Five Thoughts on…F1’s 2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Read time: 7 mins

“Rosberg wins, but Lewis Hamilton steals the show.”

Well, this had the potential to be a humdinger, especially after the topsy-turvy qualifying result, but it ended up being a rather docile affair, for a number of reasons. But still, let’s take a little look and wrap up some thoughts on Formula 1’s first Austrian Grand Prix for 11 years.


 

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Rosberg does the job, but Hamilton steals the show

Nico Rosberg wasn’t put off by the two Williams in front of him, instead took his time, took advantage of some Williams strategy flaws, got ahead and stayed ahead, despite the Sergio Perez roadblock rearing its head again. It was the Catalan and Bahrain races again, only this time in reverse as Rosberg did just enough at the end to get the win from an attacking Hamilton who had used less fuel over the course of the race. (One of his stronger assets now)

However, it was Lewis Hamilton who had stole the show from 9th place, with one of the best starts I’ve seen in years. He was 4th by the end of Lap 2, with an astonishing pass on Fernando Alonso through Turn 8, one of the best of the year so far. He got through the Williams and by the end, was within DRS range on Nico for the win. If he was a little luckier on the pitstops he may have been able to win… More on that in a bit.

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Williams Were Too Darn Conservative

*sighs* I like Williams, and I really want them to do well. My former radio boss was effectively telling me: “Williams is like everyone’s 2nd favourite team.”. So it frustrates me that in my eyes, for the third time this season, and for the 2nd time in two races, they messed up what could have been at worst, a shot at the win.

I don’t know why when you’re Williams, a team that has had issues with tyre wear all season, you CHOOSE to go longer, and give your opponents Mercedes a chance to rack up more than on free out lap, when you know they’re probably faster than you in clean air. All Williams had to do, would be to pit immediately afterwards and using the 2.5 second lead they had, come out in front and keep track position – Which is what should have been Williams priority given how hard it was to pass. [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”The 3rd fastest pit-stop ever…”]Only the 2.1 second MONSTER stop[/fusion_tooltip] from the team on Bottas saved him from the same problem.

This isn’t the first time Williams have shot themselves in the leg – I mentioned before how Bottas was nailed out of a potential podium in Spain by running longer than Daniel Ricciardo and then losing out heavily on the undercut, and then in Canada where Massa could have had an easy win if he 1-stopped instead of 2 knowing Perez would back up the faster attackers while Rosberg was crippled.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why they did it, they were gifted a golden carrot of a front row lockout, and knowing they had the fastest cars in the field in a straight line, played it safe and took the 27 points for an easy 3rd and 4th, but I can’t help but shake the feeling of; “Screw it, grab those Mercs by the nuts and freaking go for it!”

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Pit stops, conspiracy theories, Lewis Hamilton and you

A lot of people have been drawing attention to the close finish and have come up with the theory of Lewis Hamilton missing out on the win because his pit stops were slower than Nico’s, even to the point where some were suggesting that Mercedes were doing this on purpose to favour Rosberg. Why? Because German driver, German team, y’know?

Now, I hate even entertaining conspiracy theories at the best of times, but for this one, I’m going to humour it.

What people fail to realize, is that Hamilton overshot the pit box on his 1st stop, losing that precious second that Sky seem to think cost him the win, as his team had to readjust to fit his overshot car.

As for the the possibility of bias, first of all, you should all love Mercedes… They’ve already publicly said they do NOT issue Team Orders, and they’ve always felt they have a moral duty to entertain the fans by letting their drivers race. They push super hard for BOTH their drivers and I’ve never seen any evidence to suggest otherwise…

…And for those mentioning Rosberg having constantly better pit stops, there’s not a single factual argument that suggests the team would be doing this on purpose. It’s just coincidence. Why? Because the pit crews are human beings too, they’re not going to be consistent, ever, because human error is the only constant. Robot’s don’t carry out the stops; which would cancel out said error.

I’m not denying Hamilton’s stops denied him a better chance of winning, but to flat out say it cost him the win yesterday is just plain silly. Especially [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”SEGWAY ALERT”]given Austria’s nature[/fusion_tooltip]…

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I’m not convinced Austria’s fits Modern F1…

Yeah, I think the FIA messed up a bit on this one. Not for bringing back Austria itself, it looked great on TV with the woodland scenery and the Red Bull sponsorship has definitely spruced the place up a bit, but for me, the way the FIA did the DRS zones hampered the race. I bet they thought the cars slipstream would be enough alone to pass on that 2nd straight between Turns 1 and 2, so they left that alone and slapped 2 DRS Zones on the home straight and the straight between Turns 2 and 3, and it just didn’t work. The straights aren’t long enough even for DRS to take effect, and I think passing into Turn 1 is just flat out difficult without “track extending”.

For next year, they need to move those DRS Zones around a little bit if you ask me. [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Balls. Grapefruits. Nuts. Any word can describe balls. (Or boobs.)”]I applaud the cojones[/fusion_tooltip] of Daniel Ricciardo, Dannil Kyvat and Lewis Hamilton for somehow pulling off passes through Turns 5 and 8, because this REALLY isn’t a track for passing and the 2nd half of the grand prix was a basic procession.

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Sky Sports F1, My patience is wearing thin…

Okay, this won’t apply to anyone who didn’t watch on their coverage, but this weekend really ground my gears with Sky Sports F1. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of their coverage at the best of times, but most of the time, they’re passable. To be honest, I’ve mentioned before how [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”By favour I mean, kiss his ass for breakfast, lunch and dinner…”]strongly they “favour” Lewis Hamilton before[/fusion_tooltip], especially around the Monaco incident, but it seems to have carried over into other parts of their coverage, like David Croft’s commentary.

He was a minor annoyance in Qualifying when they were desperate to hype up William’s qualifying pace as a threat to Mercedes when they really weren’t, but during the race, the constant brown-nosing of Hamilton got really grating. Saying things like: “Can he make a pass on Bottas into Turn 2!!!!!”, when Bottas is half a second back and 10 car lengths away. Like what?!

The usual post-race Hamilton talk ensued, completely glossing over Rosberg’s performance, and Bottas’ podium, not to mention, the embarassing moment of Simon Lazenby trying to get Toto Wolff into doing an Arnold impression, as well as start to stir the pot that the team might starting favouring Rosberg, because…speculation? CRINGE.

I know, ragging on the media makes me a bit of a hypocrite, as it’s a sector I’m aspiring to get into, but for me, media is SO IMPORTANT. These are the middle man, that are there to entertain, but also relay and inform the viewing audience, these are meant to be people we can trust and respect, especially for the casual fans who are channel hopping, or just have a passing interest. When silly things like this happen, you have to question their journalistic and broadcasting integrity.

Like I said, media is important. Especially as the sport moves in a new direction with Turbo and tech power. Let’s get it right people.


 

Let me know what you thought of the Austrian Grand Prix, and I hope you enjoyed it, thanks for reading![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Dre Harrison, 28 year old Bookies Manager and hobbyist Motorsport journalist. Lover of sneakers and sports, but refuses to stick to it.

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