Valtteri Bottas for a second time on the top step of the podium

The Finn won the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg ahead of Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari) and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing).  (Photo source: f1fanatic.com)

After this year’s race at Sochi, Bottas secured his second victory in Formula One. It was a tight victory as second-placed Sebastian Vettel was only 0.7 seconds behind. Already on the podium, the German told that he is not entirely happy as he wanted to win the race and it is a bit disappointing when you “finish that close”, but the Ferrari driver should not be too frustrated as he extends the lead in the championship.

Pole man Bottas had an incredible, but much discussed start and was able to build up a gap of more than eight seconds on Vettel before the first pit stop. After his stop, he joined the race behind Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen, who delayed his first tyre change. If Ferraris plan was to slow down Valtteri Bottas it didn’t work out very well, because Räikkönen was overtaken very fast and even lost a position against Hamilton, who was just 1.3 seconds behind him as he entered the pits.

As written earlier, the point of discussion was Bottas’s start, which was a jump start for some and a perfect one for others. Sebastian Vettel on the start situation:

We were all convinced it was not okay. I asked a few times, but apparently it was okay. The reaction times are normal others, and I do not think that all today were so much slower and Valtteri was so much faster. I have the strong belief that it was a spring break, but it has now turned out that it was probably not so. His reaction time was inhuman.

Daniel Ricciardo told his box that he has the same assumption and asked to check that issue. After viewing the TV pictures the stewards decided that it was not a jump start. Valterri Bottas himself told that he thinks that “it was the start of my life.”

The Australian Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium on P3 and strikes five podiums in a row. Traditionally, he celebrated the podium with his famous “Shoey”. He wanted to share it with winner Valtteri Bottas, but the Fin refused it. Only Martin Brundle took a small sip and told this shoe should be used for charity purposes.

Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen had a short race as he was involved in a start incident caused by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. The Russian tapped Alonso’s Mclaren on the right rear tyre and consequently, the Spaniard drove into Max’ Red Bull.

The Dutch retired five times during the last seven races and here’s what he had to say about today’s event:

The FIA saw in Kvyat as the one clearly to blame for the accident and punished him with a “Drive through” penalty. The Toro Rosso driver explained his point of view after the race:

Lewis Hamilton was not on the podium in Austria but was able to limit the damage after starting from P8 by crossing the finish line as fourth. Now, the Brit is 20 points behind Vettel and teammate Bottas is only 15 points behind. After the race, the Finn admitted that he believes that he has a chance to win the title this year and is ready to fight for it. Hamilton was happy that the weekend is over and is looking forward to his home round next week in Silverstone.

The TOP 10 were completed by Kimi Räikkönen (5.) (Scuderia Ferrari), Romain Grosjean (Haas F1 Team), Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon (both Sahara Force India F1 Team), Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll (Williams Martini Racing).

It was a successful weekend for the French Grosjean. During the last races, he had to face many problems with his Haas, mostly because of the brakes.

It was a really strong race. I had a really good first lap and was enjoying the racing for a little bit. Lewis (Hamilton) and Kimi (Räikkönen) got past, but I focused on keeping Sergio (Perez) behind. We pushed hard all the way and that’s the racing we like. It was a great race and a great job by all the guys. I was happy with the car all weekend long. There are a few things we need to improve, but today we were the best of the rest. We showed that when we get everything to work on the car we’re strong. It’s the experience of getting everything working in the window all the time that we’re missing a little bit. This was only our 30th race ever, so we can’t have everything. I’m looking forward to the next race. Silverstone’s going to be fun.

Both Sahara Force India drivers should be happy as well. After Canada and Azerbaijan, they both had didn’t crossed their paths this time. The team was able to strengthen its fourth position and is now 49 points ahead of Williams.

Perez:

Finishing seventh is a great result for the team and a nice reward considering how difficult this weekend has been for us. We struggled in practice, but come qualifying and the race we were quite strong and we came home with some good points. It wasn’t the easiest of races for me. I made a good start, but I lost places to both Esteban and Lewis [Hamilton] at turn one. Thankfully I was able to pass them both at turn three and regain my starting position. I suffered from a lot of front graining in my first stint, but after the pit stop I was able to settle down into a rhythm, even though it wasn’t enough to attack Grosjean. We had very similar pace to him so we couldn’t get any closer. It has been a difficult weekend, but we recovered well and we can be happy with the outcome. Now our focus shifts to Silverstone. I really can’t wait to try these 2017 cars on the fastest track on the calendar.

Ocon:

I’m pleased with the points we’ve scored today and it was a strong race for the team. I made a good start and gained a couple of positions, but I was behind Lewis [Hamilton] going into turn three and got squeezed, which meant I had to ease off and lost momentum. Then it was just a case of keeping my head down and being consistent with my laptimes. I don’t think we went the right way with the strategy because I lost a lot of time to Massa after my stop and we just need to review things and see if we could have done anything differently. It’s not been the easiest of weekends for us, but we’ve worked hard and it’s satisfying to come away with good points even when things are not going perfectly. I think we showed our strength as a team.

After yesterday’s disaster (starting positions 17 and 18) the Brazilian Felipe Massa and the Canadian Lance Stroll could add three more points to Williams’ championship score.

Massa:

For sure you cannot celebrate a ninth position but starting 17th it was a fantastic race for me. I had a really good start, getting through the issues that were happening in corner one, and overtaking cars. It was a fantastic first lap as the pace was great, compared to qualifying, which is something we need to work to understand so that we don’t repeat starting out of position like today. At the end of the race it was a bit disappointing not to be able to pass Ocon, but I was just losing a lot of grip in the high-speed corners behind him, and he had good speed on the straight so it was quite difficult. I’m so happy with my race and it’s good to have both cars in the points.

Stroll:

It goes to show anything can happen in a race and it is not over on a Saturday. I am feeling very positive as I started 18th, finished 10th and picked up another point. It wasn’t an easy race, although the start was good and we managed to gain some places. I knew after the start we were in a good position, so it was just a matter of staying focussed, not making any mistakes and saving the brakes and tyres towards the end of the race. First, there was Magnussen putting pressure on me and then at the end Palmer, but I just needed to defend as I know around here it is quite difficult to overtake. We just need to figure out what happened to us this weekend in qualifying and try to cure it for the next race. The next race is Silverstone, the home race for the team, so I am really looking forward to it.

See the full race results below:

Pos. Driver Team Time  
1. V. Bottas Mercedes 1:21:48.527  
2. S. Vettel Ferrari +0.658  
3. D. Ricciardo Red Bull +6.012  
4. L. Hamilton Mercedes +7.430  
5. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +20.370  
6. R. Grosjean Haas +1:06.281  
7. S. Pérez Force India +1 Lap  
8. E. Ocon Force India +1 Lap  
9. F. Massa Williams +1 Lap  
10. L. Stroll Williams +1 Lap  
11. J. Palmer Renault +1 Lap  
12. S. Vandoorne McLaren +1 Lap  
13. N. Hulkenberg Renault +1 Lap  
14. P. Wehrlein Sauber +1 Lap  
15. M. Ericsson Sauber +2 Laps  
16. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +3 Laps  
  Did not finish      
17. C. Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso +27 Laps  
18. K. Magnussen Haas +42 Laps  
19. F. Alonso McLaren +70 Laps  
20. M. Verstappen Red Bull +71 Laps  

You can check the Drivers’ Championship and the Constructors’ Championship by clicking on the respective links.

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