Grand Prix of Austria – Race


The Qualifying session was interesting yesterday, after which the provisional grid was: LEC, HAM**, VER, BOT, MAG*, NOR, RAI, GIO, GAS, VET, GRO, HUL*, ALB*, RIC, SAI*, PER, STR, KVY, RUS, KUB
*Penalties to be applied for MAG, HUL, ALB & SAI
A couple of Q1 incidents were investigated following which both HAM and RUS were each given 3 grid spot penalties.
Revised grid: LEC, VER, BOT, HAM, NOR, RAI, GIO, GAS, VET, MAG, GRO, RIC, PER, STR, HUL, KVY, KUB, RUS*, ALB, SAI
*Ah, but also RUS is required to start from the pit lane after changing front wing after qualifying. [FIA]

Turn 1 has been renamed Niki Ladua Kurve [FIA]

It’s seriously hot in Austria: air temperature 34°C; track 58.6°C
ALB tells Sky Sport “my feet are on fire!”

LEC leads everyone (except RUS, who has to wait in the garage) on the formation lap
VER, BOT & HAM are starting on medium compound tyres; the rest of the top 10 are on softs; everyone from GRO (P11) back are on mediums
LEC’s doing a good job of bunching everyone up

01/71: Slow start from VER – he’s passed by HAM and BOT before he gets going
NOR, RAI and VET all pass VER!
RAI past NOR

02: LEC, BOT, HAM, RAI, NOR, VET, VER, GAS, GIO, MAG, PER, HUL, STR, RIC, GRO, KUB, SAI, ALB, KVY, RUS

03: LEC fastest lap 1:09.282
DRS now enabled
SAI past GRO for 15

04: NOR holding off VET through Turn 1
VET attacks into Turn 3 – takes P5
VER lines up NOR now

05/71: LEC, BOT, HAM, RAI, VET, NOR, VER, GAS, GIO, PER, HUL, MAG, STR, RIC, SAI, GRO, ALB, RUS, KVY, KUB
Radio from NOR complaining that he was pushed off the track by RAI

06: Radio from VER – “I need more power, mate!”

07: VER inside NOR to take P6

10/71: LEC, BOT, HAM, VET, VER, RAI, NOR, GAS, GIO, PER, HUL, STR, RIC, SAI, MAG
ALB inside GRO for P16

11: MAG under investigation for being out of position at the start
MAG pits; hard tyres go on
He’s given a drive-through penalty

14: Radio from LEC – “tell me when I can start pushing”; he’s told “target lap time is 10.0 – on target like this”
NOR dives inside RAI and steals P6

15/71: LEC, BOT, HAM, VET, VER, NOR, RAI, GAS, GIO, PER, HUL, STR, RIC, SAI, ALB, GRO, RUS, KVY, KUB, MAG

16: MAG serves his drive-through penalty

17: VER f/lap 1:09.252
HAM struggling for front grip

19: VET f/lap 1:09.073
GAS looking for a way round RAI

20/71: LEC, BOT, HAM, VET, VER, NOR, RAI, GAS, GIO, PER, HUL, STR, RIC, SAI, ALB, GRO, KVY, RUS, KUB, MAG
KUB pits; rejoins still P19

22: BOT pits, followed by VET
BOT goes onto hards; rejoins P4
VET slow stop – tyres weren’t ready! rejoins P8

23: LEC pits; rejoins P3
HAM f/lap 1:08.842

24: Radio from HAM – “tyres are good”
RAI pits from P7; rejoins P15

25/71: HAM, VER, LEC, BOT, NOR, VET, GAS, PER, HUL as GIO pits

26: NOR, GAS and STR all pit

27: GIO past GRO
HUL pits

28: Radio from HAM concerned about his front wing – he’s been running wide so he may have damaged it on the kerbs

29: RUS pits, as does PER

30/71: HAM, VER, LEC, BOT, VET, SAI, RIC, NOR, ALB, RAI, GAS, GIO, PER, HUL, GRO, STR, KVY, RUS, MAG, KUB
VET f/lap 1:08.750

31: HAM pits; new front wing; rejoins P5, behind VET
VET f/lap 1:08.345

32: VER pits from P1; rejoins P4, between VET and HAM

33: GAS takes P9 from RAI

34: KVY pits; long stop – rear right was slow going on

35/71: LEC, BOT, VET, VER, HAM, SAI, RIC, NOR, GAS, RAI, GIO, PER, ALB

Half distance

36: LEC f/lap 1:08.344

38: NOR closing on RIC

39: Mercedes confirm HAM’s front wing was cracked

40/71: LEC, BOT, VET, VER, HAM, SAI, RIC, NOR, GAS, RAI, GIO, PER, HUL, STR, AL, GRO, KVY, RUS, MAG, KUB
NOR attacks but RIC keeps P7; now GAS closing on NOR

42: NOR finally finds a way round the outside of RIC to take P7
SAI pits from P6; rejoins P14

44: VER f/lap 1:08.317
Radio for NOR – “fantastic” work; tell him to keep RIC in his mirrors, so that RIC has DRS to help him keep GAS behind
But GAS passes RIC for P7

45: VER f/lap 1:08.165 as he closes up on VET
LEC, BOT, VET, VER, HAM, NOR, GAS, RIC, RAI, GIO, PER, HUL, SAI, STR, ALB, GRO, KVY, RUS, MAG, KUB

46: Radio for VER telling him they have an advantage in turn 1

48: RIC pits; softs go on; rejoins P11
Interesting – everyone else is on hard tyres, except NOR on mediums and now RIC on softs

49: VER closing on VET

50: VER around VET to cleanly take P3 … and the crowd goes wild

51: VER f/lap 1:07.844
VET pits; softs go on; rejoins P5, 8secs behind HAM

53: STR not helping as BOT and VER lap him

54: VET f/lap 1:07.787
SAI takes P8 from RAI

55/71: LEC, BOT, VER, HAM, VET, NOR, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO, PER, HUL, STR, RIC, ALB, GRO, KVY, RUS, MAG, KUB
Radio from VER – “losing power”; he sounds stressed; team give him a setting change

56: VER inside BOT to steal P2
VET slowly closing on HAM – gap is ~5.5sec

57: Christian Horner says it was an exhaust sensor that VER had to reset

59: VER f/lap 1:07.766
Radio for VER telling him to turn setting to 11 \m/

60/71: LEC, BOT, VER, HAM, VET, NOR, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO
RAI (P9) has just been lapped

61: VER f/lap 1:07.475

62: VER under 4sec behind LEC
Radio for VER – “blistering pace” – I hope not 🙂

63: LEC laps MAG for a 2nd time

64: LEC ~2.5sec ahead of VER; they’re catching GAS (VER’s teammate)

65/71: LEC, VER, BOT, HAM, VET, NOR, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO
VET is ~1.5sec behind HAM

66: RIC takes P13 from STR
VER now under 1sec behind LEC as they close on GAS

67: VER almost touches LEC into Turn 3
LEC defending hard
It’s great to hear the crowd cheering!

68: VER dives inside into Turn 1 but LEC defends and holds on to P1

69: VER inside into Turn 3 this time; holds the line; LEC has to run a little wide
They touch wheels but it’s clean
Both drivers are on the radio to complain about the other

70/71: VET is tucked up under HAM’s rear wing
HAM locks up and VET takes P4

71 = final lap: Incident involving LEC and VER under investigation – fine, investigate it but neither deserves a penalty

VER takes the chequered flag – his 6th F1 victory
LEC P2
BOT P3

Provisional result: VER, LEC, BOT, VET, HAM, NOR, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO; PER, RIC, HUL, STR, ALB, GRO, KVY, RUS, MAG, KUB

Disappointed to hear LEC start to sound like another whiny Ferrari driver – sure, it’s painful to lose P1 but there was nothing wrong with that pass.

Anthems start but where’s Red Bull’s rep for the constructor’s trophy?
A Honda guy Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda’s F1 boss, arrives just in time for the trophies

Replay after replay, I’m convinced VER doesn’t deserve a penalty for that penultimate lap pass … however if they insist on penalising anyone, the stewards should look at how LEC turned in on VER and caused them to hit wheels … but I don’t think either really deserve any punishment.

Stewards decision is ~45mins away… (Please don’t mess this up!)
2 hours since the race finished; still no decision 🙁
Finally! “No further action” [FIA]
“In the totality of the circumstances, we did not consider that either driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident. We consider that this is a racing incident.”

Result: VER, LEC, BOT, VET, HAM, NOR, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO; PER, RIC, HUL, STR, ALB, GRO, KVY, RUS, MAG, KUB
(DNF:none)
I think VER set the fastest lap (1:07.475, lap 61)