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Rosberg is King of the Ring

Nico Rosberg cut team mate Lewis Hamilton`s lead in the World Championship to just 10 points after a brilliant drive to win the Austrian Grand Prix. Felipe Massa followed the two Mercedes home in 3rd, with Sebastian Vettel finishing 4th after a pit stop error cost him another podium. Valteri Bottas came home 5th with a superb Nico Hulkenberg finishing 6th.

The stand out performance of the race was Rosberg`s calm assured drive, which made for fantastic viewing. Like many races this season, the Austrian GP didn`t produce the most eye catching of races, but there seemed to be something happening all the time to keep the interest there. I personally enjoyed watching the race, especially seeing Rosberg show his true talent and skill. He had been quick all weekend and only an error in qualifying stopped him from lining up on pole position. Instead it was Hamilton who took yet another pole, trying to score his first win in Austria. Rosberg knew he had to attack Hamilton from the off and that`s exactly what he did, pulling off a brilliant move into the first corner.

What also stood out about Rosberg`s drive was the fact he beat Hamilton on sheer speed and skill, something that doesn`t happen very often. His last victory in Monaco was gifted on a plate, but this was a lot different. All weekend Rosberg seemed to have an edge over Hamilton, which he needs to do on a consistent basis if he is to challenge Hamilton for the title. Even the tone in his voice near the end of the race whilst talking to the team was that of a man who wants to be World Champion. He will have to try and maintain some form of momentum, especially with the British Grand Prix coming up next.

Interest was also grabbed further back after the scrapping Mercedes, as Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso had a very dangerous accident where Raikkonen got on the power too quickly and his Ferrari stepped out. This saw Alonso collide with the Finn and end up mounting the Ferrari right in front on the cockpit. Thankfully both Alonso and Raikkonen walked away from the incident with zero injuries. This incident re-ignited the debate over closed cockpits for the drivers. This isn`t the first time Alonso has been involved in a collision like this. In Belgium in 2012, Romain Grosjean ended up flying across Alonso`s cockpit and earned himself a race ban. I still don`t see the need for closed cockpits as the F.I.A are constantly looking at and reviewing driver safety, and it is a rare occasion a collision of this nature occurs.


Miserable Weekend for McLaren and Red Bull

The Red Bull Ring, as it is now known, didn`t bring its home team any change of fortune, as Red Bull only scored one point at its home event. Grid penalties had hampered the team before the race even started, making things even more difficult for the Austrian outfit. With the team having a poor season so far and talk of them pulling out the sport, the Austrian GP was meant to be something to make the home crowd cheer about. The complete opposite happened and will have left many people wondering; how long will Red Bull remain in F1?

McLaren didn`t fare much better, as Jenson Button had to retire from the race with car troubles, this after Alonso`s big accident. McLaren were treating the race like another testing session, as both drivers had combined 25 place grid penalties for gearbox and power unit changes. It was going to be a tough race to start with as the circuit puts a lot of focus on the power units. So to bring new parts to the race to see how they would cope was a no-brainer for the team.

The massive down point for McLaren with this idea was that all of the new parts went on Alonso`s car, who didn`t make it to turn 3. All in all it was a woeful weekend for the team, with sights now firmly set on the British Grand Prix.

How Much Longer Can Hulkenberg Be Ignored?

Following his superb victory at the Le Man 24hour the week before, Nico Hulkenberg once again reminded motor racing fans everywhere of just how good he is. He outperformed his Force India again to start in a brilliant 5th place in Austria, and managed to fit with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas all through the race to come home 6th. What the race in Le Man and Austria did was remind fans of the huge potential that has been clear since he came into Formula 1 in 2010 with Williams. Since then, Hulkenberg has been restricted to mid field teams such as Sauber and two spells with Force India. Each of his seasons in F1 he has outperformed his team mate and more impressively, his car. Think back to his Sauber days in 2013 in Korea, where he held off Fernando Alonso`s Ferrari and finished a superb 4th place.

It would have appeared his chance at a top team has been and gone in the sense that he was overlooked for Lotus and Ferrari last year, and went back to Force India. I hope he doesn`t become one of the many drivers throughout the years that doesn`t live up to his full potential. What Le Man has done for Hulkenberg, however is put him firmly back in the shop window. He proved that if he is given the machinery, he will deliver; and that is something that has to appeal to the likes of Ferrari, who may be looking at alternatives to Raikkonen for next year. Kimi had another bad weekend in the Scuderia, qualifying way down in 18th before his accident after turn 2. There has been talk of Valtteri Bottas taking over Raikkonen but, I wouldn`t discount Hulkenberg from this equation.

Report courtesy of Simon Gray

Read more on Simon's blog here

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