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WATCH: The best onboard action from Austria

05 Jul 2016

The footage from Nico Rosberg’s last-lap crash with Lewis Hamilton has been poured over ad nauseam, but that was far from the only entertaining moment captured by our brilliant onboard cameras in Spielberg…

Verstappen sneaks past Ricciardo

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Austria’s sweeping Turn 8 is pretty much the last place you’d expect to see an overtake at Spielberg, but that didn’t stop Max Verstappen - one of the most instinctive overtakers in F1 - from completing a brilliantly opportunistic move on Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo at the 200km/h corner at the end of the third lap. The pass lifted Verstappen up to sixth and gave him crucial track position for later in the race, but you could argue it was a move he was lucky to survive unscathed. As you can see in the video above, after experiencing a wobble mid-corner the Dutch teenager runs wide over the yellow ‘baguette’ kerbs on the outside of the track - exactly the same kerbs that cost him a substantial piece of his front wing endplate when he hit them too hard in Friday practice…

 

Perez finds a way past Sainz - eventually

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Not all battles in Spielberg were as hard edged as Nico Rosberg’s and Lewis Hamilton’s - even if they initially appeared to be so. For example, when Sergio Perez attempted to pass Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso into Turn 3 on lap 15, it initially appeared that the Spaniard had ruthlessly blocked him, which immediately drew the Mexican’s ire. But further replays suggested that Sainz had simply been looking in his left-hand mirror, anticipating a pass on the other side, and - as seen in this video - when he spotted Perez on his right-hand side, he quickly gave the Force India man ‘racing room’ - something the stewards adjudged Rosberg to have denied Hamilton later on...

 

Rosberg in the firing line

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What does it feel like to be showered with pieces of rubber whilst travelling at more than 300km/h? Nico Rosberg found out on the 27th lap in Spielberg when he copped a faceful of Sebastian Vettel’s right-rear tyre after it let go on the pit straight. Rosberg assumed the lead after the incident, but his Mercedes carried the scars for the rest of the race – not only was one of his bargeboards damaged, but tyre debris clung desperately onto the bottom of his car for several laps before eventually being dislodged.

 

Hamilton makes the all-important move

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Lewis Hamilton’s last-lap pass of Nico Rosberg gave him victory in Spielberg, but were it not for this critical move on Max Verstappen he might not have been in position to challenge his team mate at all. Hamilton had been hot on Rosberg’s heels hounding him for second place as the duo approached Verstappen’s leading Red Bull in the latter stages of the race, but whereas the German was able to use his fresh supersoft tyres to sweep almost instantly by the Dutchman, Hamilton found himself bottled up behind the RB12 for corner after corner, all the while allowing Rosberg to edge agonisingly away. Hamilton knew he had to make a move quickly, and on the approach to Turn 2 on the 63rd lap, just as Verstappen was busy lapping Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, he finally got by, using the exact same inside/outside line that he would subsequently use on Rosberg - albeit to much cleaner effect…

 

Rosberg’s Turn 2 troubles - take 1

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If Nico Rosberg experiences nightmares in the coming weeks, chances are they’ll be about Spielberg’s Turn 2. Not only was it the scene of his controversial last-lap clash with team mate Lewis Hamilton, it was also where he made this telling mistake on the 44th lap, possibly as a result of the braking issues Mercedes confirmed both drivers were experiencing. In slithering off the road Rosberg allowed Hamilton to slash a gap that had held steady for several laps at around 2s to just 0.9s. But perhaps more importantly he might also have exposed a vulnerability at the corner to a man looking to find a chink in his armour.

 

Perez stamps on the brakes - nothing happens…

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Having scored points in five consecutive races heading to Austria, Sergio Perez looked set to extend that streak to six until one lap from home, whilst running ninth and approaching Turn 3, the Force India suffered a technical issue all drivers fear - a sudden loss of braking power. As you can see, the Mexican, presumably pressing his left foot down as hard as possible, does all he can to scrub off speed, but in the end he’s unable to avoid a relatively hefty collision with the barriers.