Race Report: Austrian Grand Prix

The Austrian Grand Prix had its moments right from the start with a large crash involving Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso ending the race for both drivers.

Despite the Safety Car period, the race resumed with Nico Rosberg leading the way having beaten pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton at the start. Rosberg pressed for a gap and eventually took the win with Hamilton second and Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa third.

1Nico RosbergMercedes71
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes71
3Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes71
4Sebastian VettelFerrari71
5Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes71
6Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes71
7Pastor MaldonadoLotus/Mercedes70
8Max VerstappenToro Rosso/Renault70
9Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes70
10Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault70
11Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari70
12Daniil KvyatRed Bull/Renault70
13Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari69
14Roberto MerhiMarussia/Ferrari68
Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault35
Romain GrosjeanLotus/Mercedes35
Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda8
Will StevensMarussia/Ferrari1
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari0
Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda0


A big win for Nico Rosberg who needed to erase the points gain that Hamilton garnered for his win in Canada two weeks ago. Nico needs to keep this pace up and given Hamilton’s recent qualifying dominance, the German will have to focus on race starts to get the jump on the champion.

A win for Felipe Massa who had to hold off the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel for third having gained the spot due to a slow pit stop from Ferrari. Massa drove very well to keep the 4-time champion behind him and claim the final podium spot.

A win for Force India who managed to bring both cars home in the points with Nico Hulkenberg, off his terrific Le Mans win, claiming 6th place.

A win for Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado who nearly threw away a points finish with a few tankslappers but managed to scrape together a points finish.


A fail for Kimi Raikkonen as his team apparently missed the qualifying strategy placing him well back on the grid. The Finnish driver had an odd tankslapper on the opening lap which collected the McLaren of Fernando Alonso pinning his car against the Armco and on top of the Ferrari. Luckily no one was hurt in the incident.

Fail for Red Bull who could only manage a 10th place finish for Ricciardo while Kvyat finished outside the points and both drivers were beaten by junior team driver, Max Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz had a bad race with a penalty and mechanical issues to DNF along with McLaren’s Jenson Button.

A fail for Ferrari this weekend who left Raikkonen on the back of the grid and had a pit stop issue for Vettel removing him from the podium as a result.

A fail for Sauber who might have had their best chance to score more points given the amount of attrition in this race but failed to capitalize on the lack of cars on the grid at the finish.


A WTH moment for Raikkonen and his qualifying as well as race crash which once again cost the team valuable points.

A WTH moment for Lewis Hamilton for crossing the pit exit line which was a bit odd for a driver like Lewis. The 5-second penalty didn’t impact his result but could have had Ferrari had their act together.


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Patrick Dinsmoor

I’ll sum up my thoughts on this race with just 2 words: Fell Asleep

peter riva

Me too! Woke to the dog snoring on my lap.

The Captain

Did you know Max Verstappen is only 17?! Decent race, one of NBC’s worst broadcasts. They made me yell at my TV and not in the good way. Let me talk you through it. What the bloody hell is up with NBC’s high school crush on The Seventeen Year Old Max Verstappen? Look, I have nothing against The Seventeen Year Old Max Verstappen, or at least I didn’t. He’s certainly good, looks promising, but has a lot to prove as of yet. But this NBC crush is actually making me kinda not like him. Or at least now I kinda… Read more »

Junipero Mariano

Too bad it’s summer. They could do the Seventeen Year Old Max Verstappen after school special.
Or even have him do one of those PSA’s-When following close behind another competitor, leave a little bit more braking room.
“The More You Know”

Negative Camber

LOL… a 17-year-old after school special for latch-key kids. I love it.

Junipero Mariano

At 5pm you could follow it up with a talk show called the Carmen Jorda Insight Hour.
Primetime would have the Legends of F1 Wedding Planners.

Nigel can't fit get a shoehorn

Lol…there are means beyond NBCSN…Be resourceful…it’s worth it…although there is no way around the idiocy of the world feed…cannot build tension effectively is how I would sum it up. This was a good race. Not a barn burner but a good race. Honestly, what do people expect? All the complaining is getting old.

The Captain

Yea, but the problem with all those other means is that I didn’t spend all that money on a giant plasma TV and surround sound system only to watch the race on a 15 inch laptop screen.


Download the race from a torrent then put on a thumb drive then plug into the tv.
Not live but no comercials.


Right there with you buddy. I have to wait til Jan 16 before I can cancel my cable, so watched the NBC ‘broadcast’ out of convenience. When they spent several minutes talking about 17 year old, I swear I nearly threw something at the TV. I counted 8 commercial breaks during the race, lasting 3 laps per break. That’s 24 laps out of 71 we missed, over a third of.the race. And, that doesn’t even cout the ridiculous ‘bits’ they do, tech analysis, advertising the indycar race, etc. Add that in and we actually don’t see almost half the race.… Read more »

Negative Camber

I’m glad someone did the math, I was beginning to feel like I am missing a lot if the races but hadn’t quantified it yet. Missing 1/3 of the race is just bad for business.

Tom Firth

Honestly though, those complaints of tech segment cutaways and missing that much of a race due to ads, are not unique to F1 broadcasts in the US are they? That’s the same for FOX or ESPN ABC and other motorsport properties.

I don’t disagree it is frustrating, but it’s a whole institutional issue in how motorsport is broadcast in the United States today, that needs to change.

The Captain

I timed the broadcast one of the races earlier this year, but of course can’t find my notes on it. I got really annoyed at the way NBC was doing a back to back commercial break about 2/3 the way through the race. They where doing (on average) a 3min commercial break, then back to the race for 2min then off ‘for another quick’ 3-4min break. They seem to have backed off from that formula a bit the last few races though.

Perhaps I’ll do the next race too and post the results.

Negative Camber

“Youngest F1 driver ever” Just in case you missed that.


And breathe…………..LOL Glad you got that out of your system Captain. Sounds like there is scope for an FBC rantcast on race coverage. I’m feeling pretty lucky that this season we’re getting the full UK sky package, so good coverage of practice, qualification and the race, by a very knowledgeable team, not many ad breaks and much less focus on………. (I won’t even say it, don’t want to tip you over the edge again – but he is the youngest EVER F1 driver), perhaps a bit too much focus on Lewis and Jenson, but otherwise really really good. It just… Read more »

peter riva

There were three of us here all yelling at Diffey to shut the f**k up. Todd is right, one more time “the 17 year old…” the “youngest ever…” – and on and on. God, what amateur coverage. And somebody tell me what they are paying whats-his-name in the paddock for? Can he find SOMEONE at Ferrari to ask if Kimi’s car had that torque problem again? And possible, I don’t know, see if he can talk to SOMEBODY at Williams to ask what happened to Bottas’ brakes (heard a radio broadcast there were issues). Come on, they get PAID to… Read more »


I don’t think that was what Kimi had in mind as far as an element of danger in the sport. I’m glad Kimi and Alonso are OK.

Will Irwin

Agreed. I’m surprised there has not been much attention (NC seems to be one of the few to mention it) on how dangerous accident that was. Fernando’s car could easily have end up on top of Kimi’s head.


I was thinking the same thing. It just had to be the man who got into a dangerous accident that recently voiced the opinion for needing more danger in F1. He son was at the race as well.

Paul KieferJr

7 of 10. Decent amount of passing in the middle, and nice move from Rosberg sticking himself there with Hamilton on the start, then making it pay off in the first turn.


Great save by Maldonado, he’s been improving lately.

Chuck Voelter

Yeah, I counted at least three moments when he could’ve cocked it up good and his quick hands saved him


Brilliant skills, not just the save but the insight to know that would distract Verstappen into a mistake. He’s becoming a wily veteran ;-)


It was a good F1 race. I was very disappointed that Kimi took out Alonso, but glad they are both OK. It was getting exciting with Massa and Vettel. Maldonado was also fun to see make his way up the field into the points.


But seriously, has anyone actually seen Maldonado recently?
I am beginning to think someone else is driving that Lotus. Perhaps Kimi and Pastor have secretly swapped seats

Tom Firth

Yeah, I mean it’s the ‘Red Bull Ring’. Let’s be honest here, if you mention the Austrian Grand Prix to someone who has followed the sport since this configuration began, and the most prominent memory isn’t the racing, it is what happened in 2002 at Ferrari and that kind of sums up this place really. That said the mountains are nice, and the circuit is fairly unforgiving, yet safe so it reminds us of F1 in recent, but not immediate history and that’s good, and this weekend the racing wasn’t bad overall. it had a few intriguing storylines, but yeah,… Read more »


One of the reasons F1 left the shortened track was that the races were usually dull. We got lucky last year, but the track isn’t really conducive to good racing.

Who was it who designed the shortened track (from the original Osterreichring)?

Tom Firth

Everyones favourite F1 designer ….. Hermann Tilke.


Hmmm, could this be connected to the quality of the racing?

Andreas Möller

I’m usually upbeat about the races when others say it was a processional dull snooze-fest. This time I just don’t know what to say. Yes, there were some scraps down the field. But somehow there was no story to them – they didn’t seem part of an ongoing “race from the back” type effort that the TV producers were following (like the times one of the front runners has started from the back or the pitlane). I don’t know if that was because there were no hero drives from the rear, if it was just that the TV production missed… Read more »

peter riva

Very good insight… but you mised the 10 (yes count them 10!) comments that “Kimi is fighting for his seat…”
Says who? Since those three do NO journalism that I can see, sitting in Virginia (or wherever they are now) – why should we believe that BS? Oh, no, wait, they said it 10 times so it must be true!
Just like last year when they said Alonso was never going to McLaren…

Andreas Möller

Ah, you’re referring to the NBC broadcast? Sadly (or not) I haven’t had the privilege of watching that. Perhaps I should, just to see if it’s really as bad as they say. But losing a third of the race to commercials? No thanks :-)

Daniel Johnson

Looks like Grace wins the first out by a couple of feet. At this rate Alonso might be her pool boy next year not Button…..oh who am I kidding, she’ll probably buy another pool just for Alonso to tend to.

Negative Camber

I’ll call BS on that one, Kimi was 1st out. It was his car that got wonky and went off track into the wall. Alonso was byproduct.

The Captain

If this becomes an actual argument then you must record it and put it at the beginning of the next podcast.

Andreas Möller

I can definitely see that point. However, the official race results (as well as the position ticker that ran during the race) has Alonso dead last among the retirements, which would suggest he is considered first out. Although I doubt they’ve spent much time deliberating that point :-) I agree with The Captain – I’d love to hear that argument in the podcast.

peter riva

From the BBC: “Raikkonen nevertheless looked in control as he straightened up for the long run down to turn three, but the engine note of his Ferrari told a different tale. As he accelerated through the gears, his soft Pirelli tyres were struggling for traction, and just before he crossed the DRS activation line the first telltale signs of a loose rear end became evident as Raikkonen turned the wheel sharp left. A second, more pronounced, correction followed a split second later, at which point the game was up. A snap correction to the right was the prelude to the… Read more »


I found it interesting that Hamilton couldn’t close in on Rosberg once he got behind. From the races last year, and the wildly pro-Hamilton UK forums, the expectation has been that Hamilton would be able to chase down and pass Rosberg. Instead the following car seemed to be unable to close and pass


It wasn’t just Hamilton that struggled in Austria compared to his lower rated team mate. Bottas and Grosjean didn’t look as impressive as their ‘number two’ team mates. It may be the low grip nature of the circuit that penalizes those drivers who take more speed into the corners?


Interesing observation MIE, there was certainly lots of mention of the being a low grip circuit. I’d be tempted to agree about it favoring lower cornering force drivers, if it wasn’t for Maldonado’s high placing, and perez being places behind hulkenberg. Anyway food for thought as usual, thanks.