Le Grand Retour
Paul Ricard 2018
French Grand Prix
Austrian Grand Prix: Who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Jun 2014   |  12:08 am GMT  |  146 comments

There were some fantastic drives throughout the field in today’s Austrian Grand Prix, but it was a race where many of the outcomes were decided on strategy.

So who stood out for you? Who was your Driver of the Day?

Nico Rosberg
Started 3rd on the grid, had a go at passing Bottas on the opening lap then bided his time in the opening stint. Passed both the Williams drivers at the first stop using an aggressive undercut that Williams were reluctant to cover. Made a mistake, running off the road just before half distance but from then on managed a small brake problem to the finish for his third win of the season.

Lewis Hamilton
Made life hard for himself with a poor qualifying session where he made errors on both his laps in the final Q3 session. Starting 9th on the grid he made an amazing start and was fifth in the opening turns, then passed Alonso for fourth, leaving him right behind his team mate. Couldn’t mount a challenge though as his brake problem was highlighted by the team.

Valtteri Bottas
Breakthrough result for the Finn, who had recorded his best ever qualifying result the day before in 2nd. Looking at the strategy it’s conceivable that he should have finished second ahead of Hamilton. Instead Mercedes undercut him at the second stop and Williams chose not to react, as they were worried about the tyre lasting to the end. But Bottas’ tyres were in fine shape in the closing laps, so he may well have been able to keep Hamilton behind for the final stint if Williams had chanced it.

Felipe Massa
Took his first pole since 2008 on Saturday, but again suffered a reversal in the first stops, as in Canada, this time with a slower in lap and a much slower out lap than Bottas. He dropped from first to fourth where he finished.

Fernando Alonso
Alonso cleverly extended his middle stint, running in clear air in the lead of the race and knowing he wasn’t under threat from behind, with some very strong laps after the stop it allowed him to use the offset to get ahead of Perez and put Massa under pressure for P4. He got within 2 seconds or so of the Williams but didn’t have the pace in the car to pass.

Sergio Perez
The Mexican did a superb job on a counter strategy starting on the soft tyres, where most others started on the supersoft. He played himself into contention with a long first stintg in which he passed Button, who was on a similar plan. Hulkenberg let him through, which was important and from there he executed the plan perfectly to make up for some of the disappointment of Canada.

Other candidates
Kevin Magnussen outperformed Jenson Button this weekend, finishing four positions and 18 seconds ahead. He was seventh ahead of Ricciardo’s Red Bull. Jules Bianchi was the highest placed driver who made a one stop race work. He managed to extend the opening stint on soft tyres so that his first stop was on lap 40.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

Lewis Hamilton – as good a damage limitation as he could manage.


why have we stopped counted the number places each driver has gained or lost from the start of races. the record has been kept until after the austrian race. any reason for the abortion?


We do. It’s in each UBS Race Strategy Briefing. Next one Tuesday


oh yes!


does anyone receive emails from james allen prompting replies to their posts?


Has to be Perez, he recovered quite well from that penalty, in the first lap he was already in 11th. He did such a long stint with the softs and being in first place for 11 laps was impressive, it was funny that Massa couldn’t pass him in two times, I guess he applied his new overtaking method: one, two…two and a half…hahaha.

I really think he could have fight for the podium if it wasn’t for the penalty..

And It seems that Sergio lately is outshining his teammate, which is not something easy to do considering that most people says Hulk is one of the best drivers, so this makes me wonder why Checo is so underrated, when people talks about young drivers, everyone points out Hulk, Bottas, even Bianchi, and Sergio?

He is proving that McLaren did wrong in letting him go, you hear me Ron?. And if he can beat the Hulk then he is superb….one more thing he did the fastest lap: 1:12:142, good stuff, kudos for Force India, a team with less budget than McLaren and they’re beating them


Voted Bottas and congrats to him for his first podium, well deserved.

Wanted to vote Alonso but this was what he said,

“There’s the respect from the drivers, team principals and fans for the job that you do, but I’d prefer to have no respect and win more trophies.” Who could’ve blamed him for such a statement.


What’s wrong with that? The drivers are there to win, not there just to drive around in circles. Driving around in circles not winning anything is almost like physical pain to them.


Wow. Alonso starts 4th and finishes 5th and nearly gets driver of the day. Amazing.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

In a ridiculous car… Yes.


Alonso would’ve started 5th had Hamilton not cocked up his Q3. In the race Hamilton just put his car back to where it should be which in turn affected the following order. Nothing wrong with Alonso being in 5th, still higher than Raikkonen’s place.


Bottas DOTD for me – he can only continue to improve from here. I think Rosberg did a good job of resisting pressure from Hamilton to take the win. Hamilton’s start and first lap were superb. Perez put in a great drive, and he seems to be improving with every race. Disappointed that Massa did not do better from pole, but there may be a win in him yet!


Without a shadow of a doubt, it had to be Mark Webber. Managed to get on the podium, after bringing a healthy dose of his luck along as a gift for Vettel.

Dotd….Had to be Bottas today!

Fair move by RIC on the last lap too!


haha! was he seen tinkering in the garages perhaps!

agree with you on bottas too


DotD Perez for me; a really good drive and he’s turned the tables quite impressively on Nico Hulkenberg in the last few races, albeit that it didn’t translate into points in Canada. Also want to give a shout to Alonso though; he managed to keep within reach of the podium (he was only 4.5sec off Bottas at one stage in the final stint) despite clearly being in inferior machinery. It’s almost as if his task this year is to keep Ferrari relevant. Sometimes this season I’ve got to the end of races and gone “what happened to Ferrari in that race?! Were they even in the race?” But on Sunday Alonso made their presence very real, and not for the first time this season, even if he ‘only’ ended up 5th.

Felipe was a bit tentative in the race but I personally thought this was the right approach after what happened in Canada. Ultimately, it probably cost him a podium, but a cool head was required after Montreal and I’m glad he delivered. Onwards and upwards from here I hope, and maybe we’ll see a repeat of that form he showed at the end of 2012.


Can’t wait for Monza, pretty much everyone is going to retire with brake failures, or an engine failure.

DOTD: Bottas, because P3 is “best of the rest” when Merc finish 1-2.


Hamilton. That first lap recovery was more spectacular than anything anybody else did. We’ve come to expect that of him but man I don’t think anyone else could have done that.


Vettel – for maintaining his sense of humour in the face of adversity

kenneth chapman

@jock ulah………was running into the back of the sauber some kind of joke? if it was it went right over my head.


+1 🙂

DOTD is Bottas.

Hamilton had a nice first lap. But made too many mistakes this weekend.


here, here.


Valtteri was the man of the day and honorable mention to Felipe. He kept Alonso behind who should have done better in the end. Maybe Alonso gave up again.


@sami “…..honorable mention to Felipe. He kept Alonso behind who should have done better in the end. Maybe Alonso gave up again.”

this part is a joke, right?


No. Look at the lap times.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

Look at the final standings (Kimi???)



Even when the Ferrari can keep up, lap wise, it still can’t overtake because it’s way too slow on a straight line, even with the DRS on.

Without major tire differences, the Ferrari just can’t pass anyone, much less so someone with a Mercedes engine.


I’m not sure Alonso knows what gave up means. Although admittedly he looked subdued a few times last year, but not so far this time around despite being even worse off.

My driver of the day was Bottas, a cool performance. I really think if Williams had been more aggressive, he or Massa could have won, especially as Mercedes seemed to have their cooling issues for the second consecutive race.


“Give up” is not in Alonso’s dictionary, I reckon if his performances were subdue, it’s more to the car than him. As Martin Brundle said in the race, Alonso is always somewhere around.


Yes it is.

Korea 2011.


Williams has botched up few races this year with their strategies so maybe they decided to play little safer this time. I’m afraid Mercs will again vanish over the horizon from Williams and other teams in Silverstone.

Torchwood Five

I wonder if since Massa showed he would have no truck with William’s strategy calls, and the public controversy it caused the last time they tried one, the team have knocked them on the head as far as 2014 is concerned.

They will provide the cars, change the tyres, but otherwise let their drivers go out, and hope they bring in some points.


I’m giving it to Lewis Hamilton for a superb first lap and an excellent recovery. It’s easy to be critical but these guy’s are always on the limit, and I think he was just a little unlucky not to get pole. I think a combination of things rather than just driver error caused Hamilton not to set a time. As Toto Wolff said he was just a little unlucky to be braking and changing gear as he hit the bump in the tarmac. I have to say it looked liked torque snap to me, but I guess Mercedes will know when the data is analised. If he had got pole on his second run the likelyhood would have been by about half a second, but now we will never know. I think Mercedes need to improve cooling on their brakes as when the competition gets stiffer they do not want to be stymied by managing the brakes, and it prevented Hamilton from mounting a serious challenge to Rosberg in the second half of the race. – So more work needed by Mercedes


If you ignore Saturday then Hamilton, but he did screw up his Q3 with big mistakes in each run when it counted the most. Otherwise probably Bottas, but I think he was lucky on the strategy relative to Massa who should have had the advantage from pitting one lap earlier.


For that first Lap, Hamilton. Very close shout for Bottas. If Williams had been bolder who knows what might have been, as it was: a brilliant Saturday for them made 3rd and 4th look like a disappointment. When Bottas took his second place back from Rosberg I thought we might see a Williams victory but there seems to be a bit of self belief lacking there.

Amazed by the number of votes for Alonso,


Alonso DOTD for me, that 2nd stint where he was lapping faster and actually pressuring williams was brilliant. On a track where apparently if you don’t have mercedes power, you are nothing, alonso finished 5th. cracking job.


Hi James i have a question, after Hamilton’s 1st Q3 time was disallowed why didn’t the team make him do a 2nd flying lap before bringing him in? do you think it was a error on their side?


I doubt he had enough fuel on board.


If I remember right he did try to do a second run but bodged it. After that by the time he would have got back to the finish line he would have been out of time (and probably too low on fuel as well).


Didn’t do another lap during the Q3 first run … came in right after.


Yep, my mistake.


Great credit for lewis for one of the best opening laps in recent years, but after that finished were he should have, got to give it to perez, now again he puts in drives were you can see the maccas took a punt on him, just needs more consistent in qually..


My DOTD is Webber for his podium interview 😉

Great to see him around F1 again.

Despite my dislike for Hamilton I’ll give him the award, his race off the grid was great to ignore.

His move on Massa was good too, although I do feel Massa was caught napping.

I do like Rosberg though, I really like his work ethic & his technical aptitude.

I think Vettel was quite reckless, first causing Ricciardo to run off track & then later running straight into the back of Gutierrez, really seemed like rookie errors.

Can’t wait for Silverstone, I just hope the gap to Mercedes is even closer or we at least get a race long battle between Rosberg & Hamilton.


i understood it was Magnussen who ran off Ricciardo.


i must also mention that i was impressed with Sebastien’s

post-race interview when he said “I only hope Daniel can

score some good points”. You don’t hear that a lot between

team-mates, and that on the back of Seb’s very sportsman-like

behaviour over Dan’s first win. there are a few teams that

could learn a little about sportsman-ship, IMO.


why can you not believe what vettel says? why must he be lying? his teammates first victory pleased him and he said so. vettel won the drivers championship 4 times and see no reason to be fuming over his teammate’s single victory.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

@kenneth chapman



Yea very sportsmanlike attitude from Seb but you never know which side of the mouth he is speaking from when he spins all the PR stuff do youu?

kenneth chapman

@! tim clarke ….. don’t be naive. that’s simply for the cameras and public consumption. deep down he is fuming. by posing as a good natured team mate he is attempting to deflect criticism of his own ineptness. PR management 101.


Rewatch it, SV ran Dan off when he rejoined the race after rebooting his car’s computers.


Tough choice between Alonso and Bottas for me.


Tough call between Bottas massa and Alonso

Alonso for me, Williams had the pace to challenge Mercedes at least on SS for victory. Yet niether pilots have not won the race. Yes williams were poor with the strategy yet it’s been a collective failure.

I have never fancied massa yet kudos to him. His lap on saturday was special and he was let down by williams and their strategy

Rosberg struggled to pass williams while lewis made a uncharacteristic error on saturday which costed him the victory

Alonso drove a fantastic race and scored pivotal points for the team


Vettel for his “mega” overtaking attempt.


Hamilton for his brilliant first lap

kenneth chapman

there over 70 laps in this race and you give it to hamilton for just one?


i understand, hamilton performed better in that single lap than all the other drivers did over all of those 71 laps.


Bottas has to be driver of the day given how close he was to the Mercedes. With a better strategy on pit stops I think he would have been a lot closer. Also special mention to the William pit crew for Bottas 2.1 second stop!!

A close second I would give to Alonso. I know everyone keeps saying it, but how he manages to drag an under powered, over weight Ferrari to points consistently is amazing. I just wish he had a competitive car.


surprised by perez beating hulk again, do we need to reassess hulks quality?

bottas driver of the day.

kenneth chapman

hulkenberg has always been over rated[IMO] if he was as good as lot of posters think then why hasn’t he been snapped up by a top team, and don’t give me all the ‘overweight’ blather either.


hulkinberg smashed nearly all of hamilton’s records in the lower series. he is incredibly fast but just doesn’t drive with as much flair as hamilton and perez.


no. but possibly Perez’s.

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