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Paddock Postcard from Austria - F1 legends parade

21 Jun 2015

One of the most popular aspects of the revived Austrian Grand Prix is the annual demonstration of old Formula One cars, which this year focused mainly on historic turbocharged machinery.

World champions Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet were present, the former pair in McLaren MP4/2Bs, the latter in a Brabham BT52. Riccardo Patrese had a Renault RS01, Gerhard Berger was reunited with his Ferrari F188 and Christian Danner with a Zakspeed, while Pierluigi Martini made a welcome return to helm a Minardi and Jean Alesi was in a non-turbo Sauber.

Earlier in the weekend, several of the drivers above attended a special dinner hosted by Formula One group CEO Bernie Ecclestone, where they shared stories with many of the current grid’s world champions, among them Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

In the paddock, these stars were joined by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, former Mercedes chief Juergen Huppert and new Honda president Takahiro Hachigo, Indianapolis 500-winning steward Danny Sullivan, Ferrari development driver Jean-Eric Vergne, tennis star Steffi Graf, and ski legends Harti Weirather and Aksel Lund Svindal.

On track, Stoffel Vandoorne continued his domination of GP2 feature races on Saturday with another perfectly-judged victory for ART by 11.7s over Rapax’s Sergey Sirotkin, who opted for the same strategy of an early stop to switch from supersoft to soft Pirelli tyres.

DAMS’ Alex Lynn led much of the event after starting on the softs and fighting his way up superbly from only ninth on the grid to catch and pass team mate Pierre Gasly. He stopped for supersofts on the 32nd lap and dropped back to fifth but soon overtook early stoppers Alex Rossi and Nobuharu Matsushita to claim the final podium position.

Rossi had also charged up the order early on, but as the Racing Engineering American’s tyres faded was passed by Vandoorne’s Japanese team mate and Russian Time’s Artem Markelov on the 35th and 36th laps. Campos’s Ryo Haryanto was seventh, while an excellent fighting eighth for Hilmer put Briton Nick Yelloly on pole for Sunday’s Sprint race.

Watch the F1 legends parade...