The 2017 Austrian Grand Prix was dull. Now, that’s not a slight, it’s just a shame. Every so often Formula One throws up a boring race, but the Austrian GP did have some exciting moments that we will try the pull-out, if not to give us something to write about on a Monday morning.
Valtteri Bottas led the GP from start to finish, comfortably controlling the race and holding off Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages. Sound familiar? It was almost a carbon copy of his previous win, in Russia, a couple of months ago. Bottas is clearly manifesting not only into a comfortable race winner but if he keeps up his consistency, a title-contender. Though, he is still 35 points off championship leader Vettel.
This win and the win in Russia will surely force Mercedes to sign him up on a longer contract.
The only possible blemish on Bottas’ performance was that start. Was it luck–perfectly anticipating the lights–or was it incredible reaction times? According to the the stewards, it was ridiculous reaction times of 0.2 seconds. The FIA allows an acceptable range for reaction times and Bottas’ 0.2 seconds was well within it, but we are sure that after a couple of glasses of red, Valterri will admit he got slightly lucky on that one.
LEWIS FIGHTS BACK
In contrast to his teammate, Lewis Hamilton had it all to do starting from eighth on the grid. With a combination of good driving and luck, Lewis managed to finish in fourth place, something he admits was the best he was going to get. However, it could have been different. Chasing down third-placed Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis had a go on the penultimate lap of the race after a slight error by the Australian but just couldn’t get the job done. Considering his start position, and the fact Vettel finished second, it was not too bad of a race for Hamilton, he successfully managed to limit the damage that could have been incurred.
Considering his start position, and the fact Vettel finished second, it was not too bad of a race for Hamilton, he successfully managed to limit the damage that could have been incurred.
It would be very easy for Team Lewis to be down after the Grand Prix, but we have a different way of looking at it. In the last two races Lewis has suffered some bad luck, but, and it is a big, BUT, Vettel has not been able to properly capitalise. If Sebastian hadn’t seen red and got himself a penalty in Baku, he would have won the race with Lewis finishing 5th, and in Austria this weekend, with Lewis struggling thanks to a gearbox change, Sebastian couldn’t get the win. To win championships, you have to maximise the chances you get, and Vettel hasn’t done that in recent races. Will it come to haunt him?
Having said all that, Lewis should be worried about Vettel’s championship-winning consistency, oh, and a 20 point gap that, if Lewis doesn’t make a dent into, could turn into a chasm.
Poor Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver just can’t catch a break. Max has retired in the last three races and five of the last seven. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you have no luck, you get nowhere.
MOMENT OF THE GP
That incredible/lucky start from Bottas was the highlight of a fairly dull race.
DRIVER OF THE RACE
Tough one, but it has to go to Valtteri Bottas. Pole position and an incredible start led to a controlled race win. You can’t get better than that.