F.1 – Austrian Gp: THE POINT… by Gian Carlo Minardi
The Austrian Grand Prix ends quickly with the new Mercedes’ double. This time, Nico Rosberg win over his teammate that closes in second position, before Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg was perfect throughout the weekend, taking the lead of the race a few meters away from the start, leaving behind Lewis and the Ferrari driver, maintaining the first position until the end. As we expected, the two Mercedes were the focus of the whole race, with Vettel trying to keep up the pace, racing constantly with interesting chronometric results, just a few tenths behind Hamilton.
The pit stops of the top-four were opened by Nico Rosberg at the 34th lap, followed by Massa, Hamilton and Vettel, who stopped to switch to the yellow-Soft compound at the 37th lap. He slipped the change of the podium because of a problem with the right rear tyre, which is repeated for the second time this year, finishing behind the former Ferrari driver. It was not a perfect stop also for the World Champion, who touched the white line getting back on track. As on Saturday in Q3, Hamilton committed some imprecisions under pression, but they were just painless mistakes, because the 5” penalty guaranteed a second place, given the good lead over Williams. Thanks to the soft tires, Rosberg also signed the fastest lap in the race, with a 1.11.235.
Sebastian Vettel, with the only Ferrari remained in the race after Raikkonen and Alonso’s crash in the early stages, tried to go for broke to close at 6 dec from Massa, ahead of Bottas, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Verstappen, Perez and Ricciardo.
We experienced a very exciting comeback with Sergio Perez that recovered till the ninth position. Hulkenberg’s sixth placement completed the great weekend of Force India. Toro Rosso gained again important points through Max Verstappen, the author of an amazing overtaking against Kvyat’s Red Bull, which closed the race in the eighth position, with Daniel Ricciardo who gave up also to Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus in the long straights of the Ring.
This will be a grand Prix to be remembered for the record of penalties (70 positions in total) given to the drivers of McLaren, Toro Rosso and Red Bull for Power Unit’s replacement. Some of them turned into drive-through and stop&go of 10 seconds. A record that could be beaten again and let us understand the problems of Honda and Renault, making race’s results difficult to read for all fans.
Also this year the Legends Parade took place, dedicated to the 80’s turbo cars. I experienced wonderful moments of my past, reviewing some cars that have colored the 80’s with the drivers who made history, such as Lauda, Piquet, Prost, Alesi, Patrese and our Pierluigi Martini, at the wheel of the Minardi M186. Together with them, there were also the actors of motorsport history as Brenda, the Secretary of Mr. Enzo Ferrari and the “father” of BMW engines, Paul Roche. Congratulations and thank to Red Bull for making the public relive these incredible emotions.
Gian Carlo Minardi