2014 Austria Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Other teams are starting to creep up on Mercedes which at the very least will make for better competition as the season goes on even if the titles are still down to two drivers and one constructor.
EVENT: The Friday crowd alone once again shows how Bogus, with a capital "B", most of the Asian and Mideast races are.
QUALIFYING: Williams wows the field. 'Nuf said.
RACE: It came down to strategy up front with some fun racing to watch.
TRACK: Not like the original Österreichring, nor even the revamped A1-Ring, but close enough, still maintaining the character of a natural terrain road course.
START: Massa's great start ensures his pole was not wasted, Rosberg gets the jump but Bottas says not so fast, Hamilton does exactly what he needed to, and Perez makes up his grid penalty on the first lap.
ROSBERG: Forget the psychological edge. Nico has an even more important 29 point edge.
HAMILTON: His mistake in qualifying cost him the race. Now, Lewis is taking the "it's better to trail" tactic.
MERCEDES: They will need to work hard to maintain their advantage.
BOTTAS: A well deserved, and long time coming, podium for Valtteri.
MASSA: Felipe must be chuckling to himself at Kimi...
WILLIAMS: Strategy FAIL. And we're not convinced by their "we couldn't compete with Mercedes anyway" line. Nonetheless, a strong weekend culminating in a strong finish. They did not (completely) blow their opportunity.
ALONSO: Six out of the top seven finishers had a Mercedes engine. Alonso did not rely on Ferrari power to be the interloper. He relied on his "own" power.
FERRARI: Are you guys even a racing team anymore?
RAIKKONEN: Ferrari hired Kimi to replace Felipe ... why?
PEREZ: Everytime Checo gets into trouble, he comes back with a great, competitive drive.
HULKENBERG: And every now and then, Nico gets outdone by his Mexican teammate.
FORCE INDIA: On the verge of pulling the next Williams.
VETTEL: Outdone by his teammate ... again ...
RICCIARDO: ... but nothing to write home about this time.
RED BULL: Talk about falling flat in your home track's race in front of a rare appearance by your boss.
MCLAREN: Do we really need to say something about them?
KVYAT: Another strong weekend for Daniil, despite his early retirement.
VERGNE: With Ricciardo picked to move up to the parent team and doing so well there, Kvyat impressing everyone at such a young age, and Carlos Sainz, Jr. waiting in the wings, we think Jean-Eric's days as an F1 driver, or at least a Red Bull funded driver, are numbered.
SAUBER: Another botched pit stop. Calling in the wrong driver. This team is becoming the Keystone Cops of F1.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Strategy.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 1-2 -- As in Mercedes returns to form.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The original Österreichring was 3.673-miles long before a chicane was put in. It was ultra fast with little protection if you went off and a narrow front straight causing havoc at starts. Mark Donohue lost his life there. Niki Lauda was the only Austrian to win his home grand prix, doing it there in 1984.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Kimi Raikkonen when told by his team to close in on those in front of him, "Well, give me more power!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Fernando Alonso on what he really wants, "I would rather have less respect and more trophies."
SCHEDULE: Hamilton comes home. Will Rosberg spoil the party?
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