F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Spielberg

  • Track Length 4.326 km
  • Lap Record 1:08.337
  • Laps 71

Last Race

2014

  • 22/06/2014
  • 1st: Rosberg

Most wins

3

  • Alain Prost

Official Site

Austrian Grand Prix website

Austrian Grand Prix Links

2014 Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg holds off recovering Lewis Hamilton for key win

Hamilton charges from ninth to second but can't overhaul Mercedes team-mate; Williams' challenge fades but Bottas beats Massa to podium; Red Bull finish only eighth at home as Vettel retires again

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 23/06/14 7:48am

  • Share:
A third win of 2014 for Nico Rosberg extends his points lead

A third win of 2014 for Nico Rosberg extends his points lead

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Nico Rosberg extended his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to beyond a race victory for the first time this season after winning a tense, closely-fought Austrian GP.

Although a pair of mistakes in qualifying had left Hamilton a seemingly costly six places behind his Mercedes team-mate on the grid, a stunning start to the race saw the Briton gain four places by the second corner and then end the opening lap right behind Rosberg in fourth as Williams' front-row starters Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas led the opening stint.

Rosberg & Hamilton's pitstops compared

First pitstops
Rosberg - 2.6 seconds.
Hamilton - 3.5 seconds.

Second pitstops
Rosberg - 3 seconds.
Hamilton - 4 seconds.

However, in a compelling 71-lap race around the Red Bull Ring in which the day's critical moves largely occurred around the two pitstop phases, Hamilton's two stops proved a combined total of 1.9 seconds slower than Rosberg's.

At the first round, Rosberg managed to jump both Williams while Hamilton only managed to get one thanks to an opportunistic move on polesitter Massa at Turn Two after Williams, seemingly focusing on ensuring the optimum strategy for their two cars, stayed out several laps longer.

The middle phase of the race saw Rosberg, Bottas and Hamilton run in increasingly close company at the front, especially after the title leader made a mistake under braking for Turn Two and ran wide over the asphalt run-off area.

Attempting to undercut the lead Williams at the second stops, Mercedes then pitted Hamilton first but a four-second service meant that the Briton lost further ground to Rosberg, whose own stop a lap later was a second quicker. The one solace for Hamilton was that an impressively quick time on his first flying lap on fresh tyres at least allowed him to leapfrog Bottas for second place.

A hard-charging race didn't quite deliver the win for Hamilton

But that was where the 29-year-old would stay until the chequered flag in a sixth Mercedes one-two of 2014, despite brake concerns for both W05s and a late attack on Rosberg, who locked up at Turn Three on the final lap.

Reflecting on his pair of sluggish pitstops, Hamilton said: "I didn't know I had lost that much time. They didn't feel fast but it could have been my positioning. We'll investigate because obviously it is frustrating to lose time when you have done everything you can to gain a tenth here and a tenth there."

Rosberg's third victory of the season means he opens up his largest points advantage so far - 29 points - ahead of Hamilton's home race, the British GP, in two weeks' time.

"Twenty-nine points is a nice gap but it's still early in the season and I am just concentrating on each weekend and making the most of it," the race victor said.

"I am enjoying the moment with the car we have, knowing that we have the best car and if I do a good job I can get pole and win the race. My goal every race weekend is just to extend my lead."

Williams, meanwhile, will head to their own home event at Silverstone in particularly high spirits after claiming their first podium in two years with Bottas in third and fourth place with Massa, even if the Grove outfit did look capable of winning until the final stops.

Third and fourth for Williams was a major breakthrough

Yet the bigger picture for revitalised former champions is that their 27-point haul from Austria represents their highest since the current points format was introduced in 2010 and, crucially, lifts them ahead of McLaren and just two points behind fourth-placed Force India in the Constructors' Championship.

Although leading the opening stint, Massa slipped to fourth after a particularly slow opening stop and then lost further ground to Bottas behind the long-running Force India of Sergio Perez, the man who earlier in the week the Brazilian admitted he would "think twice" about passing again after their spectacular collision in Canada.

While the pair didn't go wheel-to-wheel on this occasion, Massa's delay did allow his former team-mate Fernando Alonso to close up on him, the Spaniard eventually finishing just a second back in fifth after a quietly-impressive drive.

After a 30-lap opening stint, Perez came home a fine sixth ahead of McLaren's Kevin Magnussen, but it proved to be a forgettable home race for World Champions Red Bull who experienced their least competitive race in recent memory.

While Daniel Ricciardo, the race winner in Montreal just a fortnight ago, only salvaged eighth place via a last-lap Turn Five move around the outside of the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, Sebastian Vettel's season had already taken another turn for the worse with his third retirement of the year.

Another forgettable day for Vettel

After qualifying only 12th, the World Champion did initially make good ground off the start but fell a lap down when his RB10 started crawling round the lap when it lost drive, only to suddenly power up again.

By then, however, Vettel's chances of a points-paying result were effectively over and after a later collision with Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber prompted a nose change, Red Bull chose to cut their losses and retire the car.

Another past title winner, Kimi Raikkonen, experienced another low-key day and came home five places behind Ferrari team-mate Alonso in tenth place, as Jenson Button missed out on points.

  • Share:

Related

Austrian GP 2014

Austrian GP analysis

Hamilton's pitstop delays, Williams' caution, and F1 2014 v 2003 all assessed.

Felipe Massa describes his pole position lap on the SkyPad to Martin Brundle

Brundle: F1 alive in the hills

Martin Brundle explains why F1's return to Austria was a big success and title-chasing Hamilton needs to be perfect.

Lewis Hamilton: A pair of sluggish stops in Austria

Lewis: Stops didn't cost me GP

Lewis Hamilton accepts that his pair of slow pitstops in the Austrian GP didn't prevent him from winning the race.

Poll

Most Popular

Features

Austrian analysis

Austrian analysis

Delving into detail from the race: Merc's pit-stops, comparing F1 eras and a rules reinterpretation.

Awesome Austria

Awesome Austria

Martin Brundle on F1's hugely successful return to Austria and a big lesson learned for Hamilton.

Midweek Report

Midweek Report

Anna Woolhouse, Bob Constanduros and GP3's Dino Zamparelli on all the fallout from Austria.