mercedes AMG is now on an impressive 301 points, over twice as many as second placed Red Bull Racing (143) in the Constructors’ Championship. Ferrari is third with 98 points.
From a track with fast straights and medium speed corners, the championship now moves to the very different challenge that is Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, in a fortnight. With just one long straight, but plenty of high speed corners, the teams will face a very different challenge here.
Below are top ten results of the 2014 Formula One Austrian Grand Prix:
1) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
3) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
4) Felipe Massa, Williams
5) Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
6) Sergio Perez, Force India
7) Kevin Magnussen, Mclaren
8) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
9) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
10) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari