Grand Prix of Austria – Race

It’s not often I agree with Bernie, but he said “I think we need to have a very, very, very good look at all our sporting regulations”; “Don’t go over the white line, don’t do this, don’t do that, if you change your engine you go back 20 places… The public don’t understand and when they do understand they don’t care.”

So the outcome of Qualifying was: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, KVY, NAS, GRO; MAL, ERI, SAI, RIC, ALO; PER, BUT, RAI, MER, STE
But then came the penalties:

  • ALO – total of 25-place grid penalties after McLaren elected to change several elements of his Honda power units. Because the full penalty cannot be applied, ALO must serve a drive-through penalty in the first three laps of the race.
  • BUT – same penalty as ALO. He also can’t take the whole penalty, so he gets a 10-second stop-go penalty at his first pit stop.
  • KVY – 10-place grid penalties for taking fifth Renault engines of the year. KVY qualified P8 so the whole penalty is applied.
  • RIC – also 10 spots but he qualified P14 so he’ll serve an additional five-second time penalty at his pit stop.

So the revised provisional grid is: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, NAS, GRO, MAL, ERI, SAI, PER, RAI, KVY, MER, STE, RIC, ALO, BUT.

Air temperature 14°C; track 27°C; humidity 44%
Local weather info says there’s a shower only ~8km away

The mechanics clear the grid; HAM leads everyone away
Only MAL, PER, RAI, RIC starting on primes (soft compound); rest of the grid on the options (super-soft)
BUT reporting the car entered forced neutral – more gearbox problems for the McLaren

01/71: ROS steals P1 before Turn 1
Poor start from RIC – drops right to the back
RAI and ALO in the wall – ALO on top of RAI!
Safety Car deployed
Both drivers out OK

02[SC]: KVY pits – new nose
Radio from BUT asking if ALO is OK
STE pulls off as the Marussia rolls to a stop

03[SC]: Marshals still clearing the ALO/RAI incident
ERI pits
Replay of the start shows MAL and ERI both slow off the mark

04[SC]: BUT pits but cannot serve his penalty
Replay of the ALO/RAI incident – looks like RAI wasn’t tagged, got bit of a tank-slapper out of Turn 1; ALO tried to pass but they made contact

05[SC]: ROS, HAM, VET, MAS, HUL, VES, BOT, NAS, SAI, GRO, PER, MAL, MER, RIC, KVY, ERI, BUT; retirements: ALO, RAI, STE

06[SC]: Radio for ROS reminding him of the restart process
SC in at the end of this lap

07: ROS makes a clean start and opens a small gap to HAM
BUT pits again; serves his stop-go penalty
SAI tapping GRO as he takes P9; PER follows SAI past GRO

08: ROS fastest lap 1:13.607
BUT well off the pace; the McLaren is sounding sick

09: Incident involving car 9 (ERI) under investigation – jump start
Radio for BUT – box this lap, retire the car

10/71: ROS, HAM, VET, MAS, HUL, VES, BOT, NAS, SAI, PER, GRO, MAL, RIC, KVY, ERI, MER; retirements: BUT, STE, RAI, ALO
ROS f/lap 1:12.629

11: ROS f/lap 1:12.419
BBC report BUT was told to select 5B but replied there is no 5B 🙂

12: ROS f/lap 1:12.157

13: Radio for VES – front brakes are hot
GRO runs wide in Turn 8
ERI pits; serves drive-through penalty

14: Turn 2 incident involving cars 7 and 14 (RAI and ALO) will be investigated after the race – causing a collision

15/71: ROS, HAM, VET, MAS, HUL, VES, BOT, NAS, SAI, PER
BOT inside VES into Turn 2; takes P6

16: GRO sitting on the tail of PER but can’t find a way past

17: Radio for KVY – quite a bit of body damage

18: Radio for HAM – closing the gap nice and steady

19: ROS 1.8sec ahead of HAM; VET ~6sec behind HAM
GRO locks up into T2; still on the rear of PER

20/71: ROS, HAM, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, NAS, SAI, PER, GRO, MAL, RIC, KVY, MER, ERI
ROS f/lap 1:12.001

21: Yellow flags as ERI crawls to a halt on the main straight
Radio for ERI talking him through rebooting his car!

22: ERI running again

24: ROS laps MER (P15)
GRO pits from P11; switches to soft (prime) tyres; rejoins P14

25/71: Slow lap for HAM – traffic?
BOT has caught HUL
BOT around the outside of HUL to take P5

26: HUL pits, as does SAI

27: NAS inside GRO; side by side; GRO ahead

28: BOT exits the pits alongside HUL; BOT on new tyres but HUL’s are up to temp; HUL comes out ahead
Incident involving car 55 (SAI) under investigation – speeding in the pit lane

29: VES closing on KVY

30/71: ROS, HAM, VET, MAS, PER, MAL, HUL, BOT, RIC, KVY, VES, GRO, NAS, SAI, MER, ERI
5-second time penalty for car 55 (SAI) – speeding in the pit lane
VES takes P10 from KVY

33: Radio for ROS – 1 more lap (before the pit stop)
HAM 1.2sec behind his teammate

34: Massive lock-up as ROS tries to get down to the pit lane speed limit
Clean pit stop for ROS

35/71: HAM stays out
MAS pits; good stop

36: HAM pits; rejoins behind ROS again
ROS f/lap 1:11.235
GRO off track; delayed radio from GRO saying problem with gearbox

37: VET pits, as does GRO
Slow stop for VET – right rear problem; rejoins behind MAS
BOT all over the rear wing of MAL
GRO pushed into garage

38: SAI pits and retires
Incident involving car 44 (HAM) under investigation – crossing the line at pit exit

39: 5-second time penalty for car 44 (HAM) – crossing the line at pit exit
Replay shows HAM slithering out of the pit lane; front left clearly crosses line
HAM ~17sec ahead of MAS

40/71: ROS, HAM, MAS, VET, BOT, HUL, VES, RIC, KVY, MAL, NAS, PER, ERI, MER

41: Radio for HAM informing him of penalty

42: ROS ~5sec ahead of HAM

45/71: PER closing on NAS

46: Radio for ROS – debris has been dislodged

47: KVY pits
PER attacking around the outside of T2 but NAS stays ahead
Instead NAS defends into T3 and PER out-brakes him
ERI pit stop #3

48: VET ~3sec behind MAS but slowly closing

50/71: ROS, HAM, MAS, VET, BOT, HUL, VES, RIC, MAL, PER, NAS, KVY, ERI, MER; retirements: GRO, SAI, BUT, STE, RAI, ALO

51: MAL steals P8 from RIC
RIC finally makes his pit stop; serves engine penalty; rejoins P11

55/71: MAS keeping the gap over VET

56: VET pushing hard as MAS closes to lap RIC

59: Radio for PER – more life in tyre than expected; push to the end

60/71: ROS, HAM, MAS, VET, BOT, HUL, VES, MAL, PER, NAS, RIC, KVY, ERI, MER

61: RIC closing on NAS; RIC has fresher, softer tyres so needs to attack ASAP
RIC dives inside; NAS fights back but RIC takes P10

62: MAL has caught VES

63: VET under 1sec behind MAS, so VET will use DRS to attack

64: VES holding off MAL
Radio from PER – very bad vibration

65/71: ROS, HAM, MAS, VET, BOT, HUL, VES, MAL, PER, RIC, NAS, KVY, ERI, MER; retirements: GRO, SAI, BUT, STE, RAI, ALO
MAL runs high on the rumble strips; accelerates and car thrown across the track; MAL catches it

66: Radio from ROS – vibration getting worse

67: VET under 0.5sec behind MAS

68: Radio for ROS asking if vibration is all the time or under braking; ROS says all the time; asks if there are reliability concerns; told no
MAL attacking but VES holds his line

69: VET still harrying MAS for P3

70/71: VES locked up into Turn 1; MAL takes P7 despite the car snaking
Radio from MAL – tyres are completely gone

71 = final lap: VES fighting back
ROS is ahead of the MAL-VES battle but HAM is just behind

Chequered flag for ROS
HAM P2; more than 5sec ahead of MAS, so penalty doesn’t change the result

Provisional result: ROS, HAM, MAS, VET, BOT, HUL, MAL, VES, PER, RIC; NAS, KVY, ERI, MER
DNF: GRO, SAI, BUT, STE, RAI, ALO

ROS very happy on the radio, as is MAS
It’s MAS’ 40th podium

Gerhard Berger conducting the podium interviews
ROS: Berger asks “why don’t you always drive like this?” I will from now on 🙂
HAM: I had a really bad start
MAS: Fantastic race

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Austria – Race”

  1. “The stewards in Austria have decided to take no further action over the dramatic first-lap clash that eliminated McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen from Sunday’s race in Spielberg.” [FIA]

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