Austrian Grand Prix Returns to Red Bull Ring
The long-awaited return of the Austrian Grand Prix, an event which has not been in the Formula One calendar since 2003 was held on the newly re-branded Red Bull Ring.
Williams locked out the front row of qualifying against the red-hot Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, something which has seemed impossible so far this season, and Felipe Massa enjoyed his first pole position since 2008.
As the race progressed, though, it was clear that the Silver Arrows were not going to take no for an answer and after the first tyre changes Nico Rosberg, closely followed by teammate Lewis Hamilton, had sped past the Williams cars to resume their usual
places at the front of the pack.
Was it a Hollow Ring for Red Bull?
Red Bull’s home Grand Prix was a decidedly lacklustre one, far from the victory celebrations following Ricciardo’s victory in the last GP.
The main team’s star driver and defending champion Sebastian Vettel failed to reach Q3, and then experienced drive issues during the race and spent most of it a lap behind; he was forced to retire halfway through.
After a star-studded performance in Canada, Daniel Ricciardo lagged behind the others a little and just managed to scrape into the points in 8th place. Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso had an even worse time, with both cars retiring because of technical issues.
Mercedes, though, still looked unstoppable and the result was as expected for the powerhouse German team; Rosberg was first to pass the chequered flag, with Hamilton nipping closely at his heels.
The Williams cars, though, produced an outstanding performance following their excellent qualifying results, making the most of their superior Mercedes engine power.
Felipe Massa managed to successfully hold off the advances of his old teammate Alonso to come in fourth, and Valtteri Bottas achieved the first ever podium of his career, coming home just ahead of his teammate to take third.
A Pair of Silver Arrows for Silverstone?
So, it was business as usual for Mercedes – Rosberg has now opened that points gap from Hamilton even more, and Lewis will have to work hard to take back the lead.
Williams, the team which only scored five points last season, has come roaring back with a vengeance and their sudden surge in performance could prove a challenge to Mercedes in the weeks to come.
Red Bull will also be hoping for a comeback following a mediocre start to the season and a disastrous race at home in Austria.
All eyes now look to Silverstone and the British Grand Prix – will Lewis Hamilton make it a British victory and give a lift to this sporting nation? Will Williams make it a win for a British team?
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