JOB WELL DONE: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg is ecstatic about his win at the 2015 Austrian GP. Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic
SPIELBERG, Austria - Nico Rosberg won the Austrian GP for the second year in a row in a Mercedes 1-2 finish with team mate Lewis Hamilton on Sunday (June 21).
Hamilton's overall championship lead was cut to 10 points, after eight of the 19 races, with the Briton starting on pole position but beaten crucially into the first corner by the determined German.
The victory was Rosberg's third of the season, to Hamilton's four, and left him on 159 points to his team mate's 169.
"I will try from now on," grinned Rosberg when asked why he did not drive every race like that. "It's an awesome feeling of course to win again here. The start made the race.
"It really worked out perfectly today."
Any hopes of a thrilling chase to the end were dashed when the double world champion, who finished 3.8 seconds behind, collected a five-second penalty for a pit lane infringement on the 35th of the 71 laps.
"Nico did a fantastic job today. He was quicker during the race, I had a bad start which lost me ground," said Hamilton in podium interviews conducted by former F1 racer Gerhard Berger. "I was pushing as hard as I could."
Felipe Massa finished a distant third for Mercedes-powered Williams after holding off Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who had lost crucial seconds on his one pitstop when the wheel gun jammed on his right rear tyre.
"I just managed to keep the line and not make any mistake and just use a little bit of experience," said Massa, who started on pole in 2014, after his 40th career podium.
Vettel's team mate Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso collided and crashed into the barriers at the second corner, bringing out the safety car for five laps as the wreckage was removed.
The McLaren ended up on top of the Ferrari, fortunately without hitting Raikkonen's head or hands, and perched on the barriers.
Alonso, who had started on the back row of the grid after collecting a 25-place drop following engine and gearbox changes, said the collision with his former Ferrari team mate had been a scary moment.
"The start was very good. Kimi had a lot of wheel spin out of turn two. We were overtaking him and he lost the car on the left. I was on the left. I could not see anything. I looked in the mirror and saw a car under my car," he said.
"I jumped quickly to see he was OK. I saw he was so I was happy," added the Spaniard, who waited for Raikkonen to get out of the car before they walked away together.
Williams's Valtteri Bottas finished fifth, ahead of 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg in a Force India and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado seventh for Lotus.
Max Verstappen, the 17-year-old Dutch rookie, was eighth for Toro Rosso after struggling to control his car on worn tyres at the end and Mexican Sergio Perez made it a double points finish for Force India.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo grabbed a consolation point for the unhappy hosts with 10th place on a cloudy day with occasional sunshine but none of the rain some had hoped for.
Only 14 cars finished the race, with both the Honda-powered McLarens out of action after just 10 laps in another dismal afternoon for the former champions.
2015 Austrian GP result
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min30:16.930
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes +00:08.800
3 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 00:17.573
4 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 00:18.181
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 00:53.604
6 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 01:04.075
7 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes 1 lap
8 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 1 lap
9 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1 lap
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault 1 lap
11 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber - Ferrari 1 lap
12 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull - Renault 1 lap
13 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber - Ferrari 2 laps
14 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia - Ferrari 3 laps
Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 36 laps
Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 36 laps
Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 63 laps
Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 70 laps
Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 71 laps
Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 71 laps
Fastest lap: Nico Rosberg, 1min11.235, Lap 35.
Drivers' and Constructors' points after the 2015 Austrian GP
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 169
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 159
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 120
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 72
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 67
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 62
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 36
8 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 19
9 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 18
10 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 17
11 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 16
12 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 13
13 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 12
14 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 10
15 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 9
16 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 5
17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 4
18 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 0
19 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
20 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
1 Mercedes 328
2 Ferrari 192
3 Williams-Mercedes 129
4 Red Bull - Renault 55
5 Force India - Mercedes 31
6 Lotus - Mercedes 29
7 Sauber - Ferrari 21
8 Toro Rosso - Renault 19
9 McLaren 4
10 Marussia - Ferrari 0