The Pit Wall – Austria F1

The Pit WallAfter 11 years, Formula One is finally back in Austria, and at the impressive Red Bull Ring (known locally as Spielberg) no less. So, at their home ground, was it Red Bulls day out? In short, no.

Mercedes proved once again that they are the team to beat, with Rosberg running home in first place, his third first place finish of the season, just 1.9 seconds ahead of his teammate Hamilton who had an incredible race after starting in ninth. Despite both Mercedes being warned about overheating brakes, the cars remained stable allowing them to finish strong. Lewis has still not mastered the art of losing gracefully, and looks extremely uncomfortable around Nico after the race, but lets hope he can be more positive going forward.

Williams showed so much promise this weekend, highlighting just how far they have come this season, with Valterri Bottas finishing in third and claiming his first podium in Formula One. Felipe Massa came home in fourth for the team, and their performance should be cause for much celebration in the team. Fernando Alonso finished in fifth place, a decent result for the Ferrari driver. He was chasing down Felipe Massa, but lacked the overall speed needed to take the place from his former teammate. Kimi Raikkonnen finished in tenth, after giving a cheeky Kimi comment about needing more power during the race when asked to speed up.

Austria (2)Sergio Perez had an extremely good race today, finishing in sixth place behind Alonso. The Mexican driver looked strong throughout the race, and was very gentle on his tyres, allowing him to make a late stop to change to the supersofts before the final dash to the finish. The Red Bull and Torro Rosso teams had a pretty shocking day out at their home track. Sebastian Vettel lost power on his very first lap, and despite continuing on and fighting the car and Esteban Gutierrez, he was eventually forced to retire, quipping that he was exhausted. Both Torro Rosso cars retired from the race, with Kvyat running wide and shredding his tyres, and Vergne retiring with break issues, continuing a miserable streak for the Red Bull owned team.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only Red Bull team member to really make a go of it, despite running most of the race in the midfield. On the last lap, he was able to overtake Nico Hulkenberg just before the finish, allowing him to finish in a disappointing eighth after last weeks victory. McLaren had another day to forget, with Jenson Button finishing down in eleventh and Kevin Magnusson finishing in seventh, his best finish since the season-opener. After such a positive start, the team really seems to have gone downhill, and I think they are scratching their heads down in the factory.

Austria (1)Lotus also had a disappointing race, with neither car finishing in the points, with Maldonado in twelfth and Grosjean in fourteenth. The Force India of Nico Hulkenberg finished in ninth, ahead of Raikkonnen, and the Sauber’s of Glock and Gutierrez, who never really recovered after his collision with Vettel. Caterham and Marussia continue the battle of the back markers, with Bianchi beating out both Caterhams and his teammate for a fifteenth place finish, with Kobayashi of Caterham in sixteenth, Chilton in seventeenth for Marussia and Ericsson rounding out the race in eighteenth, ahead of the struggling Gutierrez.

On a side note, Toto Wolff had a great race this weekend, having four of his cars finish 1-2-3-4 since Enzo Ferrari in the 60’s.

Driver of the Day: Lewis Hamilton

Team of the Day: Williams, for giving the Mercedes team a run for their money

Fail of the Day: Red Bull for losing out at their home track, along with rumours swirling that an engine supplier change could be imminent.

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