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30/04/2017 Valtteri VICTOR Bottas

16/04/2017 Vettel fires shots in Desert Duel

09/04/2017 Shanghai Rains

26/03/2017 Disaster for the Aussie in Oz.

27/11/2016 Desert Decider - Abu Dhabi 2016

13/11/2016 Into-Lagos!

31/10/2016 Mexico City and the Revolving Third Step

23/10/2016 Star-spangled Hamilton

09/10/2016 The Decisive Race?

02/10/2016 Fiery Twist in Malaysia

18/09/2016 Showdown After Sunset

04/09/2016 Rosberg's Cathedral Domination

28/08/2016 A Champion's Drive

31/07/2016 Mercedes' Glorious Homecoming

24/07/2016 Changing of the Guard: Hungary 2016

10/07/2016 [Un]lucky 7?

03/07/2016 2016 Austrian Grand Prix - Sparks Fly in Spielberg

19/06/2016 Whitewash in Baku

12/06/2016 #LH45 in Montreal

29/05/2016 Hammertime in Monaco!

15/05/2016 Spain 2016 - Dazzling Debut

01/05/2016 2016 Russian GP Review - Rosberg Domination

17/04/2016 2016 Chinese Grand Prix - Rosberg Demonstration

03/04/2016 Bahrain 2016: Stunning Debut.

20/03/2016 2016 Australian Grand Prix Review

Older stories here

2016 Austrian Grand Prix - Sparks Fly in Spielberg

Spielberg qualifying was promising much for Hamilton, with Vettel taking a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change after his previous unit took damage in Baku, while an FP3 suspension failure damaged Rosberg's gearbox and left him with the same penalty.

Both Ferraris and both Merecedes were running new engines – Hamilton now onto his final permitted engine. Sainz' unit threw a tantrum in FP3 and he too needed a lot of replacement parts.

Perez limped back to the pits in Q1 with a broken rear suspension – luckily not losing any parts on the track.

The next failure was far more spectacular, with Kvyat running a bit wide in the penultimate corner, ripping off the wheel against the new raised curbs and losing control of the Toro Rosso. The red flag came out while marshals cleared the carbon off the track. At this point, Wehrlein had somehow got himself into 9th. Toro Rosso's Q1 went from bad to worse as Sainz' engine let go and ruined the last few laps. Sainz thus qualified 15th ahead of Perez, Magnussen, Palmer, Haryanto, Kvyat, Ericsson and Nasr. Haryanto and Nasr seemed to go faster than before through the yellow flags brought out by Sainz. However, it was Hulkenberg under investigation, while Force India insisted they could prove he slowed down.

Q2 again saw Wehrlein's initial lap only 0.7 seconds behind Verstappen's. He was 0.4 up on Gutierrez. That Haas fell 11th in the end ahead of the Manor, Grosjean's sister Haas and Alonso's McLaren – outqualified by Button for only the second time in 2016.

Rain slowed the early laps in Q3. Rosberg reported the track wasn't ready for dry tyres, while the Williams drivers overruled team caution to take ultra-soft tyres, following Hulkenberg's lead, bringing a flurry of stops as Hulkenberg took 4 tenths out of everyone in the first sector.

Mercedes took row 1 ahead of Hulkenberg, Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Bottas, Verstappen and Massa. Rosberg in 2nd dropped to 6th, Vettel to 9th, leaving Hulkenberg and Button 2nd and 3rd on the grid.

Penalised for blocking, Haryanto and Nasr both (in theory) dropped three places, leaving Nasr 22nd as before and the Manor moved back a row to 21st. This promoted Kvyat to 19th and Ericsson to 20th. Hulkenberg was awarded no penalty after being investigated for allegedly not lifting enough when Sainz' Toro Rosso brought out the yellow flags. The sister Toro Rosso was then forced to start from the pit lane thanks to a chassis change after the crash on Saturday. Massa, with a new nose, joined him there. Kvyat's 19th place was taken by Palmer, also given a penalty for not slowing enough, while Massa's slot was left empty due to the lateness of his repairs.

Haryanto and Nasr took the soft tyres – the hardest compound available – for the start, everyone else on either supers or ultras.

Wehrlein accidentally took Massa's slot and had to reverse on the grid, sure to receive a penalty.

Button took 2nd off the line, Hulkenberg down to 5th behind Ricciardo.

Kvyat's new chassis was parked after only 2 laps, ending a terrible weekend for the Russian.

Rosberg cleared Hulkenberg, Verstappen following the Mercedes through into 5th. Ricciardo and Vettel made the move a lap later, the Ferrari also now ahead of the Red Bull.

Raikkonen finally passed Button into turn 3 on lap 7, leaving the McLaren 3rd. Rosberg made that 4th a lap later. Verstappen was next, and again made it look pretty easy. Behind them Alonso and Hulkenberg pitted. Button was in the lap after, followed by Perez, Bottas and Sainz.

Rosberg took the soft tyres on lap 10, dropping from 3rd to 15th.

Gutierrez nailed the apex at the first corner of lap 12, pushing Massa down to 10th. Nasr then made that 11th as the Williams struggled. Massa pitted at the end of that lap, releasing Rosberg behind.

Wehrlein reported light rain on track.

Hamilton took softs on lap 21, a problem with the left rear tyre losing him position to Rosberg. New leader Raikkonen stopped the next lap, gaining 1.4 seconds while stationary, but losing position to both Red Bulls.

Magnussen barely passed Wehrlein, then weaved to ensure the Manor couldn't get back through, which the stewards looked into and gave the Renault a 5 second time penalty for.

Vettel, having not pitted, lost the right rear tyre in spectacular fashion on lap 27, spearing into the wall and bringing out the Safety Car.

Grosjean and Hulkenberg were both penalised for speeding in the pits. Both received the 5 second penalty previously awarded to Magnussen.

Nasr finally made his first – and presumably only – stop on lap 43.

Rosberg had a loose barge board while Hamilton was being told that his suspension loads were “critical” in turn 9.

Bottas was forced to take a second stop, dropping the Williams from 6th on lap 51. He took a new set of supers.

Hamilton stopped from 2nd on lap 54 for another set of softs, rejoining just about in 3rd. Rosberg bailed a lap later, taking supers in a faster stop while Hamilton made a mistake on his outlap, losing a bit of time to the championship leader. Verstappen was now leading, but was expected to stop again.

Ricciardo made a mistake and lost himself 4th to Raikkonen. Ahead, Hamilton was protesting Rosberg being on softer tyres, but this was easily explained by the fact Rosberg had brought an extra set of supers to Austria at the cost of a set of softs.

Massa's car decided it could run no further with only 7 laps to go. A lap later and Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg also parked their cars.

Perez binned it but it was overshadowed by Rosberg hitting Hamilton and dropping to 4th with the damage incurred.

Hamilton won from Verstappen, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Button, Grosjean, Sainz, Bottas and incredibly Wehrlein. Beyond the points were Gutierrez, Palmer, Nasr, Magnussen, Ericsson and Haryanto. Perez, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Massa, Vettel and Kvyat retired.

However, Rosberg was put under investigation twice over, first for colliding with Hamilton and then for not pitting with his damaged car. No penalty was announced by the time of publication.

 

Tufty



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