Rate the Race and Driver of the weekend – Round 9, Red Bull Ring, Austria
Mean Reader score 4.96 Ranked 7/9 Races so far.
Compared to last year’s race (which scored 8.15 and was ranked second in the entire season) the 2017 race was a bit of a damp squib. Last year we had the battle raging between the two Mercedes for the WDC. The final lap saw them come together, Hamilton leave the track and then take off Rosberg’s front wing on re-entry, leaving him to limp home, but not before he was passed by Verstappen and Raikkonen.
Not only did Rosberg loose the race but he didn’t make it onto the podium either (AND to add insult to injury he was deemed responsible for the collision and given a 10 second penalty and two points on his licence.) Not so this year. The only thing that was blistering about this year’s race was the tyres. There was a bit of a dog fight at the start, some accusations of Bottas jumping the gun, a domino effect of Kyvat running into Alonso who in turn ran into Verstappen, causing an early retirement for both, and that was pretty much it for the next 65 laps.
The rain didn’t show up, so it was by and large a one stop race for all. Other highlights included Vandorne ignoring a blue flag, Kvyat being given a drive through penalty for said collision and Kimi strategically holding up Bottas for what may have been half a lap. Things did warm up, however, for the last five(ish) laps when Vettel was chasing down Bottas for the lead and a second battle was raging for the final podium place between Hamilton and that Aussie Guy who just happened to win out Driver of the Weekend.
Driver Of The Weekend: Daniel Ricciardo, 40.66% of Reader vote.
Well, Daniel did hid best to keep us entertained this weekend (not mentioning the ‘surprise’ retirement announcement where he did manage to suppress that stellar smile of his for the whole interview.) He cried ‘foul’ at the beginning of the race, made a very good start, putting Vettel under pressure into turn 1, passing Raikkonen (at turn 3) and kept Hamilton at bay for the last five laps, holding onto P3 so winning his fifth consecutive podium of the season. I’m not going to mention the ‘shoey’.
We can only imagine how gutting it is for his team mate Max Verstappen to have had yet another retirement. Red Bull must be looking very hard at their demoted Red Bull Racing driver Daniil Kvyat who caused the incident that ended the Dutchman’s race.