Austrian Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas holds off Sebastian Vettel to take second career win
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 9, 2017 Updated: 9:31 PM
SPIELBERG, Austria -- Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas thrilled the Finnish fans by taking the second win of his career at the Austrian Grand Prix. Bottas was ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who finished second after a hard closing lap charge.
“The first win is obviously special, but this is only my second win, so it’s a great feeling to get it. It’s been my best weekend yet with the pole and the win and I hope we can continue from here. The start was absolutely perfect – definitely my best start ever. And you saw how close it was with Sebastian at the end, so today I needed it. The car was so good this weekend, so I knew we could still do it,” said Bottas.
Vettel came within DRS range and did his best to put the pressure on Bottas in the final laps, but Bottas was able to deal with the pressure and take the checkered flag.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was able to hold off Bottas’ teammate Lewis Hamilton to finish third. Ricciardo kept his head down and defended the three-time world champions closing lap charge to take his fifth podium of the season.
“I do love a fight and Lewis came out of nowhere in the last few laps. It felt like the gap was stable and then within a handful of laps he was catching me pretty rapidly. I then had two laps to go and had to defend which made it a pretty exciting race for me. To have good speed around here in dry conditions was a pleasant surprise for us,” said Ricciardo.
Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after a rough start to the weekend by way of a five-place grid penalty due to an unscheduled gearbox change.
Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth after the team changed to fresh tires at the end of the race for a late charge to catch Hamilton. However, Raikkonen’s pace was not strong enough to bring the plan together.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean ended the day in sixth giving the American team an impressive result finishing in front of Force India drivers Sergio Perez in seventh and Esteban Ocon in eighth. Both drivers have been consistently strong all season. Felipe Massa finished ninth for Williams along with his teammate Lance Stroll in tenth. Stroll has been on a points scoring roll since his home race in Canada.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer finished just outside the top ten in 11th, but this is still a positive result for the British driver. Stoffle Vandoorne took 12th for McLaren-Honda while Palmer’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg finished 13th. Fourteenth went to Pascal Wehrlein after having to start the race from the pit lane and finishing in front of his teammate Marcus Ericsson in 15th.
“I started the race from the pit lane due to an engine change. During my first lap I picked up a piece of debris before reaching turn four. I was slightly worried about the condition of the car, but fortunately it turned out to be alright,” said Wehrlein.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was the last man to finish the Austrian Grand Prix in 16th after making contact with Fernando Alonso who secondarily made contact with Max Verstappen. Kvyat received a drive-through penalty. However, both Alonso and Verstappen were not able to continue on in the race.