Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg holds off Lewis Hamilton for win

Nico Rosberg extended his lead in the Formula 1 world championship by beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to victory at the Austrian Grand Prix

Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg holds off Lewis Hamilton for win

The Mercedes drivers used superior strategy to overcome the straightline speed advantage of Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas at the first F1 race held at the renamed Red Bull Ring since 2003.

Williams nevertheless scored its best results of the season by finishing third and fourth, with Bottas claiming a maiden F1 podium and Massa finishing fourth.

Complete driver quotes and weekend data on FORIX

Poleman Massa initially led the race from the first Williams one-two on the grid since 2003, while team-mate Bottas was passed by the fast-starting Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

But Bottas used Williams' superior straightline speed to retake second on the run up the hill to Turn 2.

A superb start and opening lap from Rosberg's team-mate Hamilton made up for his disastrous showing in qualifying on Saturday, launching him up from row five of the grid to fourth place by the end of the lap, which included a brave pass on Fernando Alonso's Ferrari at Turn 8.

Rosberg pitted for the first time on lap 11 of 71, releasing Hamilton to attack the two Williams. Hamilton pitted two laps later, while Williams waited an extra tour before bringing leader Massa in.

The Brazilian lost out during this first round of stops. He was jumped by Rosberg in the pits and passed by Hamilton at Turn 2 on his out-lap.

By contrast, a great in-lap from Bottas, who was last of the leading group to pit on lap 15, kept him ahead of Hamilton and allowed the Finn to jump his Williams team-mate.

All four ran behind the Force India of Sergio Perez during the second phase of the race, owing to the Mexican running an alternative strategy from 15th on the grid.

Mercedes warned Hamilton about overheating brakes running in the wake of the Williams, while Rosberg made a point of continually moving out of Perez's slipstream on the straights to cool his own car down.

Perez led until lap 27, when Rosberg dived down the inside unchallenged at Turn 2, while Bottas followed through up the inside on the exit as Perez ran wide.

Hamilton produced a copycat move at Turn 2 on the following lap to take third and set fastest lap as he chased after Bottas and new race leader Rosberg.

The top three bunched up as Rosberg ran wide coming out of Turn 1 on lap 30, allowing Bottas to get into DRS range and dragging Hamilton with him, while Massa held a watching brief slightly further back in fourth.

Rosberg took a few laps to recover his rhythm, but eeked out a two-second lead before Mercedes decided to pit its two drivers for the second time on consecutive tours on laps 39 and 40.

Hamilton came in first and rejoined fifth, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen's McLaren, while Rosberg's slightly faster stop ensured he stayed ahead of Hamilton.

Williams decided not to react immediately, pitting Bottas from the lead on lap 42, and the Finn rejoined behind both Mercedes.

Once Massa and the long-running Ferrari of Fernando Alonso came in for their final stops on lap 44 and 47 respectively, the race finally boiled down to a straight fight between the two Mercedes.

Hamilton was told his brake temperatures were now under control, freeing him up to take the fight to his team-mate, but his front left brake returned to a critical status before he could get close enough to attack.

He came back strongly again across the final few laps, but finished just under two seconds adrift after a mistake at Turn 3 on the final lap.

Alonso's marathon second stint helped him finish just a few seconds shy of the two Williams drivers in fifth, while Perez converted his alternative strategy into an excellent top six finish by passing Kevin Magnussen's McLaren at Turn 2 in the closing stages.

Austrian GP weekend in pictures

Magnussen nevertheless claimed his best finish since the season-opening Australian GP by finishing seventh, ahead of Canadian GP winner Daniel Ricciardo, who passed Nico Hulkenberg's Force India on the final lap despite not being allowed to use his 'overtake' button.

Red Bull endured a difficult day at the home race of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, as Ricciardo slumped from fifth on the grid and world champion Sebastian Vettel momentarily lost drive on the second lap and then retired shortly after half distance to save engine mileage.

Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari rounded out the points scorers, ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren and the lapped Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.

Results - 71 laps Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h27m54.967s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.932s 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +8.172s 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +17.358s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +18.553s 6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +28.546s 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +32.031s 8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +43.522s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +44.137s 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +47.777s 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +50.966s 12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault -1 lap 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari -1 lap 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault -1 lap 15. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari -2 laps 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault -2 laps 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari -2 laps 18. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault -2 laps 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari -2 laps Retirements Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 59 laps Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 34 laps Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 24 laps 
Drivers' championship Constructors' championship  1. Nico Rosberg 165 1. Mercedes 301 2. Lewis Hamilton 136 2. Red Bull/Renault 143 3. Daniel Ricciardo 83 3. Ferrari 98 4. Fernando Alonso 79 4. Force India/Mercedes 87 5. Sebastian Vettel 60 5. Williams/Mercedes 85 6. Nico Hulkenberg 59 6. McLaren/Mercedes 72 7. Valtteri Bottas 55 7. Toro Rosso/Renault 12 8. Jenson Button 43 8. Lotus/Renault 8 9. Felipe Massa 30 9. Marussia/Ferrari 2 10. Kevin Magnussen 29 10. Sauber/Ferrari 0 11. Sergio Perez 28 11. Caterham/Renault 0 12. Kimi Raikkonen 19 13. Romain Grosjean 8 14. Jean-Eric Vergne 8 15. Daniil Kvyat 4 16. Jules Bianchi 2 

shares
comments
Austrian GP: F1 drivers warned about Turn 8 for race

Previous article

Austrian GP: F1 drivers warned about Turn 8 for race

Next article

Austrian GP: Valtteri Bottas says Williams finally showed potential

Austrian GP: Valtteri Bottas says Williams finally showed potential
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Lewis Hamilton
Author Ben Anderson
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021