Nico Rosberg pinpoints his ‘great start’ and subsequent defence on Mercedes team-mate Hamilton as the defining moment to build his second consecutive Austrian Grand Prix win.
Lining up second behind the championship leader, Rosberg enjoyed a better getaway off the line and beat Hamilton into the first corner. The German then managed to hold off the Briton over the next couple of corners before the Safety Car came out following the scary shunt involving Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Rosberg had to briefly defend again from Hamilton when racing resumed at Spielberg, but then opened a comfortable as he eased to this third victory of the season.
“It’s an awesome feeling of course to win here again,” I’m very happy, he said. “The start made the race. I had a great start, then I managed to defend in the first couple of corners and really tried to push flat out.
“I was really happy with the car, happy to see the gap opening up to Lewis. So it really worked out perfectly for me today.
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 20, 2015
Rosberg’s only scare surfaced in the closing stages of the Grand Prix when he reported a problem on his right front tyre.
“It was just vibrations picking up on the right front, so I just told my team to keep an eye on it.
“But it was fine in the end, it sort of stabilised, so it was not a problem. It just came from the tyre wear. It just feels a bit uncomfortable when that happens, but we were all fine.”
After claiming his 11th career win at Spielberg, Rosberg now only trails Hamilton by 10 points despite a quiet start to his 2015 campaign. Most crucially, last year’s runner-up thinks he’s finally cracked the code to beat his team-mate on Sundays.
“This year I’ve found what I needed to find last year in terms of doing just a little bit better in the race and that’s really working out well for me this year.”
Nico Rosberg celebrated his 30th birthday with a third win in four races on Sunday when he beat Mercedes team-mate and series leader Lewis Hamilton to triumph in an incident-filled Austrian Grand Prix.
The German driver, who left his twenties behind on Saturday, repeated his 2014 success when he came home a comfortable 3.8 seconds clear on track of the defending world champion and reduced his lead from 17 points to 10.
After eight of this year’s 19 races, Briton Hamilton, who picked up a five-second penalty in the race, has 169 and Rosberg, who won last year’s Austrian event, 159.
It was Rosberg’s third win of the season and the 11th of his career.
Brazilian Felipe Massa came third, 17 seconds adrift of the two Mercedes men, six-tenths of a second ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 21, 2015
In fifth was Finn Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams. German Nico Hulkenberg who, one week after winning in the Le Mans 24 Hours race, finished sixth for Force India.
Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was seventh for Lotus ahead of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso, Mexican Sergio Perez in the second Force India and Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who picked up a point for Red Bull, after starting down the back of the grid.
The race began with drama as Rosberg sped into a first corner lead and almost immediately a spectacular collision between two-time champion Fernando Alonso and 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen caused the race to be red-flagged with the introduction of a safety car.
Alonso’s car landed on top of Raikkonen’s. Both drivers were unhurt and walked away, shaken but not injured.
Bernie Ecclestone doesn't believe Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz is serious about quitting F1 despite recent threats.
Mateschitz warned his team is losing "desire and motivation" in F1 amid Renault's struggles, having been unable to even challenge for a podium so far this season. However, when asked if he believes Red Bull will quit the sport, Ecclestone replied: "I don’t think so.
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"I know Mr Mateschitz very well and there would be more chance of him pulling out if he was winning than when he was losing.
"It doesn’t mean it’s because he’s falling out of love [with F1], he wants a divorce. He just needs a new girlfriend, that’s all."
However, Ecclestone – who met with Mateschitz in the Austria paddock on Friday – also doesn't believe the threats are aimed at getting a response from Renault.
"No, I think Renault understand. It really doesn’t matter how much money you have got. If we were in the jungle or somewhere really bad and we had all the money in the world, it’s no good a guy saying, 'We know we need a doctor for our heart' and a guy says, 'I know a good dentist'. It doesn’t help. They’re looking for a competitive engine."