Austrian GP - Sunday - Race Notes

Bottas wins Austrian GP

Valtteri Bottas, Austrian GP 2017

Valtteri Bottas, Austrian GP 2017 

 © RV Press

 

By Mark Karp

Valtteri Bottas has a strong drive to win in Austria today in his Mercedes GP, 0.6 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull finished 6.0 seconds behind in third place, just beating out Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes in fourth place, 1.4s further back, after starting in eighth with a gearbox change.

The win is Botttas second of the season. Vettel extends his championship lead to 20 points over Hamilton in second, and Bottas jumps up to third, 35 points behind Vettel. Mercedes leads Ferrari by 33 points in the constructors championship.

Kimi Raikkonen (20.3s) in the second Ferrari finished in fifth, followed by Romain Grosjean (73.1s) in the Haas-Ferrari was sixth, Sergio Perez (1 lap) in the Force India-Mercedes was seventh, his team mate Esteban Ocon was eighth, Felipe Massa in the Williams-Mercedes was ninth, and his team mate Lance Stroll in his third straight points scoring finish in tenth place.

Before the start the weather was uncertain - with fears that it might rain during the race - race control saying there is a 60% chance for rain.

Bottas sat on pole, with Vettel and Raikkonen in the Ferrari’s second and third, Ricciardo and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull in fourth and fifth, Grosjean in sixth, Perez in seventh, and Hamilton in eighth with a five-grid spot penalty.

The top runners would start on ultra soft tyres, while Hamilton starting on super soft tyres can run longer the first stint.

At the appointed time, the cars left the grid for the formation lap - the lights went off and the race began with Bottas taking the lead from Vettel, At the first corner Kvyat hits Alonso, who in a chain reaction hits and spins Verstappen. At turn three Raikkonen runs wide. At the end of lap 1 Bottas leads Vettel, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Perez, Hamilton, Ocon, Massa and Carlos Sainz in tenth. Verstappen limps back to the pits and retires along with Fernando Alonso.

Vettel tells Ferrari, “I think he jumped the start,” referring to Bottas. The replay shows Bottas with a quick start just at the right time.

On lap 2 Raikkonen passes Grosjean to come back to fourth place.

On lap 6 Bottas sets fastest lap at 1m09.138 and leads Vettel by three seconds.

On lap 8 Hamilton sets up and passes Grosjean for fifth place.

On lap 10 race control hands a drive-through penalty to Kvyat for causing the first lap accident.

At lap 10 Bottas leads Vettel by 4.6 seconds, followed by Ricciardo (7.8s), Raikkonen (12.3s), Hamilton (16.2s), Grosjean (20.5s), Perez (22.4s), Ocon (24.2s), Massa (25.9s) and Stroll (29.8s) in tenth place.

Hamilton complains to the team that his car is oversteering.

On lap 16 Nico Hulkenberg pits for super soft tyres.

Raikkonen complains of a blister on his left-front tyre.

Hamilton is closing in on Raikkonen in fourth place.

At lap 20 Bottas leads Vettel by 5.7 seconds, followed by Ricciardo (9.6s), Raikkonen (16.1s), Hamilton (16.7s), Grosjean (30.9s), Perez (32.6s), Ocon (34.4s), Massa (38.9s) and Stroll (44.5s) in tenth place.

Kevin Magnussen closes on Stroll in tenth.

On lap 22 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m08.959s, while Mercedes tells Hamilton that his left brake temperature is climbing.

On lap 25 Bottas sets another fast lap at 1m08.777s.

On lap 30 Magnussen’s Haas is smoking - he compains of losing the power steering, and he retires.

On lap 31 Hamilton is the first to pit, switching to ultra soft tyres, rejoining still in fifth place.

Vettel complains that he is a vibration with his current tyres.

On lap 33 Ricciardo pits from third for super soft tyres.

Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m07.867s.

On lap 34 Vettel pits and switches to super soft tyres.

At half distance, at 35 laps Bottas leads Raikkonen by 19.5 seconds, followed by Vettel (28.3s), Rcciardo (32.9s), Hamilton (35.9s), Grosjean (44.5s), Ocon (48.8s), Massa (55.8s), Perez (68.9s) and Sainz (1 lap) in tenth place.

Stroll pits for ultra soft tyres, the next lap Grosjean pits from sixth for super soft tyres.

Perez pits for super soft tyres.

Hamilton complains to the team that he has too much front wing.

On lap 41 Bottas pits from the lead and switches to super soft tyres, Raikkonen, yet to pit, takes over the lead.

The next lap Ocon pits for super soft tyres, and rejoins in ninth place.

Ferrari tells Raikkonen, “keep pushing as you are doing a good job.”

On lap 44 Raikkonen pits from the lead and switches to super soft tyres, and rejoins in fifth behind Hamilton. Toro Rosso radios Sainz and tells him to pit and retire the car.

On lap 47 Massa pits and switches to soft tyres.

Ferrari tells Raikkonen that Hamilton’s tyres are starting to degrade and he might be able to catch the Mercedes.

At lap 50 Bottas continues to lead Vettel by 4.0 seconds, followed by Ricciardo (9.9s), Hamilton (13.8s), Raikkonen (21.9s), Grosjean (52.6s), Perez (57.3s), Ocon (64.1s), Massa (65.6s) and Stroll (1 lap) in tenth place.

On lap 50 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m07.713s.

Hamilton complains to the team “I’m struggling out here.”

On lap 54 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m07.680s.

Hamilton’s is closing the gap to Ricciardo in third - down to 2.6 seconds.

On lap 59 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m07.571s.

At lap 60 Bottas continues to lead over Vettel by 2.8 seconds, followed by Ricciardo (9.0s), Hamilton (10.9s), Raikkonen (23.1s), Grosjean (60.4s), Perez (63.3s), Ocon (1 lap), Massa and Stroll in tenth place.

On lap 61 Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m07.511s, and closes to 1.2 seconds behind Ricciardo. Bottas leads Vettel by 2.7 seconds.

Hamilton tells Mercedes, “keep an eye on these tyres - I am worried about them.”

On lap 65 Perez complains that he sees drops of rain. Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m07.424s.

On lap 68 Vettel closes to under a second behind Bottas.

Bottas has visible graining on his left-rear tyre.

On lap 69 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m07.411s, as he battles with Ricciardo for third place.

Vettel continue to close on Bottas.

Bottas holds the position and wins the race ahead of Vettel, Ricciardo and Hamilton.


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