Austrian Grand Prix – Race


After yesterday’s Qualifying session I added a link to the FIA’s article which said “Hamilton summoned to stewards for alleged failure to slow after Bottas off” and then “Lewis Hamilton has been cleared by the stewards of failing to slow down…”
However today there’s another update: “Red Bull protest stewards’ decision not to penalise Hamilton after yellow flags investigation”, and we’ve just heard HAM will now start P5.

So the revised grid: BOT, VER, NOR, ALB, HAM*, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, RIC, VET, GAS, KVY, OCO, GRO, MAG, RUS, GIO, RAI, LAT
*HAM’s penalty drops him to P5

Just before the national anthem most of the drivers take a knee; they’re all wearing T-shirts proclaiming End Racism.

There’s no fans/VIPs on the grid but it still looks really busy with the mechanics, marshalls, etc.

BOT leads everyone away on the formation lap
Everyone from P11 to P20 are starting on medium tyres, same as VER

01/71: Clean start
NOR challenging VER
ALB squeezes HAM
LEC looking for a way round PER
VET past RIC for P10

02: BOT, VER, NOR, ALB, HAM, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, VET
Radio for BOT telling him “it’s important to look after that car”!

03: BOT fastest lap 1:09.441
DRS now available
ALB inside NOR for P3
Official FIA app is not updating again 🙁

04: VER f/lap 1:09.380
HAM takes P4 from NOR

05/71: BOT, VER, ALB, HAM, NOR, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, VET, RIC, GAS, MAG, GIO, KVY, OCO, RAI, GRO, RUS, LAT
HAM f/lap 1:09.340

06: BOT f/lap 1:09.159
KVY takes P14 from GIO

07: KVY now past MAG for P13

08: BOT f/lap 1:09.051
HAM closing on ALB

09: HAM past ALB for P3

10/71: BOT, VER, HAM, ALB, NOR, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, VET

11: VER is slowing – he’s very animated in the cockpit

12: VER still moving but very slowly and he’s furious; heading for the pits

13: VER pits; steering wheel change but he can’t get it going again
VET closing on STR

14: VER is out of the car and storming off through the garage

15/71: BOT, HAM, ALB, NOR, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, VET, RIC, GAS, KVY, MAG, GIO, OCO, RAI, GRO, RUS, LAT; retired: VER

16: OCO takes P14 from GIO
Radio for STR telling him they’re working on an engine problem

18: HAM f/lap 1:(missed it)
RIC slowing – smoke from the Renault
VET passes STR for P8
RIC pits, retires

19: RAI takes P14 from teammate GIO – looks like that was team orders
GAS past STR

20/71: BOT, HAM, ALB, NOR, PER, LEC, SAI, VET, GAS, STR, KVY, MAG, OCO, RAI, GIO, GRO, RUS, LAT; out: RIC, VER

21: HAM f/lap 1:09.000
Yellow flag – GRO off at Turn 4, across the gravel

22: STR pits, drives straight into the garage
GRO pits after his off
Radio for LEC, “box this lap”

23: Ferrari mechanics change their mind and put the tyres back in the warmers
Radio for HAM telling him STR retired with sensor failure, “so look after your car”

25/71: BOT, HAM, ALB, NOR, PER, LEC, SAI, VET, GAS, KVY
BOT closing to lap LAT

26: OCO inside MAG, but MAG shoots past and across the run-off; he’s out
Safety Car deployed

27[SC]: BOT pits, followed by HAM
ALB pits, followed by the next 8 cars
PER released very close to NOR – looks like an unsafe release

28[SC]: Replay of MAG’s off looks like right-front brake failure
Lapped cars are allowed to pass the SC

29[SC]: Looks like the front runners have switched from soft to hard except PER who changed to mediums

30/71[SC]: BOT, HAM, ALB, NOR, PER, LEC, SAI, VET, GAS, KVY, OCO, GIO, RUS, RAI, GRO, LAT; out: MAG, STR, RIC, VER
SC in at the end of this lap

31: SAI lining up LEC but VET clips SAI and the Ferrari spins around; VET now P15

32: BOT f/lap 1:08.736

33: BOT f/lap 1:08.733
PER tucked up under NOR’s rear wing… and easily past the McLaren for P4

34: BOT f/lap 1:08.520

35/71: HAM f/lap 1:08.258

Half distance

36: HAM well under 1sec behind BOT – will there be team orders?

37: HAM f/lap 1:08.164
GRO has been shown a black & white flag for repeatedly exceeding track limits

41: HAM f/lap 1:08.158
Radio for NOR – “Plan A, maximum attack”
Radio for BOT – “Urgent, chassis default 2.1” – that sounds a bit worrying

42: Radio for BOT – “Sensor issues seen on both cars, stay off the kerbs”

43: HAM is 8.5sec ahead of ALB so they can afford to stay inside the white lines

45: Radio for HAM telling him it’s a gearbox sensor that they’re concerned about

46: Radio for BOT and then HAM – “This is James, the sensor issue is critical; stay off the kerbs; this is for both cars”
For HAM, James adds “That’s the red and white ones” 🙂

47: Radio for BOT – “We’re in worse shape than the other car”

49: OCO looking for a way around KVY

50/71: BOT, HAM, ALB, PER, NOR, LEC, SAI, GAS, KVY, OCO
GRO is on the escape road at Turn 4

51: GRO pits, retires
RUS slowing, pulls off & parks the Williams
Safety Car deployed

52[SC]: BOT and HAM don’t pit but ALB does; PER stays out
Hmmm, PER in the “pink Mercedes” is P3 so will they expect him to hold off ALB?

54[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap

55/71: BOT, HAM, PER, ALB, NOR, LEC, GAS, OCO, SAI, GIO, KVY, RAI, VET, LAT; out: RUS, GRO, MAG, STR, RIC, VER
ALB attacks, inside PER for P3
But RAI has had a big off on the main straight – Safety Car deployed

56[SC]: Replay shows RAI ride a kerb and his right-front wheel comes off as he tries to slow for the final turn!
SC will lead everyone through the pits so the marshals can clear RAI’s car

59[SC]: SC lead them along the main straight; it’s looking clear now
ALB is still P3 so it looks like he did complete the pass before the SC was deployed

60[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
BOT, HAM, ALB, PER, NOR, LEC, GAS, OCO, SAI, KVY, VET, LAT, GIO; out: RAI, RUS, GRO, MAG, STR, RIC, VER

61: BOT sets off, almost catches the SC
ALB attacking HAM immediately
HAM defends; ALB touches the gravel & he’s off but manages to rejoin

62: Radio for HAM – “Chassis default 5-2 urgent”

63: Incident involving HAM & ALB is under investigation

64: SAI f/lap 1:07.974
LEC attacking NOR; clean fight; LEC takes P4

65/71: BOT, HAM, PER, LEC, NOR, SAI, GAS, OCO, KVY, GIO, VET, ALB, LAT
LEC f/lap 1:07.901

66: LEC closing on PER – the Racing Point is on old tyres
Race control: 5sec penalty for HAM
SAI challenges teammate NOR but NOR keeps P5

67: HAM is effectively P3 now
SAI attacking NOR again

68: HAM f/lap 1:07.712
Race control: PER given 5sec penalty for speeding in the pit lane

69: BOT f/lap 1:07.657
ALB slowing; pulls off track and parks
NOR inside PER to steal P4
VET dives inside KVY for P10

70/71: KVY’s rear-left is hanging off; he’s pulled well off track
Replay shows KVY’s tyre exploded

71 = final lap: SAI has passed PER too

BOT takes the chequered flag
HAM is P2 but has 5sec penalty to be added
LEC P3 – will be P2
NOR f/lap 1:07.475 and that gives him P3
(HAM now P4)

Provisional result: BOT, LEC, NOR, HAM*, SAI, PER*, GAS, OCO, GIO, VET, LAT
*penalties applied
DNF: KVY, ALB, RAI, RUS, GRO, MAG, STR, RIC, VER (yes, 9 DNFs)

I guess all the simracing paid off for LAN 🙂
Although he’s not sure which step of the podium he’s meant to be on!

Post-race interviews:
ALB is understandably upset and blames HAM
HAM is disappointed and wants to move on
(For me, the replays make me think it’s more of a racing incident)
VET blames the car for his spin, even though it was clearly because he hit SAI

And we get to do it all over again next weekend – same circuit, so will the kerbs cause sensor problems again?