Nico Rosberg has beat out teammate Lewis Hamilton for the third time this year, winning the Austrian Grand Prix in a dominant victory over his British teammate. Rosberg was able to gain the lead following a poor start from Hamilton and stayed out front for the race’s 71-lap duration.
Hamilton blamed his start on a bad clutch, however he might have been able to make up for the sluggish beginning had a caution flag not been put out on Lap 1. Just as he was beginning to catch Rosberg and potentially make a bid for the lead, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonnen lost control of his car and took out McLaren driver Fernando Alonso in the process. Both drivers were unhurt, however a full course caution was put out as workers cleared the track of their cars.
When racing resumed, Hamilton was unable to do more than follow Rosberg, only passing him when the German pitted one lap before him for tires. Hamilton re-entered the race and re-claimed second, however he was then handed down a 5-second penalty for crossing the pit lane marker line, ruining his shot at prevailing over Rosberg.
Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel was running in third, well clear of Williams’ Felipe Massa, when the team had trouble fitting his right rear tire during his pit. The mistake handed third over to Massa and Vettel, now unable to catch the Brazilian, was relegated to fourth place. The result marked the second podium in a row for Williams, who has been notably strong this season with Mercedes power and consistently fast drivers in Massa and Fin Valterri Bottas.
F1’s smaller teams also put on a good show for spectators in Austria, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg trading blows with Williams’ Force India for much of the race. Bottas eventually prevailed and took fifth, with Hulkenberg scoring crucial points for Force India in sixth. Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado drove an entertaining race as usual and ended up seventh after making a dramatic pass on Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen late in the day. Force India’s Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten, respectively.