The hills are alive with the sound of horsepower, unless you have a Honda engine. McLaren somehow managed to have a 50 place grid penalty at the Austrian GP, 25 for each driver.
The penalties for McLaren for exceeding the allowed number of power unit components were ridiculous, even if either driver had qualified on pole they would still have to start at the back of the grid and have a penalty for the start of the race. I understand the reasoning for the rules existing but perhaps a cap of 15 places or a pitlane start would be a little less ridiculous. To put the 50 positions dropped in one race into perspective, over the last two seasons McLaren have dropped 23 places and in 2012 Pastor Maldonado was dropped down 48 places, still less than McLaren in one race.
Anyway, the race! Hamilton took pole position after both Mercedes drivers went off track on their final Q3 laps, but Rosberg passed at turn one and took the race win. Hamilton finished in second place, never really close enough to challenge for the win and a 5 second penalty for crossing the pit exit line may have stopped him from trying. Two seasons ago the penalty for crossing that line would have likely been a drive through penalty, which may well have been enough to knock him off of the podium this race. The final podium position went to Felipe Massa, his first of the season, expertly defending against a very quick Sebastian Vettel in the last 20 laps to keep his podium position.
Felipe Massa finally scored his 1000th F1 point, also achieving his 40th podium. Nico Rosberg took the fastest lap of the race and Daniel Ricciardo made the most positions, starting in 18th after a 10 place penalty for exceeding the engine allowance, and finishing in tenth, scraping a point. The whole weekend was terrible for McLaren, the grid drops already mentioned and then Alonso retiring on the first lap after getting tagged by an out of control Kimi Raikkonen and Button retiring early on with mechanical problems.
The race at the front may not have been very interesting but there were a lot of battles throughout the race for every other position, Maldonado and Bottas both did very well with overtakes, Maldonado in also made two impressive saves after almost losing it at speed.
Only a couple of movements again, Nico Hulkenberg continues to impress and gained three championship positions after Austria. After a second consecutive seventh place Maldonado moves up two positions.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||GER||8||71||01:12.541||5|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||NED||4||70||01:12.349||7|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India||MEX||2||70||01:12.377||13|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||AUS||1||70||01:11.689||18|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||RUS||0||70||01:12.316||15|
|RET||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||ESP||–||35||01:13.234||12|