Last year at the Red Bull Ring, Lewis Hamilton took pole position but it was Nico Rosberg who took victory. In a script that would be very in keeping with how this season has gone, Hamilton was slow off the line, Rosberg led into turn one and never looked back – winning by 8.8 seconds over Hamilton, who was dealt a five second time penalty.
Sebastian Vettel qualified in thrid, but a slow tyre change from Ferrari cost him a podium as he was beaten by the Williams of Felipe Massa. Having qualified in fourth, the veteran Brazilian had to fend off a late charge from Vettel who was unable to find a way past in the closing laps.
It was a weekend to forget for Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari. After a miscalculation he messed up his runs on a damp track in Q1, leaving him 18th on the grid. His situation improved after both the McLaren’s, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, were penalised a combined 50 grid places for changing engine parts and gearboxes. Coming out of turn two, Raikkonen suffered wheel spin which caused him to veer into Fernando Alonso, the two hit the wall in tandem and travelled down the grass, with the McLaren on top of the Ferrari just inches from the Finnish driver’s head. Luckily, both walked away unscathed.
Also amongst the non-finishers were Jenson Button, who lost power despite his many engine part changes, Romain Grossjean, who had a gearbox failure, and Carlos Sainz who retired after losing time in the pits with a rear wheel problem.
At the right end of the grid, Valterri Bottas finished in fifth with Nico Hulkenberg, fresh from winning Le Mans, came sixth in his Force India.
On a wet track, all finishers from seventh back found themselves a lap down. Max Verstappen, still at Toro Rosso, finished eighth ahead of Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo gambled on a late pit stop for super softs and it paid off, as he managed to come through the field in the final laps to salvage a point. He passed Felipe Nasr on the final lap, who narrowly missed out on picking up a rare point, and Daniil Kvyat finished in 12th after having to pit for a new nose. Poor Marcus Ericsson was classified as 13th but two laps down on the leader.