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Austrian Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg wins easily from Lewis Hamilton

2015-06-21 22:03:57

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg took a dominant victory in the Austrian Grand Prix to reduce Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's lead in the World Championship.

Rosberg passed Hamilton at the start and controlled the race to the end.

Hamilton's attempt to re-pass on lap one was thwarted by the safety car, triggered by a heavy crash between Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

The McLaren ended up on top of the Ferrari, but both drivers were unhurt.

Alonso, who had slid along the top of the barrier before the cars came to a halt, described the incident as "scary".

The crash, which appeared to be caused by Raikkonen losing control of his car under power while Alonso was alongside on his outside, is to be investigated by stewards.

When the race re-started, Hamilton tracked Rosberg to their only pit stops.

Nico RosbergBoth drivers walked away from the incident, although Alonso visited the medical centre afterwards

He rejoined still in second but incurred a five-second penalty for edging over the white line which separates the pit exit from the race track - effectively putting the race out of his reach shortly after half distance.

Rosberg's third victory of the season reduces his deficit to Hamilton to 10 points, after the world champion extended it by winning the previous race in Canada.

Mercedes had expected a challenge from Ferrari, but the apparent advantage in pace the Italian cars had in practice had evaporated and Rosberg and Hamilton left Sebastian Vettel well behind during the first part of the race.

Behind the dominant front two, the race was entertaining, packed with incident and featured plenty of overtaking moves as drivers battled for position.

Vettel was comfortably clear of Felipe Massa's Williams but lost third place because of a problem fitting his right rear wheel at his pit stop.

That promoted Massa into third place, with a four-second lead over the Ferrari with 34 laps to go.

Vettel edged closer at a 10th of a second or so a lap and was on the Brazilian's tail with 10 to go, but Massa drove with calmness and maturity to hold off the four-time world champion.

Nico RosbergFelipe Massa took the 40th podium of his career after holding off Vettel in the latter stages

Behind them, Massa's team-mate Valtteri Bottas won a battle with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg for fifth that lasted for half the race.

Lotus's Pastor Maldonado took seventh, passing Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen after a wild moment on the pit straight with two laps to go.

Maldonado jinked to the outside of the Dutchman as he attempted to line up a passing move but the car got into a frantic side-to-side snap, the Venezuelan just managing to hold on.

Verstappen then ran off the track on the exit of Turn One, gifting the place to Maldonado on a disappointing afternoon for Red Bull on the track they own.

Daniel Ricciardo was the leading finisher for the main Red Bull team in 10th place, behind Force India's Sergio Perez.

Austrian GP results

Source: bbc.co.uk

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