Formula One visited Austria for the first time in eleven years on Sunday and it was an interesting race. At first it appeared as if a team other than Mercedes would be performing extremely well when Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas qualified on the front row. This was Massa’s first pole since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix as well as Bottas’ best career start. However, Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, who started 3rd and 9th respectively, were quick to catch up and began challenging the two Williams drivers almost immediately. Massa was the first of the Williams drivers to lose positions when he fell to fourth after an early lead when pit stops ended and was unable to regain the spots he lost. Bottas, on the other hand, continuously challenged the leaders and was able to hold on to third place for the rest of the race.
Not all drivers had as spectacular of a race as the Williams and Mercedes drivers, however. On only the second lap, current champion Sebastian Vettel lost drive when he tried to use his overtake button and pulled to the side of the track. He was able to restart his car and rejoin the race but not before he was lapped several times by the rest of the field. Soon after, Vettel damaged the nose of his car when he clipped the left rear tire of Esteban Gutierrez in an overtake attempt. Eventually, his day was done early when he had to retire on lap 36 due to problems with the car.
Also having an unfortunate race was Esteban Gutierrez, whose race was basically ended by a bad pit stop. During his first stop of the day, he was released while his mechanics were still fixing his right rear tire. It was determined to be an unsafe release and Gutierrez was given a 10 second stop-and-go penalty during the race. Race officials also decided to give him a 10 place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix on July 6th for the same unsafe release.
Nico Rosberg was the race winner with Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, and Fernando Alonso rounding out the top five. This was Bottas’ best career finish and first career podium in F1.