Nico Rosberg won todays Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who incurred a five-second penalty for crossing the white line on pit exit after his one and only pitstop. The pair finished ahead of Felipe Massa, who managed to get onto the podium for the first time in 2015.
The big story however was the incident at the start between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, when the Ferrari driver got a tank slapper coming out of turn two and slide into the side of Alonso’s McLaren, spearing it over the top of his car as the pair smashed into the barriers. Both drivers got out unhurt, however it was a scary moment in the opening lap.
Daniil Kvyat also incurred damage during that opening lap in contact, which caused him to pit early for a set of new tyres, whilst Will Stevens pulled off to the side of the road in the Manor with a problem which forced him to retire and become the next casualty of this race.
Once we restarted Rosberg, who passed Hamilton into turn one when the five lights went out, led from his teammate and Vettel. Further down the field Sainz and Grosjean had a bit of argy-bargy into turn three, with the Lotus dropping to P11 ahead of Maldonado.
At that stage we saw a slow-moving Jenson Button who had a tranmission issue with his McLaren retire from the race, making it another double-retirement for McLaren. Marcus Ericsson also received a drive-thru penalty for jumping the start, which he had to serve in the next three laps.
Verstappen meanwhile was battling with Bottas for sixth, with the Williams driver making progress after losing ground at the start. He later passed Hulkenberg for fifth. Grosjean was also challenging Perez for P10, however the Lotus was unable to match the Force India’s straight-line speed in the DRS zone, which made it difficult for him to pass.
That went on all the way up to the pitstop phase, where Grosjean pitted first along with Felipe Nasr. That result in an on-track battle between the two, with the pair going wheel-to-wheel through turns four and five for 12th position. Hulkenberg meanwhile was able to get back past Bottas after pitting first to get the undercut for 7th position.
Kvyat was also up the order after the pitstops, although it was short-lived since he didn’t have the benefit of fresh tyres like his rivals, making him slowly tumble down the order. All eyes then turned to the leading Mercedes duo who were about to pit. Rosberg of course came in first however his in-lap was not as quick as it could’ve been, which meant Hamilton could take the lead if he pitted the following lap.
As it turned out Mercedes pitted Hamilton two laps later, making him lose time to the tune of three seconds to Rosberg who set the fastest lap of the race on his outlap. They also managed to cover off Vettel, who didn’t have the challenging pace we all expected in the Ferrari. A slow stop for him though meant that he lost out to Felipe Massa and whilst he did challenge for the position in the closing stages, it wasn’t enough to claim another third place.
Elsewhere we saw more retirements from this race in the form of Grosjean and Sainz, whilst Maldonado scrapped with Kvyat and Nasr in the midfield. Once the pair made it past Kvyat they had Ricciardo to defend from. The Red Bull driver managed to work his way past both, however he later pitted and rejoined down in 11th place. It looked like he was on course for points, however the Red Bull driver only made it past Nasr in the closing stages for P10.
Further up the road Maldonado was scrapping with Verstappen for P7, nearly losing it as he attacked into turn one with an aggressive weave to the left. He made it stick though on the Toro Rosso driver, who complained about the lack of grip from his tyres in the aftermath.
But it was Nico Rosberg who took the race win 8.8 seconds ahead of Hamilton, and 17.5 seconds from Massa. Le Mans winner Nico Hulkenberg managed a notable P6 in the Force India, whilst Kvyat was unable to make his two-stopper work down in P12.