Sebastian Vettel overcome by Mercedes power

F1i 22/06/2015
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Mercedes too good: Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel conceded defeat to Massa and Williams for a place on the Austrian Grand Prix podium.

– F1 Analysis: Ferrari should sign underrated Nico Hulkenberg
– ALSO: Rosberg wins Austrian GP ahead of Hamilton
– F1: Ecclestone says Red Bull will not quit the sport

The German’s fourth place finish right on the tail Felipe Massa was somewhat of a surprise given the Ferrari driver’s good performance in qualifying and reputed excellent race pace. But Vettel admitted the result of his afternoon’s work was the best he could have achieved.

“Massa did a good job,” Vettel said after the race. “He made a few mistakes but nothing major, and he got the exits right so it was very tricky for me. We know that the Williams is one of the most difficult cars to pass.

“Also they had strong pace today so it was not like we were 1second a lap quicker and we could choose the place where we want to pass. I was obviously trying to create something but it didn’t happen. I ran out of magic…”

Referring to his impressive run in free practice, Vettel didn’t believe that level of performance had vanished but rather acknowledged the outright speed of rivals Williams and Mercedes.

“I don’t think it disappeared, the car was feeling good but probably the others were able to find a little bit (of performance).

“It’s very simple to explain, Mercedes seem to be able to run their high power qualifying mode more often in the race, surely in the opening laps.

“And Williams has the same engine so in that regard the result was not a surprise.”

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Dangerous crash not ideal – Kimi Raikkonen

F1i 22/06/2015
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Losing control: Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen was typically laid-back when discussing the “dangerous” accident he had with Fernando Alonso at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix.

– F1 Analysis: Ferrari should sign underrated Nico Hulkenberg
– ALSO: Rosberg wins Austrian GP ahead of Hamilton
– F1: Ecclestone says Red Bull will not quit the sport

Accelerating away from Turn 2, Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari and veered left across the track, collecting Alonso and wedging the McLaren against the barrier at high speed.

Alonso described the incident as “very strange” but Raikkonen is not overly concerned over whether there was a glitch which caused him to lose control or if it was just driver error.

“I had wheelspin and suddenly went left,” Raikkonen said. “That’s about it really. The wheels spun really aggressively there and I don’t know what caused it, but the result is always the same.

Kimi Raikkonen was typically laid-back when discussing the “dangerous” accident he had with Fernando Alonso at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix.

“Obviously it was in a pretty odd place, usually you only get [wheelspin] like that when you are coming out of the corner but it was far away from the exit. Whatever caused it makes no difference to me…

“It’s not normal but it happened, that’s the way it is. The car didn’t have any grip. It’s dangerous, but racing is dangerous always.”

With Alonso’s McLaren ending up on top of the Ferrari and requiring Raikkonen to take his hands off the wheel to avoid contact, the Finn dismissed any major fear regarding the incident.

“It’s not ideal, but it happens. It must have been worse for the [cameraman] that was standing there and we must have come close to hitting him.”

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Sixth place caps ‘excellent weekend’ for Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg

F1i 22/06/2015
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Recognition is needed: Nico Hulkenburg.

Nico Hulkenberg says sixth place in the Austrian Grand Prix caps an “excellent weekend” for Force India.

– F1 Analysis: Ferrari should sign underrated Nico Hulkenberg
– ALSO: Rosberg wins Austrian GP ahead of Hamilton
– F1: Ecclestone says Red Bull will not quit the sport

The Le Mans winner qualified fifth on the grid after an impressive performance and followed it up with a strong drive to secure a top six finish, losing one place to Valtteri Bottas’ Williams.

Having looked competitive from Friday afternoon, Hulkenberg says Force India’s whole performance needs recognising as Sergio Perez also scored points in ninth.

“I’m very satisfied with sixth place today,” Hulkenberg said. “Going into the race we always knew it would be difficult to keep the Williams of Bottas behind me, so bringing the car home in sixth was probably the maximum we could achieve.

“I had some good wheel-to-wheel battles with him and we swapped places a few times, but it was hard to match their absolute pace.

“Overall it’s been a great weekend: I found a nice rhythm and I have been very happy with the performance of the car.

“With Checo in the points as well, it’s been an excellent weekend for us and we can be proud of what we’ve achieved.

“It’s an important boost ahead of Silverstone where we hope to make another step forward.”

Perez is pleased both cars scored but admits some disappointment he wasn’t able to gain a few more places after a pit stop problem.

“It is a great result for the team to come away with so many points,” Perez said. “We’ve moved up to fifth in the championship and that’s an incredible effort by everyone in the team.

“I had a great start and first lap: the target was to get ahead of [Pastor] Maldonado as he was the first driver on the prime tyre and we managed to do that.

“In the first stint I had a lot of pressure from both the Lotus drivers, but we held strong and the race was looking really good. Unfortunately, we lost some time in a slow pit stop and it was a bit difficult to recover after that, especially as that placed us behind [Marcus] Ericsson and [Felipe] Nasr.

“The second stint was not very easy because I had some very strong vibrations on the front tyres and that cost me some pace.

“All in all, considering our position on the grid, it was a good race. I think we could have been a couple of places ahead if everything had gone to plan, but it’s still a good result.”

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