Formula Fun: The Austrian Edition

The hills were alive with the sound of race cars this weekend! Grand Prix racing returned to Austria for the second year in a row at the Red Bull ring. Austria is a fast circuit with only 9 turns, which sees it churning out some of the fastest lap times in F1. This is a picture book circuit holding a lovely tale of a race.
Last year, the Williams duo locked out the front row but were unable to turn that into a win. Those honors went to Nico Rosberg. This year looked to be another cracker in the mountains, so let’s find out what happened!
Qualifying and practice weren’t full of too many surprises, except maybe the curtailed running of one Sebastian Vettel who had reliability problems on Friday. That, combined with the McLaren situation, showed that no matter how far we get into the season we can’t be sure these new power units will ever been as stable as the old V8s were. Qualifying did have a a few surprises, such as Kimi getting knocked out in Q1, and then Lewis and Nico both spinning at the end. This plus another rash of grid penalties did not a good start make, and the star of it all was Jenson Button’s whopping 25 grid spot penalty.

The first major thing that happened was Nico Rosberg getting the jump on Pole sitter Hamilton, leading the race from the start. On the second lap, Kimi lost the rear end, and ended up collecting one Fernando Alonso. It was a big hit, and ended up binning every upgraded part that McLaren had brought, including that new short nose you see above. Both drivers were thankfully okay, but it was the start of a miserable time for both Ferrari and McLaren.
McLaren then had things go fully sideways, when Jenson Button’s car died right after the safety car came in. With the new CEO of Honda watching, one can only hope that this will kick the Honda power unit department in the ass in the right way.
This was another race where the battle wasn’t at the front, but mostly throughout the field. The fight between the Lotus drivers and the Toro Rosso drivers. That and the Red Bull drivers battling their way along the field. Max Verstappen was impressive once again, and so was, surprisingly, one Pastor Maldanado. He was excellent, and him and Romain Grosjean were able to score good points for Lotus. Nico Hulkenburg was able to channel his LeMans win into a very strong showing here.
In my mind, the most pivotal point of the race, was Sebastian Vettel’s botched pit stop, which bumped him from 3rd to 4th, giving the last podium position to the Williams of Felipe Massa. Not a bad fathers day for him. Nico Rosberg was untouchable all day though. His pace was unmatched by Lewis and, combined with an error of grossing the pit exit early giving Hamilton a penalty, meant that the race was his.
Nico Rosberg has slashed the gap to Lewis to just ten points, and he has won three of the last four races. Is this the start of a new run for the German? Is Lewis going to be able to take it to him at his home track in Silverstone? After testing this next week, will Honda and Renault be able to get their collective shit together?
We’ll find out a lot next week.

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5 responses to “Formula Fun: The Austrian Edition”

  1. Lokki Avatar

    I enjoyed the race and am pleased for Nico, and annoyed at Ferrari. 13.x seconds to change Vettel’s tires while Rosburg is gone in 2.7. I don’t know if Kimi’s car had any other problem beyond Kimi. As for Alonso- I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. I rooted for him at Ferrari, saying, “Yeah, he’s a weasel, but he’s a fast little weasel driving for my team.” Now he’s just a weasel in a car that has had four straight DNF’s

  2. sonoftheocrat Avatar

    The midfield fighting was great watching. Pastor being able to hold it together on his pass of the young Max was something else altogether. Lots of good action to watch.

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