Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

F1 encyclopedia

Austrian Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitRed Bull Ring
TimezoneGMT +02:00
Race debut1963
Length4.326 km
Distance307.020 km
Line offset0.126 km

Mercedes were still showing signs of weakness in Austria, with qualifying dramas that allowed the Williams pair to secure the front row of the grid. They fought well in the race, with Red Bull and Toro Rosso suffering the most in terms of reliability troubles. With inter-team battles dominating the field, the racing in Austria was good enough to celebrate the return of the track to the F1 calendar.

Event overview

Building up to qualifying in Austria, Mercedes were still dominant but their cars were starting to show signs of wear and tear. A couple of energy recovery problems halted their practice programme, but they were still leaps and bounds above everyone else.

In the first session of qualifying, Pastor Maldonado suffered a loss of power that saw him in the bottom six during the initial flying laps. However, the Venezuelan recovered to improve, leaving the two Sauber drivers to drop out along with Marussia and Caterham. Q2 looked as though it would have no major surprises, until the point that Sebastian Vettel dropped into the bottom six and couldn’t do anything to haul himself out again.

The defending championship dropped out of qualifying, taking 13th place, behind Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button. That left Daniel Ricciardo as the sole Red Bull representative in the final top ten shoot-out. The Mercedes duo were fast, but they weren’t fast enough to keep Williams off the top spot. Lewis Hamilton was on a flying lap but ran wide and had his time disallowed, however it wouldn’t have been fast enough to secure him the top spot anyway. On his next attempt, he ran off track which left him without a time.

Nico Rosberg was able to set a time but he couldn’t improve on his own position and ended up third behind both the Williams drivers. Bottas had the edge on his teammate on their first attempt, but it was the other way round during the final flying laps, giving Felipe Massa pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix - his first since Brazil 2008.

A couple of drivers had penalties, including Sergio Pérez for the crash with Massa in Canada, Max Chilton for his inter-team crash with Bianchi, and Romain Grosjean for a gearbox change. After a brief formation lap, the race began, and Nico Rosberg immediately passed Valtteri Bottas to move into second place, only for the Williams driver to muscle his way back before the end of the first lap. Felipe Massa retained his lead into the first corner, whilst Lewis Hamilton had a storming start to jump up to fourth place behind his teammate.

On the second lap, Sebastian Vettel slowed right down, reporting a loss of power over the radio, and attempting to crawl back to the pit lane. After dropping to the rear of the field, Vettel suddenly picked up the pace. “For some reason, I got drive again,” he told the pit wall. As a precautionary measure, fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was informed not to use the overtake button for the remainder of the race.

During the first round of pit stops, Esteban Gutiérrez came to a halt in the pit lane, forcing the mechanics to push the car out of the way. One of the tyres hadn’t been attached correctly but the problem was quickly resolved although Esteban was given a 10 second stop/go penalty for the unsafe release. Felipe Massa’s pit stop had no major problems but just wasn’t quick enough. He rejoined the action behind Rosberg and soon lost out a position to Hamilton as well, putting him effectively third. Bottas’ pit stop put him in second place, ahead of his teammate.

Daniil Kvyat ran off track into the gravel, wrecking his tyres and retiring from the race. Pérez was also struggling for grip, with both Rosberg and Bottas overtaking him in just a handful of corners. He wisely opted to pit before finding himself battling for position with Massa for the second race in a row. Sebastian Vettel was in for an unscheduled pit stop after contact with Gutiérrez, the nose was quickly swapped for a fresh one and the German rejoined the action in last place. After just a couple more laps, he was recalled back to the pit lane and retired from the race.

Sergio Pérez requested team orders to get past Nico Hülkenberg, and then pitted again after a very brief battle with Massa. Rosberg was left wondering who he was racing. “What do I have to do?” he asked after a second round of pit stops put him effectively in the lead with Lewis Hamilton behind him. Valtteri Bottas lost out, dropping down to third place. Vergne retired to the pit lane with a brake problem, meaning a double DNF for Toro Rosso.

There were no changes in the final few laps, with Nico Rosberg taking victory over his teammate and Valtteri Bottas finishing on the podium to pick up his first ever F1 trophy.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
20 JunFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
21 JunSaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
22 JunSundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00

All content in the series Austria 2014