Austrian Grand Prix 2015 Recap

Nico Rosberg made a very impressive performance at the Red Bull Ring to win the Austrian Grand Prix and close the gap on Hamilton to just ten points. Unlike in his previous losses this year, Hamilton had no one else to blame for this loss, but himself. Let’s have an in-depth look at what happened in Austria last weekend.

Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton once again recorded the fastest time during qualifying to start the race at the pole. This will be the 45th time that he’ll start at the pole in his F1 career. As usual, his teammate Nico Rosberg will begin the race behind him. McLaren’s problems still continue here in Austria as Alonso and Button will start at the back of the grid. They’ve been handed down a 25-place grid penalty for having new turbochargers and engines fitted to their cars. Aside from that, they’ll also have a 10 second penalty on this race. The other drivers who received grid penalties for this race are Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz Jr, Marcus Ericsson and Pastor Maldonado.

Racing Conditions

The weather condition on the track is perfect on race day. The skies are cloudy, but with little chances of rain. Let’s see if the drivers will also have a great time on a perfect afternoon like this one.

The Grid

The Race

Hamilton began the race at the pole, but Rosberg was able to grab the lead from him in the first lap. Also, on lap one of the race, Fernando Alonso of McLaren and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari had a big crash. Both were unharmed in the accident and the replay showed it was Alonso who was to blame for it. The two drivers are now out of the race and the safety car is now on the track. On the third lap, Will Stevens becomes the third retirement from this race after his car suffered a mechanical faiure.

The race is on once again on lap 6. Rosberg still leads the race at this point. He’s followed by Hamilton and Vettel. On lap 9, Jenson Button of McLaren retired from the race. Once again, no driver from this team was able to finish a race.

On lap 17, the leaders still remains the same – Rosberg, Hamilton and Vettel. They’re followed by Massa, Hulkenberg and Bottas. This order will remain for the huge part of the race. Unfortunately, the Red Bull drivers – Ricciardo and Kvyat are nowhere in the top ten.

Some of the drivers make their first stop on lap 26. Among, them was Carlos Sainz had a stop which was longer than usual. He entered the pits on 9th place and came back to the race in 14th place. On laps 32 and 33, the Mercedes duo headed into the pits. Rosberg was first and he was followed by Hamilton. Both of their stops lasted about 3 seconds which is good.

On lap 39, Carlos Sainz became the fifth retiree of this race. He told his crew that he no more engine power. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton was handed down a 5 second penalty for crossing the pit lane exit. On lap 41, Roman Grosjean pulls into the pit lane and became the sixth retiree for this race. Only 14 out of the 20 cars which started the race still remain on the track after 42 laps.

After 45 laps, Rosberg now has a commanding seven second lead over Hamilton. Massa is now on third place after Vettel had an extended time at the pit during his first stop. However, the German champion is now gaining on Massa. Hamilton was clearly upset after learned about the five second penalty.

On lap 56, the race leaders are as follows – Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Vettel and Bottas. The Red Bull duo is still not in the top ten at this point of the race. Rosberg now clearly had this race at this point. But lap 67, he complained about some ‘bad vibrations’ that he feels on his car to his pit crew. They reassured him that there’s nothing wrong with his car.

On lap 70, Hamilton is gaining on Rosberg, but it seems that this is too already late. After 71 laps, Rosberg was the first to pass the chequered flag. Hamilton came in second while Massa was third.

After Thoughts

After 8 races, Hamilton still leads the drivers’ standings with 169 points. But Rosberg is now very close to him with 159 points. Vettel, who finished fourth here, is now on far third with just 120 points. Once again, this is now just a battle between Hamilton and Rosberg.

The next race will be in the UK on July 5. This will be something like a homecoming race for Hamilton. It will be very interesting to know what will be the outcome of this race. Rosberg can either take the lead from the Briton or close the gap further here. The pressure is definitely on Hamilton at Silverstone two weeks from now.