The drivers, teams and stars that impressed and embarrassed in equal measure at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg – a rare instance where the German did not lose confidence on race day following a Saturday lesson in qualifying from Hamilton. Nailed his start and worked the defensive line beautifully in the opening laps. Kept Hamilton comfortably at bay throughout the race purely on pace – which Lewis can’t really blame on his dodgy clutch.
Valtteri Bottas – hampered with brake problems but still engaged in some daring passes during the race. With another lacklustre performance by Kimi Raikkonen, Bottas must have moved a good deal closer to a Ferrari contract.
Felipe Massa – put in a faultless performance that included keeping the charging Vettel at bay in the closing laps. Without faulty brakes Bottas could have challenged for the final podium slot but Felipe was deserving of the podium finish with a mature drive to the finish.
Toro Rosso – perhaps a controversial one but the Red Bull ‘B’ team showed that the Renault engine is not all bad. A retirement for Sainz took the shine off of what – in context of Renault’s woes in 2015 – was a decent weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen – another lacklustre performance in qualifying topped off by a bizarre and potentially quite dangerous accident on the opening lap. Not the performances we expect from the Iceman and not ones that will convince Ferrari to hold on to him for 2016.
McLaren Honda – a weekend to forget with the package seemingly falling apart and generally self-destructing at every turn. In context it is hard to decide whether the presence of Honda’s chairman at the race is good or bad for the partnership. The team will be hoping Austria was rock bottom.
Lewis Hamilton – blaming dodgy clutch for poor get away from pole – justifiable. Blaming loss of the win on dodgy clutch – sour grapes. Based on race pace after the safety car restart it is debatable whether Hamilton would have been able to keep Rosberg at bay had his clutch behaved.
Dietrich Mateschitz – blasting the sport about to arrive at the circuit you own and have invested in heavily that isn’t sold out seems pretty odd. But he’s the man with a multi-billion dollar empire so he must know what he’s doing… more on that later.