AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX RACE – 9TH JULY 2017
“I’m really happy. It’s only the second win in my career. I think it was the start of my life.” (Bottas)
1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
5. Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
6. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
7. Sergio Perez (Force India)
8. Esteban Ocon (Force India)
9. Felipe Massa (Williams)
10. Lance Stroll (Williams)
More on the F1 teams of 2017
Valtteri Bottas dominated the Austrian Grand Prix here at the Spielberg Circuit today. It was his 2nd victory of the year and his Formula One career. He is now just 15 points behind Hamilton and 35 behind Vettel.
Hamilton started in 8th after a poor qualifying session and a 5-place grid penalty. He is now 20 points behind Vettel and doesn’t seem any closer to closing the gap between them.
A comparatively dull race compared to some of the performances that we have witnessed this year, it only appeared to come alive when Vettel challenged Bottas and Hamilton challenged Ricciardo in the closing laps. Neither challenge came to anything, as Bottas and Ricciardo hung on.
As with Bottas’ first win in Russia, by winning here he limited the damage caused by Vettel to team mate Hamilton’s championship hopes.
What sort of drama will unfold today!
But how are things between Vettel and Hamilton since the ‘crash’ in the last race?
At the news conference on Thursday, Vettel apologised for his conduct in Azerbaijan and then Hamilton had seemingly refused to shake his hand. Even though he had apparently already done so off camera – this refusal created a rumble of excitement among the media at the possibility of a real rift between the two rivals.
Bottas’ lead over Vettel was 8 seconds by Lap 34, when Vettel stopped for fresh tyres. When Bottas stopped on Lap 41 he was just 2.8 seconds ahead, but managed to hold off Vettel for the win.
Ricciardo’s 3rd place was his 5th podium finish in a row and he seems to be enjoying how the season is going so far “it was a fun race.”
It was always going to be difficult. Hamilton had lots of work to do from the start. He passed Verstappen (Lap 1), then Perez (Lap 6) and Grosjean (Lap 8). By Lap 19 he had caught up with Raikkonen – but could only pass him on Lap 31 after he pitted, which meant that Hamilton had to complete the last 40 laps on ultra-soft tyres in order to keep Raikkonen behind him. A tough ask, the tyres wore thin and as the grip began to erode, he couldn’t effectively attack Ricciardo for a podium place. At Turn 4, on the penultimate lap, Hamilton tried and failed to pass Ricciardo. This was his last chance of the race.
Verstappen’s season continues to falter… after a poor start he was then taken out by the domino effect of Kvyat hitting Alonso into him. Today’s retirement makes it 5 times out of 9 races.
Jolyon Palmer just missed out on a point, finishing 0.5 seconds behind Stroll. As with the races in Monaco and Canada this season, this is the 3rd time that he has been one place away from earning a point. To date, his only career point has been in Malaysia last year, when he finished 10th.
Next up, Silverstone!