Nico Rosberg secured his third win of the season by defeating his teammate, Lewis Hamilton and the surging duo from Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, for victory at Red Bull Ring. A day before, Massa and Bottas shocked everyone by claiming the first two positions in qualifying, leaving Rosberg to start third while Hamilton to settle for a dismal ninth.
As the five red lights turned green, Hamilton charged towards his opponents and got himself in fourth after the first lap. The top three remained status quo with Hamilton steadily in fourth until lap 12 when Rosberg became the first driver to pit. It took two rounds of pit stop for both Mercedes drivers to overtake the Williams duo. Rosberg’s pit stop strategy favoured him to secure his lead. On the closing stages of the race, Hamilton stayed close with his teammate but couldn’t do much to stop the surging German to take victory in Austria.
Bottas meanwhile secured his first podium of his F1 career by finishing third, outpacing Massa who settled for fourth. Fernando Alonso meanwhile finished the race in a creditable fifth. Force India’s Sergio Pérez fought a brilliant comeback from 16 to finish the race in sixth.
The huge Red Bull presence at the track did little to Red Bull Racing’s fortunes when last race winner, Daniel Ricciardo, finished the race at eight. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel had a race to forget as he retired early at the race. Together with Red Bull backed Torro Rosso drivers of Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat, they were the only retirements of the race.
Rosberg now has a 29 point lead over Hamilton in the driver’s standing, with Mercedes an astonishing 158 points lead over Red Bull Racing. While it’s business as usual for Mercedes, we will see if Mercedes can retain its momentum at the British Grand Prix on 6 July.
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1hr 27m 54.976s 71 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 01.9s
3. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes +00m 08.1s
4. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes +00m 17.3s
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 18.5s
6. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes +00m 28.5s
7. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes +00m 32.0s
8. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 43.5s
9. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes +00m 44.1s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 47.7s
11. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 50.9s
12. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault +1 lap
13. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
14. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault +1 lap
15. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps
16. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault +2 laps
17. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps
18. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault +2 lap
19. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari +2 laps
Rtd. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 59 laps completed
Rtd. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 34 laps completed
Rtd. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault 24 laps completed
Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 1m 12.142s
[Image Source: AMG Mercedes Petronas & Williams F1 Team]