Rosberg cruises to Austrian GP victory

By on Sunday, June 21, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Nico Rosberg cruised to his second successive Austrian Grand Prix and his third from the last four races as he beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring.

Rosberg was quicker than Hamilton off the line and once into the lead never looked troubled, as Hamilton remained adrift of his rival throughout proceedings.

Hamilton’s slim prospects were dented further when he as handed a time penalty for crossing the white line at the pit exit following his stop.

Felipe Massa collected his first podium of the season in third place, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg claimed the lead into Turn 1 from Hamilton and the Brit tried to respond into Turn 2 but had to settle for second before the Safety Car was deployed following a large crash between Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso.

Räikkönen lost control of his Ferrari on the exit of Turn 2 and as he speared left he collected Alonso, who was pushed into the barriers before vaulting onto the front section of Räikkönen’s car.

Both drivers were able to walk away from the frightening looking collision and the race resumed after six laps behind the Safety Car.

Upon the restart Rosberg immediately surged clear, opening up a lead of 1.5 seconds across the first green flag lap.

Rosberg stretched his advantage to as much as 3.8 seconds, before Hamilton gradually began to reel in his team-mate as the pit stop phrase approached, aided by Rosberg running deep into Turn 2 on the lap before his stop.

Rosberg stopped on lap 33, with Hamilton following suit two laps later, the gap between them up to 4.2 seconds. However, Hamilton crossed the white line at the pit exit and was handed a five second time penalty.

That left Sebastian Vettel briefly in the lead, though he lost 10 seconds when his right rear wheel took a long time to attach.

Thanks to Vettel’s delay, Massa moved up to third during the pit phase, demoting Vettel to fourth.

Vettel closed the gap across the final stint of the race and came across the line within 0.6s, but had to settle for fourth.

Valtteri Bottas spent the early stages of the race dicing with Nico Hülkenberg and eventually got through to take fifth, with Hülkenberg in sixth.

Pastor Maldonado saved a wild moment on the pit straight while battling Max Verstappen to take seventh, leaving the Dutch youngster to take his first points since Malaysia with eighth.

Sergio Pérez and Daniel Ricciardo went Prime/Option and rounded out the top 10.

Felipe Nasr was 11th, while Daniil Kvyat suffered damage early on and took 12th. Marcus Ericsson was hit with a penalty for a jump start and suffered a loss of power on his way to 13th, with Roberto Merhi completing the finishers.

Romain Grosjean spent time battling with Pérez before a gearbox problem forced him to retire, while Carlos Sainz Jr. had a slow stop and a penalty for pit speeding before he suffered a loss of power.

Jenson Button managed only nine laps before his McLaren slowed and he was told to retire, completing another dismal weekend for the squad.

Will Stevens also failed to finish, stopping due to an oil leak after just a couple of laps.

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