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Austria analysis - Williams to the fore as Red Bull falter

23 Jun 2014

Mercedes ran out with a controlled one-two victory in Spielberg, but the race was just as notable for the contrasting fortunes of Williams and Red Bull. The former were resurgent, springing an upset in qualifying, leading in the early stages and securing a first podium in two years. As they celebrated, however, Red Bull suffered calamity, with eighth place scant consolation on a disastrous weekend at their home race. We take a team-by-team look back at Sunday's formbook in Austria...


Nico Rosberg, P1

Lewis Hamilton, P2

Mercedes scored their sixth one-two of the season, and Rosberg his third victory, but it was far from easy. Williams gave them a run for their money on the supersoft tyres before Rosberg moved to the front, and Hamilton followed suit after the second pit stops. He had one delay when he stopped beyond his marks outside the garage, and another when a brake duct fouled the left front wheel change in his second stop, but the biggest problem for both concerned the brakes. In Canada it was the rears giving concern; here it was the fronts. The pair's duel ebbed and flowed as Hamilton in particular was told to watch his temperatures. But this time there was no chance of anyone taking advantage of that, even though Bottas kept them honest and finished only eight seconds behind Rosberg.


Valtteri Bottas, P3

Felipe Massa, P4

Williams did not expect to win, but they made a great effort in trying to. Massa led until the first pit stops but then unfortunately slumped to his eventual fourth place thereafter. Bottas, however, led two laps when his team mate stopped, then another when Rosberg and Hamilton pitted again. In both stops he lost a place as a Mercedes driver undercut him, but his third place was richly deserved and gave him his first podium. Altogether, a 27-point haul made this a very happy afternoon for the team as they finally began to realise the potential they've shown since the first pre-season tests.


Fernando Alonso, P5

Kimi Raikkonen, P10

Alonso drove the wheels off his Ferrari, led a race for the first time this year, managed to finish within 18s of the Mercedes without the intervention of safety cars or incidents, and was the only non-Mercedes powered car in the top seven. At times his race pace was also better than the leaders', so there were some positives, even if there was little joy, from the afternoon. Raikkonen struggled as usual with the abrupt power delivery of the Ferrari engine and hybrid systems, but scored the final point to keep the Scuderia in third place overall.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P8

Sebastian Vettel, withdrawn lap 34

Red Bull paid for the race, the track and four of the cars, and saw only one finish on a hideous afternoon for company boss Dietrich Mateschitz. The RB10 really struggled here, in both qualifying and the race, and Vettel's powertrain gave him trouble right from the start as he started to lose drive. Later it came back after a reset, but as he was struggling a lap down the team eventually retired him to save engine mileage. Ricciardo lost ground at the start, got mired in the midfield, and was fortunate to snatch eighth from Hulkenberg on the final lap. Assuredly, not a day to remember for the reigning world champions.

Force India

Sergio Perez, P6

Nico Hulkenberg, P9

Force India split their strategy, starting grid-place penalised Perez on softs, giving him another set at his stop, then leaving the supersofts until the final pit call. That worked extremely well and he led the race after the main leaders' first stops, from the 16th to the 27th lap. Though his final stop dropped him from sixth to eighth he was able to climb back and regain his position. Things didn't work so well for Hulkenberg with his conventional supersoft/soft/soft strategy, and he fell prey to the charging Ricciardo right at the end, losing eighth place on the last lap.


Kevin Magnussen, P7

Jenson Button, P11

Magnussen had hoped to hang on to sixth place after driving his heart out in a car that still lacks downforce despite recent updates, but he couldn't resist Perez's attack as the Mexican had fresher rubber. Button lost time getting pushed around in the first corner after the start, then had to sit in the train on his soft/soft/supersoft strategy and didn't have the equipment to better 11th place.


Pastor Maldonado, P12

Romain Grosjean, P14

Lotus had another tough race on a circuit whose slow corners really didn't help the E22. Maldonado brought his car home 12th after coping with brake problems, and they also affected Grosjean who was already having to contend with rear tyre graining.


Adrian Sutil, P13

Esteban Gutierrez, P19

Sutil drove as hard as ever, but was delayed when he misheard a message telling Gutierrez to stop. It wasn't the only wrong call: Gutierrez was released from his pit stop with the right rear wheel nut not tightened fully. The Mexican was dragged back to his pit for corrective measures, but still got a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for an unsafe release, and a 10-place grid penalty for Silverstone.


Jules Bianchi, P15

Max Chilton, P17

Marussia started both drivers on softs and then switched them just once to supersofts, and they were easily able to best the Caterhams - whose strategies had conferred an initial advantage - with Bianchi ahead of Kobayashi and Chilton ahead of Ericsson.


Kamui Kobayashi, P16

Marcus Ericsson, P18

Caterham moved Kobayashi to a one-stop strategy when they saw what Marussia were doing, but they did it the opposite way around - he started on the supersofts and then had to make a set of softs last 55 laps. It was too much to ask and he fell easy prey to Bianchi. Ericsson did a two-stop, but lost so much time obeying blue flags that he was caught and passed by Chilton.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, Retired lap 60, brakes

Daniil Kvyat, Retired lap 25, puncture

With Kvyat sixth on the grid, team principal Franz Tost's home race seemed to promise much. But the young Russian lost places from the start, and lost his chance of points with a right rear tyre failure which damaged the rear suspension. Vergne was in trouble from the start with his brakes, which expired with 12 laps remaining.