Paul Henman formula1 Austria Grand Prix

Austria Grand Prix

Austria is the first of the Sprint Format weekends this season. That means after Free Practice 1 comes Qualifying to set the grid for the race; Saturday has the Sprint Shootout (quali for the sprint race) and then the Sprint (which the FIA still don’t want to call a race); and of course there’s the race on Sunday.

Qualifying

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 27°C; track 40°C
MAG 1:06.006
PER 1:05.910
PIA 1:05.893
VER 1:05.190
HUL, NOR and SAI have had lap times deleted for exceeding track limits
Yellow flags – BOT has spun off at the exit of Turn 1
Red flag – BOT can’t get the Alfa Romeo going and he’s stuck partly on the track
There’s 11:49 left of Q1
BOT got his car moving so he can head back to the pits and rejoin the session
More lap times deleted, including VER’s fastest lap so PIA goes back to P1
Green light as Q1 resumes
ALO 1:05.655
NOR 1:05.617
SAI 1:05.339
VER 1:05.116
5mins left; bottom 5 are STR, OCO, SAR, DEV, HUL
STR P11, relegating ALB to P16
HUL P16
Did PIA hold up ALO?
HUL P15, MAG P16
ALB P8, HUL P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are SAR, ZHO, MAG, OCO, DEV
OCO P11, BOT P16
BOT P15, TSU P16
Back of the grid: TSU, ZHO, SAR, MAG, DEV … assuming no significant lap times are deleted

Qualifying session 2
VER sitting at the end of the pit lane, followed by teammate PER and then the Ferrari duo
VER 1:04.955
(PER P2)
VER’s lap time deleted
Now PER’s time deleted, so NOR is P1, 1:05.038
Radio from VER whining that the track limits rules are a joke
VER 1:04.951
(SAI P2)
5mins left; bottom 5 are STR, HAM, PIA, BOT, RUS
RUS P10, OCO P11
HAM P6, RUS P11
PER has a lap time deleted, drops to P15
RUS also has a lap time deleted; he’s now P14
(PER P2)
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are ALB, RUS, STR, PIA, BOT
PIA P5
PER’s P2 lap time deleted; he’s back to P15
PIA’s time deleted
Middle of the grid: RUS, OCO, PIA, BOT, PER

It’s the same rule for everyone, and if you don’t impose track limits then does that mean it’s ok to cut corners?

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, SAI, NOR, LEC, STR, ALO, HAM, GAS, HUL, ALB
ALB 1:05.823
HAM sitting in the garage; everyone else on track
VER 1:04.503
LEC P2
SAI P3
NOR P4
STR P6
GAS P5
ALO P5
HUL P9
Order after the first run: VER, LEC, SAI, NOR, ALO, GAS, ALB, STR, HUL, HAM
STR’s lap deleted
HAM P5
ALB on track on his own; goes P6 … but it’s deleted so he’s back to P8
2mins left; order is VER, LEC, SAI, NOR, HAM, ALO, GAS, ALB, HUL, STR
Everyone except ALB on track
VER 1:04.391
HUL P7
STR P3
Chequered flag
SAI P2
NOR P3
GAS P9
LEC P2
HAM P5
Provisional grid: VER, LEC, SAI, NOR, HAM, STR, ALO, HUL, GAS, ALB, RUS, OCO, PIA, BOT, PER, TSU, ZHO, SAR, MAG, DEV
Now we wait for any lap deletions… It’s all quiet so I think the grid stands.

Sprint Shootout

(i.e. qualifying for the sprint race)
There’s been rain all morning but it’s drying out now and a dry line is clear in places

Shootout session 1
Air temperature 16°C; track 21°C (it was 40 in Quali); humidity 84%
Queue forming at pit exit – do they expect more rain?
The first two in the queue are the Williams pair on intermediate tyres, but everyone behind them is on the soft dry compound
Green lights come on
SAI reports a brake by wire failure
OCO 1:12.208
RUS 1:10.819
Yellow flag in sector 3 clears almost immediately – ZHO lost the rear, spun but recovered
SAI pits; a lot of smoke from his rear brakes
HAM 1:10.424
ALO 1:10.333
VER 1:10.201 … but it’s deleted
(TSU P2)
HAM 1:08.960
DEV 1:08.898
VER 1:08.646
TSU 1:08.451
RUS 1:08.392
PIA 1:08.303
Another brief yellow flag – SAR ran very wide in Turn 9
NOR 1:07.755
5mins left; bottom 5 are GAS, BOT, ZHO, SAR, SAI
SAI is still in the pits
ALB 1:07.506
VER 1:07.214
PER 1:07.085
SAR P3, MAG P16
PIA impeded by LEC but LEC was in the pit-in lane
MAG P4, LEC P16
HAM 1:06.624 … but it’s deleted
SAI sent out with just 1:45 left of this session
NOR 1:06.723
VER 1:06.236
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are LEC, GAS, BOT, ZHO, SAI
LEC P8, SAR P16
BOT P15, DEV P16
GAS P7, HAM P16
SAR P16
SAI 1:06.187 , STR P16
MAG P5, PIA P16
STR P4, ZHO P16
HAM pits after meeting traffic (STR and VER); he’s P18
Back of the sprint grid: ZHO, PIA, HAM, BOT, SAR
Radio from RUS reporting hydraulic failure

Shootout session 2
VER 1:05.624
3mins left; bottom 5 are TSU, LEC, DEV, GAS, RUS
Mercedes mechanics still working on RUS’ car
OCO 1:05.604
SAI 1:05.434
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are LEC, TSU, GAS, DEV, RUS
LEC P4, ALB P11
VER 1:05.371
GAS P12
Middle of the sprint grid: ALB, GAS, TSU, DEV, RUS

Shootout session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, SAI, OCO, LEC, NOR, MAG, ALO, PER, STR, HUL
Unsafe release for HUL?
VER 1:04.613
Order after the first run: VER, NOR, PER, SAI, LEC, HUL, ALO, OCO, MAG, STR
ALO P5
OCO P7
STR P7
Chequered flag
HUL P4
VER 1:04.440
SAI P5
PER P2
LEC P6
Provisional grid for the sprint race: VER, PER, NOR, HUL, SAI, LEC, ALO, STR, OCO, MAG, ALB, GAS, TSU, DEV, RUS, ZHO, PIA, HAM, BOT, SAR

Sprint Race

LEC has been given a 3-place grid penalty for impeding PIA, so now he’ll start P9
It’s raining, not too hard – enough that some teams put up tents over the cars as they wait on the grid, but not enough for anyone to use full wet tyres
Grid: VER, PER, NOR, HUL, LEC, ALO, STR, OCO, SAI*, MAG, ALB, GAS, TSU, DEV, RUS, ZHO, PIA, HAM, BOT, SAR (*SAI’s penalty drops him to P9)
VER leads everyone away on the formation lap
PER locks up into Turn 3 and runs wide … remember this is just the formation lap
BOT heads into the pits because he was on medium compound (dry) tyres; switches to inters

01/24: PER leads into Turn 1
VER dives inside PER, pushing his teammate wide; takes P1
VER squeezes PER again; HUL steals P2 while the Red Bulls squabble

02: VER, HUL, PER, SAI, STR, ALO, ALB, OCO, LEC, NOR, MAG, RUS, HAM, TSU, GAS, DEV, PIA, ZHO, SAR, BOT – HAM has already gained 5 places!
RUS nearly rear-ends MAG as he takes P11
MAG inside to reclaim P11

03: VER fastest lap 1:18.498
Replay of lap 1 has both Red Bull children drivers complaining about each other – spoiled whiners!

05/24: VER, HUL, PER, SAI, STR, ALO, ALB, OCO, LEC, NOR
VER f/lap 1:17.427
LEC tries to pass OCO

06: NOR attacking LEC

07: VER f/lap 1:16.547

08: Drivers starting to look for water to preserve their tyres

09: RUS inside MAG to take P11

10/24: VER, HUL, PER, SAI, STR, ALO, ALB, OCO, LEC, NOR
VER f/lap 1:15.911
HAM now attacks MAG; takes P12 … but MAG fights back

11: VER f/lap 1:15.774
NOR closing on LEC, who in turn is harrying OCO

12: VER f/lap 1:15.718
Radio for VER asking about conditions; “still inters”
HUL has PER and SAI breathing down his neck
PER takes P2

13: VER f/lap 1:15.396
SAI takes P3 from HUL
OCO still holding off LEC and NOR, but RUS and HAM have joined the train

14: VER f/lap 1:15.365
Radio from STR basically saying he won’t attack teammate ALO
But did STR just pass ALO?

15/24: VER, PER, SAI, HUL, STR, ALO, ALB, OCO, LEC, NOR, RUS, HAM, MAG, TSU, GAS, PIA, SAR, DEV, ZHO, BOT
LEC looking to get past OCO; did they tap wheels? OCO holds on to P8

16: VER f/lap 1:14.992
LEC gets a twitch in the final turn; NOR steals P9
RUS pits; takes on soft tyres; rejoins P20

17: DRS enabled
STR using DRS to pass HUL for P4

18: VER f/lap 1:14.506
HUL pits, followed by HAM and a lot of midfielders

19: RUS passes HAM for P14
RUS f/lap 1:12.989

20/24: VER, PER, SAI, STR, ALO, OCO, NOR, GAS, HUL, RUS – just the top 8 still on inters, and BOT
RUS f/lap 1:12.020

21: HAM passes BOT and ALB, but ALB fights back
LEC passes BOT
RUS f/lap 1:11.620

22: RUS takes P9 from GAS
HAM has DRS to help him pass ALB
RUS f/lap 1:10.902
ALO seems to be closing on STR

23: PIA inside ALB; they tap wheels; PIA takes P12
PIA f/lap 1:10.856

24/24: LEC locks up; ALB’s not quite close enough to benefit
HUL takes P7 from NOR
RUS f/lap 1:10.385
RUS takes P8 from NOR

VER takes the chequered flag
HUL f/lap 1:10.180
OCO just inches ahead of RUS at the line
Provisional result: VER, PER, SAI, STR, ALO, HUL, OCO, RUS; NOR, HAM, PIA, LEC, ALB, MAG, GAS, TSU, DEV, SAR, ZHO, BOT
Team congratulate VER but he gets in a whinge about PER

Race

HAM has his fingers in his ears during the anthem – can’t blame him, it seemed like a competition for everyone to play louder than everyone else!
Grid: VER, LEC, SAI, NOR, HAM, STR, ALO, HUL, GAS, ALB, RUS, OCO, PIA, BOT, PER, TSU, ZHO, SAR; MAG and DEV will start from pit lane
Air temperature 22°C; track 32°C; humidity 51%; official risk of rain 30%

VER leads everyone away on the formation lap
Everyone starting on medium tyres except ALO, BOT, MAG

01/71: VER leads into Turn 1
HAM passes NOR
LEC looking around the outside of VER
TSU across the gravel
Safety Car deployed

02[SC]: VER, LEC, SAI, HAM, NOR, ALO, HUL, STR, GAS, ALB, RUS, OCO, PER, ZHO, PIA, SAR, BOT, DEV, MAG, TSU
TSU pits; new front wing
Track workers clearing debris near the pit exit, before Turn 1
Race control: SC will lead cars through the pit lane so the marshals can clear up the debris

03[SC]: Replay of the start shows TSU dive inside BOT and hit the rear of OCO
Having broken his front wing he had to take to the gravel to avoid rear-ending a bunch of cars in Turn 4
SC in at the end of this lap

04: GAS harrying STR for P8
TSU takes P18 from DEV… and then P17 from BOT

05/71: VER fastest lap 1:09.691
PER past OCO for P12
MAG outside DEV but DEV defends and MAG either has to back up or end up in the gravel

06: DRS enabled
Everyone behind ALO (P6) has DRS

07: Radio from NOR reporting HAM “track limits – third time”

08: SAI has DRS behind teammate LEC
STR takes P7 from HUL
GAS now attacking HUL

09: Will Ferrari tell LEC to let SAI past?
ZHO pits
Apparently HAM has brake issues; he’s been given some different settings for a couple of turns
Replay of HUL locking up into Turn 3; STR takes P7

10/71: VER, LEC, SAI, HAM, NOR, ALO, STR, HUL, GAS, ALB
PER dives inside RUS; makes contact; takes P11
HAM falling back from SAI
Radio for NOR asking him to let them know everytime HAM exceeds track limits; NOR says he’s doing it all the time

11: HUL pits; slow stop; hards go on; rejoins P19
HAM’s lap time deleted

12: PER takes P9 from ALB

13: Black and white flag for HAM
Radio for HAM telling him about track limits; “The car won’t turn”

14: HUL is off; “lost power”; parks it off the track
Virtual SC

15/71: VER, LEC, SAI, ALO stay out; HAM pits, followed by NOR, GAS, ALB, RUS, OCO, PIA, SAR

16: LEC, SAI, ALO, STR all pit
SAI’s stop was a bit slow
VSC ending
BOT has front wing damage

17: VER, LEC, PER, HAM, NOR, SAI, ALO, TSU, MAG, GAS, BOT, RUS, ALB, OCO, STR, PIA, SAR, ZHO, DEV; out: HUL
5-sec penalty for HAM for exceeding track limits (Will he park it soon?)
NOR all over SAI’s rear wing

18: SAI f/lap 1:09.129
RUS inside ALB to take P11
Replay of an unsafe release of OCO
TSU given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits

19: SAI alongside HAM but HAM is squeezing him; SAI takes P4

20/71: VER, LEC, PER, SAI, HAM, NOR, ALO, GAS, TSU, RUS
SAI now takes P3 from PER

21: ALB, OCO, MAG and STR squabbling over P11
HAM closing on PER

22: Black and white flag for SAI
PER tries to go around PER but the Red Bull can brake later, even on older tyres

23: PIA pits; new front wing
Radio from HAM, “PER off at Turn 10, has he got a penalty yet?”
Replay of PIA rear-ending MAG, causing his front wing damage

25/71: VER pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P3
OCO given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits
VER has DRS to help attack SAI

26: PER pits from P4; hards; P11
VER has the inside line out of Turn 3 for an easy overtake to take P3

27: VER f/lap 1:08.929
PER closing on ALB… takes P9

28: NOR attacks HAM; HAM makes NOR go the long way round, but the McLaren still takes P4

29: NOR pulling away from HAM
SAI given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits – that’s 4 drivers penalised so far

30/71: LEC, VER, SAI, NOR, HAM, ALO, GAS, RUS, PER, ALB, OCO, STR, SAR, ZHO, MAG, DEV, TSU, BOT, PIA
Race control: TSU failed to serve 5-sec penalty when he pitted

31: Radio for SAI asking about 3-stopping; definite No!

32: Black and white flags for MAG (I think it was) and ALB

34: VER now has DRS behind LEC

35/71: LEC, VER, SAI, NOR, HAM, ALO, PER, GAS, RUS, ALB, OCO, STR, SAR, ZHO, MAG, DEV, TSU, BOT, PIA; out: HUL
VER storms inside LEC to re-take P1, but he made sure he was behind LEC at the DRS detection line
Half distance
DEV pushes MAG wide, across the gravel

36: ALB given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits
ALO closing on HAM but the gap is just over 2.5sec

37: STR pits; hards; P15
Apparently Toto has been on the radio to try to calm HAM down

39: DEV given 5-sec penalty for forcing MAG off the track

40/71: VER, LEC, SAI, NOR, HAM, ALO, PER, GAS, RUS, ALB

41: NOR runs really wide in Turn 1

42: NOR pits; hards; P8
given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits

43: HAM pits; serves 5-sec penalty; mediums go on; rejoins P8

44: RUS passes SAR for P9
NOR inside GAS for P6

45/71: ALO pits; mediums; P6

46: SAI pits; serves penalty; hards go on; rejoins P5

47: SAI attacking NOR, takes P4
Radio for SAI saying they need to extend this stint in case there’s rain

48: LEC pits; hards; rejoins P3

49: NOR f/lap 1:08.739

50/71: VER, PER, LEC, SAI, NOR, ALO, HAM, RUS, STR, GAS
VER pits; mediums; rejoins still P1, now just over 5sec ahead of PER
DEV locks up in Turn 3, runs wide

51: PER pits from P2; hards; rejoins P5

52: VER f/lap 1:08.150

53: PER f/lap 1:08.111
Toto on the radio for HAM again, “the car is bad, we know – please just drive the car”
TSU given 10-sec penalty for not serving his 5-sec penalty properly

54: PER closing on NOR

55/71: VER, LEC, SAI, NOR, PER, ALO, HAM, RUS, STR, GAS
STR pits; mediums
Radio for PER warning him about track limits, “we can’t afford a penalty”

56: NOR now has DRS behind SAI
NOR locks up, runs wide; PER dives inside to steal P4

57: PER now on SAI’s rear wing

58: Radio from PER complaining SAI is moving under braking
SAI defends in Turn 4 but PER just backs off and attacks again

59: PER tries to send SAI a dummy; was there contact?
PER inside; forces SAI wide

60/71: VER, LEC, SAI, PER, NOR, ALO, HAM, RUS, GAS, ALB

62: SAI continues to defend but PER finally powers past to claim P3

65/71: VER, LEC, PER, SAI, NOR, ALO, HAM, RUS, GAS, STR, ALB, OCO, SAR, ZHO, DEV, MAG, BOT, TSU, PIA; out: HUL

66: SAR given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits

67: MAG given 5-sec penalty for exceeding track limits

68: BOT inside MAG for P16
TSU passes MAG too

69: Radio from VER, he wants to box so he can go for fastest lap
Red Bull mechanic has to move a barrier back to make sure VER has a clean entry to his pit box

70/71: VER pits from P1; softs go on; rejoins still P1
STR shown black and white flag so he just needs to stay inside the lines for 2 more laps

71: No-one has DRS so there’s no last minute passing

VER takes the chequered flag; sets f/lap 1:07.012
Provisional result: VER, LEC, PER, SAI, NOR, ALO, HAM, RUS, GAS, STR; ALB, OCO, SAR, ZHO, DEV, BOT, PIA, TSU, MAG
DNF: HUL

So much for the ban on smoke flares

Update: “A protest from Aston Martin regarding the results of the Austrian Grand Prix has been upheld by the stewards, with additional penalties for exceeding track limits set to be applied to the final classification.” [F1]
Checking the FIA’s official docs, the final result is: VER, LEC, PER, NOR, ALO, SAI*, RUS, HAM*, STR, GAS*; ALB*, ZHO, SAR*, OCO*, BOT, PIA, DEV*, MAG*, TSU*; DNF: HUL
*Penalties: (I’ve added the driver’s names)

  • Car 21(DEV) – 5 second time penalty – Forcing another driver off the track – Stewards’ document no. 64
  • Cars 2(SAR), 20(MAG), 31(OCO) *2, 21(DEV) & 22(TSU) – 5 second time penalties – Track limits – Stewards’ document nos. 67, 68 & 75
  • Cars 22(TSU), 55(SAI), 44(HAM), 10(GAS), 23(ALB), 31(OCO) *2 & 21(DEV) – 10 second time penalties – Track limits – Stewards’ document nos. 66 & 75

Compare the provisional to the final result: SAI dropped from P4 to P6; HAM dropped from P7 to P8; GAS dropped from P9 to P10; OCO dropped from P12 to P14; DEV dropped from P15 to P17; and TSU dropped from P18 to P19. Wow!
So Aston Martin’s protest gained ALO one place (P5 instead of P6) and gained STR one place (P9 instead of P10)
This is why I always highlight “provisional” when I jot down the finishing positions!

[2023 calendar and driver line-up]

%d bloggers like this: