Lewis Hamilton has won the Austrian Grand Prix after passing and colliding with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg on the final lap of the race.
The Briton had been hounding the back of Rosberg’s car for the final four laps when he went for a pass on the outside of Turn 2.
Rosberg left his braking too late and hit the side of Hamilton’s car which damaged the front of his car. Hamilton continued into the lead while Rosberg was left to limp home without a front wing, finishing in fourth position. The collision didn’t go unnoticed by the FIA Stewards, as the championship leader is currently under investigation for failing to stop with a seriosuly damaged car.
Max Verstappen benefited from the Mercedes clash to finish in second position while Kimi Räikkönen brought home his Ferrari in third position.
Sergio Pérez crashed his Force India out of ninth place on the final lap thanks to a braking failure; this promoted Pascal Wehrlein to tenth position to score Manor Racing’s first points since the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.
Hamilton got away cleanly at the beginning of the race and led the race into Turn 1 – the first time he’s led the field from pole position this year – while Nico Hülkenberg was slow to start and was overtaken by third placed Jenson Button’s McLaren.
Rosberg started his ascent to the front of the field quickly by passing Max Verstappen on the opening lap, while Daniel Ricciardo dropped to seventh after initially passing the slow-starting Hülkenberg.
Sebastian Vettel then made a move on Ricciardo for seventh as the Australian was struggling for grip with his tyres due to track temperatures being cooler than the rest of the weekend.
Hülkenberg then pitted on the ninth lap after dropping to eighth position and put on a set of super softs, while Rosberg – now up to third – pitted two laps later for the soft compound.
Hamilton decided to stay out and ward off the threat from Räikkönen’s soft-shod Ferrari, pitting on Lap 22 for soft tyres as well, although his pit stop was slow when the jack dropped before the left rear tyre was properly secured. This saw Hamilton re-join the track behind Rosberg while Vettel took the lead.
The German’s lead was short lived however, as Vettel had run his super soft tyres for 27 laps before the right rear spectacularly failed on the main straight and sent the Ferrari into the wall. There wasn’t much damage to the car but the Safety Car was brought out to retrieve Vettel’s car and clear the debris of the Pirelli rubber.
The Safety Car lasted for five laps and once the race restarted, Rosberg wasted no time in creating a gap of over a second to eliminate the threat of DRS from Hamilton. By contrast to much of the field, neither driver elected to pit during the Safety Car interruption.
Rosberg created a gap of two seconds until he ran wide at Turn 1 on Lap 45, which allowed Hamilton back in the fight for the lead.
Mercedes then called Hamilton into the pits to swap to the soft compound tyre with 16 laps to go, to the surprise of many. Rosberg also pitted again a lap after Hamilton, however he was given the super soft compound tyre for the remaining 15 laps as he didn’t have an available soft compound set left.
Ricciardo also made for the pits to bolt on the super soft tyre as he was losing pace after Räikkönen had passed him three laps before. He was able to regain fifth position from Button, however didn’t have the pace to catch the Ferrari ahead.
After starting the race in second position Hülkenberg plummeted to eighth place in the first eight laps. The German then had to fight his way back through the field, picking up a five-second penalty during the process after speeding in the pit lane, a penalty which was also handed to Romain Grosjean.
The German’s race came to an end on Lap 65 after he reported heavy vibrations. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa also retired on the same lap; Massa due to high brake temperatures.
Button was able to bring the McLaren home to finish a season-best sixth position ahead of Grosjean, while Carlos Sainz gained seven positions on his qualifying position to finish eighth ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
|FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2016 – FINAL CLASSIFICATION (71 LAPS)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W07 Hybrid||71||1:27:38.107|
|2.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer RB12||71||+ 5.719|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF-16||71||+ 6.024|
|4.||Nico Rosberg^||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W07 Hybrid||71||+ 26.710|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer RB12||71||+ 30.981|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-31||71||+ 37.706|
|7.||Romain Grosjean^||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-16||71||+ 44.668|
|8.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||71||+ 47.400|
|9.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||70||1 lap behind|
|10.||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||70||1 lap behind|
|11.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-16||70||1 lap behind|
|12.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||70||1 lap behind|
|13.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||70||1 lap behind|
|14.||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||70||1 lap behind|
|15.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||70||1 lap behind|
|16.||Rio Haryanto||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||70||1 lap behind|
|17.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||69||Brakes|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-31||78||Power Unit|
|DNF.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||64||Brakes|
|DNF.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||63||Brakes|
|DNF.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF-16||26||Puncture|
|DNF.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||2||Mechanical|
^ Post-Race Penalties:
Nico Rosberg was awarded a 10-second post-race time penalty for causing a collision with Lewis Hamilton.
Romain Grosjean was awarded a 5-second post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team