For the sixth time in 2014, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team secured a one-two finish as Nico Rosberg led home team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The German’s victory extends his championship lead to 29 points ahead of the Briton.
Rosberg made a good start to slip into second at the first corner but lost that spot on the run down to turn two to Valtteri Bottas’ very quick Williams. He remained calm and overtook both Williams drivers in the first round of pit stops and drove a confident and well-managed race to take his third victory of the season.
“That was an amazing weekend for us here,” said Rosberg. “It was so great to be back again in Austria – for me, it felt almost like being at my home race in Germany! This is a great track, with amazing fans and at the end also with a great result for us.
“I have to thank the team for a great car and a perfect strategy. We chose the aggressive way to pit earlier and to overtake the Williams that way and that worked out quite well. We had to look after our brakes, which was a big job for the whole race. Also this worked out perfectly for me.
“Before the weekend, my target was to extend the lead in the championship, which I achieved. So I can be quite confident before the next home race for our team in Silverstone. A great job also from Williams; they were the second force today. Congratulations to them.”
Team-mate Hamilton made a lightning start and had moved up to the tail of Rosberg by the end of the opening lap, including a great move on the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso at turn eight. He was happy to have reached second after his lowly grid start and now moves on to his home event at Silverstone in two weeks time.
“After what happened yesterday in qualifying, today was all about damage limitation for me, so I’m as happy as I can be with a P2 finish,” said Hamilton. “I have had the pace in the car all weekend here but I wasn’t able to capitalise on that, so getting second place from a bad weekend is pretty good, I guess.
“I had a rocket start – it’s something we’ve be working hard on all year and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. You can’t ever plan what’s going to happen but I managed to put the car in all the right places and climb to P4 by the end of the first lap. We were managing the brakes a lot today, because I was in traffic for most of the race and it was the most important thing to bring the car home, so that was a real balancing act.
“The strategy worked really well for me to get into second position, then I tried to start pushing Nico – but he didn’t make any mistakes and I didn’t have the chance to overtake. The guys did a fantastic job today to get us another one-two and the fans here in Austria have been insane. Next race is in Silverstone and all the positive energy from my home fans; it will be a special time and I’ll be going all out for the win.”
Executive Director of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff was overjoyed to see his drivers claim first and second in Austria, especially after the issues they had in qualifying. He admitted both drivers were forced to manage both their brakes and engines as they feared a repeat of the Canadian Grand Prix where a definite win was lost.
“A fantastic result for us here in Austria and we are just delighted to get a one-two finish today,” said Wolff. “The race was all about management: managing the brakes because this is such a tough circuit for them, and also looking after the Power Unit to make sure we didn’t have any repeat of the problems in Canada.
“Nico and Lewis did an incredible job – a controlled drive from Nico, where he let the race come to him and let our strategy play out, which worked really well; then a really typical dynamic drive from Lewis, who just did an amazing first lap to climb from 9th to 4th. After that, the guys pushed each other hard but we made sure to bring the cars home, too.
“It’s a great day for the team to take another one-two finish and congratulations, too, to our partners at Williams, who made it four Mercedes Benz engines in the top four this afternoon.”