ANOTHER CRASH: Nico Rosberg was involved in another tussle with his team mate, Lewis Hamilton. Image: AP / Lucas Bruno
Cape Town - And so the Formula 1 circus arrived at the Red Bull Ring, where Lewis Hamilton duly secured another pole. This time he got away cleanly, but the other Mercedes again dropped places, whilst Kimi Raikkonen jumped Sebastian Vettel off the line.
The biggest surprise, however, was Jenson Button. Having used mixed qualifying conditions to great effect, the Brit rocketed away from fifth on the grid to slot in behind Hamilton for a while.
Fancy that, a McLaren-Honda running in second!
Beware the boy...
And what did we say, in our review of the Monaco GP? That Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo were currently the two best racers in F1?
READ: As it happened - 2016 Austrian GP
Well, on lap 3 of the Spielberg race, the selfsame Ricciardo got done in by an 18-year-old from Holland. From his first day in a F1 car, Max Verstappen has shown a voracious appetite for overtaking, but slicing past Ricciardo on the inside of Turn Eight was not easy-peasy at all.
He can race, the boy. Attack. Overtake. Defend. And qualify.
Is he the next Senna, then? We will find out.
Another Mercedes clash
In the meantime, Spielberg was all about a Ferrari clouting the barriers after another Pirelli blow-out, whereafter the capricious timing of pitstops in a safety car period thoroughly shuffled the pack.
Suddenly, Nico Rosberg was in the lead, with Hamilton chasing - which is first prize for anybody who loves racing.
In the first corner of the last lap, Rosberg clipped the inside kerb, compromising his momentum on exit. Defending the inside line into Turn Two, he watched helplessly as Hamilton - further aided by DRS plus a tow - blasted past on the outside, gaining a car’s length before hitting the anchors.
Just to play it safe, Hamilton hung on as long as possible before commencing turn-in.
Yet, there was little sign of his team mate trying to make the corner at all.
And bang! Lewis went flying off the track, Rosberg lost his front wing.
READ: Austrian GP - Hamilton survives Rosberg battering to win
Struggling with brakes, Merc said afterwards about Rosberg’s slow retardation. Struggling with brakes, they explained when he spun in Canada. Struggling with brakes, they said in Monaco, where Rosberg was really slow in the wet.
Is this a pattern with the car, the driver or the team?