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Rosberg dominant in Austrian GP

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Jordan Wilkins, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Jordan Wilkins

    Jordan Wilkins

    Nico Rosberg more than made up for his qualifying error yesterday, as he dominated today's Austrian Grand Prix. After Lewis Hamilton's domination of the Canadian GP, Rosberg reasserted his title challenge with a win today which leaves him only 10 points behind Hamilton going into the British GP in two weeks time.

    As the five red lights went out it was Nico Rosberg who made much the better start to lead into Turn one. Behind the lead fight there was drama much further back in the pack as former world champions Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso collided on the exit of Turn two, putting both out on the spot and dramatically leaving Alonso's McLaren-Honda perched on top the Ferrari against the outside barrier.

    The Safety Car was immediately deployed on lap two, and after the clean up process had been completed returned to the pits on lap five. Rosberg made an almost perfect restart as he opened a 1.4 second lead on lap six, to establish his lead. Rosberg continued his charge with a string of fastest laps to further strengthen his lead, whilst behind the two AMG Mercedes the likes of Sebastien Vettel in his Ferrari and Felipe Massa in his Williams were already falling back by several seconds to the lead duo.

    At the back of the pack the miserable season and day continued with Jenson Button's retirement in the early laps, continuing a horrifying first half of the season for the McLaren-Honda package. By lap 10 Rosberg was comfortable at the front with a 2.3 second lead over Hamilton, with Vettel a further 2.5 seconds back in third.

    Further back and Valtteri Bottas was moving up the top ten, as he finally passed Max Verstappen in the Scuderia Toro Rosso at turn two for sixth, after several failed attempts in the previous laps. At this stage of the race it began to settle down, with Rosberg keeping the gap to Hamilton at roughly two seconds by lap 20, with Vettel and Massa lonely in third and fourth respectively.

    The man to watch at this stage of the race was the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who was nibbling into the gap between him and the Sahara-Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, on a high this weekend after his fabulous Le Mans 24 Hour victory last weekend for Porsche. A scintillating lap from Rosberg at this stage of the race meant his lead leapt up to four seconds, with a lap a full 1.2 seconds faster than Hamilton.

    Bottas once again made progress up the field, as he passed Hulkenberg for fifth on the outside at turn three, before Hulkenberg pitted at the end of the lap. For Bottas he good work was undone when he pitted a lap later than Hulkenberg, and subsequently rejoined back behind the Force India. There was some initial talk of Bottas possibly getting a penalty for an unsafe release, although the stewards decided not to look at the incident on lap 27.

    After several laps of Hamilton significantly reducing Rosberg's lead, the German pitted from the lead on lap 33, but not before a huge lockup of both his front tyres as he scrubbed speed off before he hit the pit lane speed limiter line. A lap later and Massa also pitted in his Williams, as he was losing a lot of time on his old tyres to team mate Bottas behind him.

    On lap 35 it was Hamilton's turn to pit, although he undid any realistic chance of victory when he momentarily lost the rear of the car exiting the pits, and putting two wheels over the pit exit white line. This is a fundamental safety rule in F1, and he was subsequently given a five second time penalty for his error several laps later.

    An entertaining fight at the halfway stage of the race developed between Sergio Perez in the Sahara-Force India, Pastor Maldonado in his Lotus, Bottas in the Williams and the second Sahara-Force India of Hulkenberg, as they all fought over fifth position. Perez and Maldonado however still had to make their pit stops, leaving the net fight for fifth between Bottas and Hulkenberg.

    At the end of lap 37 Sebastien Vettel ended his brief period in the lead when he pitted, although he was to be left frustrated by a very slow stop, caused by an issue with the right rear. He eventually rejoined in fourth, having lost his final podium place to the Williams of Felipe Massa.

    Despite Maldonado still having to pit, Bottas wasted no time in using DRS to pass him on the short straight between turn two and three for sixth position, although he was soon forced to switch from attack to defense from Hulkenberg for fifth position. With news of this penalty for Hamilton taking the sting out of the lead battle, Rosberg set about putting the nail in the coffin as he extended his lead over the next few laps.

    On lap 48 it became clear that Sebastien Vettel was determined to reclaim his third position from Massa, as he began closing the gap to roughly 2.7 seconds. Several laps later and by lap 53 the gap between them was down to two seconds, showing that this would be a slow burning fight. Vettel was consistently able to reduce the gap by several tenths a laps, although with laps running out it wasn't certain he would have enough time to overtake Massa for third.

    Going into the final ten laps this was the most entertaining battle on track, with Vettel bringing the gap down to a second in the final laps, with Massa beginning to defend his third position. Vettel was clearly faster on the brakes and in the twisty middle sector, although his Ferrari engine lacked a little extra power to the dominant Mercedes power-plant in the Williams.

    Despite the lead going down to roughly half a second in the very final laps, it became clear Vettel would need a mistake from the experienced Massa if he was to pass him for third position. Sadly for Vettel this was something he was not able to do, forcing him to accept a fourth position in the race.

    Back at the front and Rosberg managed the race in the final laps, despite sounding concerned on the team radio about a tyre vibration which meant Hamilton was able to half his lead going into the final lap. He cruised around the final lap to take a third win in the past four races, from Hamilton who was a net seven seconds behind on the road after his five second time penalty.

    Felipe Massa defended well under pressure from Vettel to claim his first podium of 2015 from Vettel, with Valtteri Bottas in the Williams fighting through a brake issue for the second half of the race to claim a comfortable fifth.

    Nico Hulkenberg completed a fairy tale week to claim his best result of the season in sixth for Sahara-Force India, with the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado overcoming Max Verstappen in his Scuderia Toro Rosso in the final laps for seventh. Max Verstappen was left with eighth overall, losing seventh to Maldonado in the final laps thanks to destroyed tyres.

    Sergio Perez came home ninth for Sahara-Force India's first double points scoring finish of the season, whilst Daniel Ricciardo using a very long opening stint to solidify the final points paying position after starting 18th thanks to an engine change penalty.

    The race may not have been an absolute thriller at the front, although there were plenty of fights in the midfield to keep everyone entertained. This race has also created some interesting story lines going into the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks time. Lewis Hamilton will be looking to reassert his advantage over Rosberg at his home race, much like he did in Canada.

    What were your thoughts on this race? Please feel free to comment below.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2015
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  2. FirecrazyCZ


    ah the moderator is Hamilton fan cuz the gap was 8.8 secs to ROS w/ penalty
    • Haha Haha x 1
  3. airutonpurosuto8912


    The start was dramatic!
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