Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Mercedes surprised by gap to Ferrari

2015 Austrian Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2015The Austrian Grand Prix turned into a straight fight between the Mercedes drivers as the anticipated threat from Ferrari failed to materialise.

While Mercedes have dominated the season so far – this was their fifth one-two in eight races – they expected Ferrari to push them much harder in Austria.

But as Sebastian Vettel dropped back in the first stint of the race the contest for victory was between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

“After the very early safety car, it then became clear that Nico had a slight pace advantage over Lewis – but more importantly that our car was showing a bigger advantage than we had anticipated over Ferrari,” explained the team’s executive director for technical Paddy Lowe.

Vettel had dropped over ten seconds behind the leaders by lap 22. His deficit then more than doubled when Ferrari were unable to get his right-rear wheel to attach during his pit stop.

However having switched to the soft tyres Vettel began to show the kind of pace which had Mercedes worried before the race began. He gained six seconds over the rest of the race before Rosberg backed off considerably in the final two laps.

Rosberg had already set the fastest lap of the race much earlier – just before the half-way point. Significantly, he did it on his very first lap out of the pits – a decisive moment in the fight for victory.

2015 Austrian Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2015drivercolours.csv

1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556575859606162636465666768697071
Lewis Hamilton93.767138.219124.973118.053113.486109.74174.4473.24473.03472.76272.24272.23372.22272.40172.3372.34272.2672.21772.14572.672.48472.39272.41273.30172.70372.84872.61572.65472.46472.88872.43772.62472.90672.54375.96490.43672.27872.42471.82172.33772.42872.48171.98972.33671.76372.06571.91671.69271.91972.05472.41971.89571.86971.90271.68471.74172.15371.85271.70671.47571.51471.75871.92872.28771.88172.01172.07572.16772.25572.19774.076
Nico Rosberg92.902137.155125.597118.402113.637109.87373.60773.17772.62972.41972.15772.50972.34572.50672.38972.46672.17372.18472.00172.18272.27172.13172.37372.14472.48773.13972.7772.94872.78572.87672.91473.17577.1689.70171.23571.66471.97371.70571.6972.14472.1572.05872.21171.99171.44571.82171.93372.14471.73672.30372.49371.8172.07172.00171.82671.81671.66771.9371.73271.76471.9172.24772.07271.92872.01372.30872.41172.26972.56474.1972.521
Sebastian Vettel95.352137.731124.86118.449113.492108.97975.22373.83673.41972.89672.81172.82272.67772.76872.91372.73372.5372.52972.34672.86672.96372.67772.67372.94373.04273.31372.94873.07672.93973.00672.74573.17672.98172.87972.89476.95899.81172.31471.83972.06971.89871.89171.72571.49971.57371.78771.98971.92172.23471.88171.72471.80872.01872.00871.78371.62671.55571.66571.75971.6871.64971.82671.67671.53971.72371.79272.42171.90571.81672.14772.115
Felipe Massa96.377137.878124.494118.524113.417108.61875.70273.98673.65273.25873.02872.94372.98673.03772.78373.11672.6272.64272.68472.98173.06872.96872.74872.77673.33272.96973.34273.1773.14273.45473.17773.66173.7777.15290.56572.20472.09772.00171.98871.93772.00271.90671.88971.96971.84171.93972.34672.13171.99972.19171.79171.98372.0971.69272.10371.68471.68571.61371.89471.78672.24771.89771.83171.63371.81972.01172.44971.85471.68772.13672.158
Nico Hulkenberg97.967137.109124.97118.061113.833107.73775.79874.16873.97373.52573.30373.22173.1873.54273.16873.15573.27473.23473.00473.15873.50873.44173.65673.77277.9889.83372.89172.71672.87772.88172.76473.08473.18373.75674.48574.48574.4573.10873.38773.2673.26373.52372.97872.87772.83273.16573.01673.03973.0772.9572.72273.173.06172.80472.89173.3172.92873.25672.79572.69572.6572.54172.62472.73872.91172.64872.7473.07372.99673.09173.821
Valtteri Bottas99.657138.218124.035119.005112.664106.72476.41674.84773.59973.4873.60373.43873.12873.54573.4373.0873.1373.08973.15473.09273.4372.97373.32773.31172.9476.07392.07173.172.99872.67472.61972.84973.00673.38973.39874.61173.35774.32473.11972.91673.19172.80972.74672.50672.89273.46972.68272.55972.43772.32772.29872.24872.38772.972.43772.30472.38772.37272.52772.45472.52872.44472.59472.76972.89172.72272.67473.06572.88672.77273.438
Max Verstappen98.831137.574124.765119.122112.329107.38576.05674.43373.78473.64273.24773.50173.31973.75174.95173.70673.54873.20973.64773.7473.5173.43473.68373.95773.99777.16892.44873.9773.63973.38372.95373.22873.24573.28873.19873.23273.28273.66273.01873.34273.23873.27373.10473.09573.07673.27372.97673.10872.97272.76773.24872.82972.8272.97772.69472.60472.52872.70973.02173.03572.77472.49472.46472.34972.75173.44473.4273.21976.36274.303
Felipe Nasr100.842138.176123.754119.968112.134105.6376.6575.18674.12774.07274.09373.52973.4573.57973.74973.6673.88373.56273.45173.62773.84873.70673.8878.76293.07574.92973.69973.61373.62573.29573.31773.873.80773.99373.91174.04173.80674.33574.17874.77574.22373.91373.6173.39773.6175.0275.06773.92373.71374.01374.61773.74573.23373.07573.33473.09373.0573.10273.1574.43675.39273.57873.61173.66174.31474.04174.36674.37573.77175.255
Romain Grosjean102.739138.75124.385119.735111.2104.36177.75275.11774.89373.94174.19674.47873.95773.5973.69873.87373.99373.54273.60273.64573.77273.60977.03591.49773.573.33373.03973.03173.10372.99273.09473.58973.06372.881102.318
Pastor Maldonado104.631138.199124.587119.95111.721102.77877.51775.50474.89174.49874.23774.06873.88373.63573.71173.73573.67173.93373.53173.95973.72873.49673.83973.7974.26373.81973.81473.64973.69973.46273.53373.66274.07273.66874.05874.70877.66490.04573.42372.20472.5372.52172.76272.60873.20472.56472.46872.58773.56972.99572.15272.26972.28472.11372.10471.88871.79571.78572.49272.23372.73672.43972.5472.83672.30773.3873.5572.73476.09573.436
Marcus Ericsson105.713138.158127.893120.129111.75100.44377.53877.42576.23775.77975.1279.16687.71374.73674.60374.58674.20874.39874.79296.71877.6574.53776.59174.58574.51375.25774.43474.56374.23274.07374.0874.20475.12475.574.42674.36573.92873.58673.68274.05776.03174.14274.03687.57478.76393.20773.39372.64973.00474.03674.34974.14872.82172.5672.62672.51672.79773.06972.78773.0673.07972.95973.19173.24473.46473.35273.88774.03976.242
Carlos Sainz Jnr102.198137.391124.332120.792111.032105.13676.92375.1174.35173.85474.16373.79673.68673.80173.71873.81673.59473.37573.6173.93973.5273.43573.8774.53176.86197.09773.36173.23473.49679.17882.63282.27283.88582.41190.761
Sergio Perez103.896138.375124.481119.388111.997103.41677.05975.12374.5274.25974.13974.03573.9673.93673.83973.91773.84373.7173.42873.69573.77573.5373.83974.1374.08373.8173.84173.86173.70173.41373.79973.82873.76873.78674.66774.02673.85777.80995.66372.56672.57173.63973.14673.10873.37573.28172.86172.67972.74774.48972.88272.7772.572.57972.73172.67374.79272.37772.79972.57272.64572.62373.19273.22273.32973.27273.12472.66872.82973.141
Kimi Raikkonen
Daniil Kvyat105.154142.352123.127119.807111.958100.6277.96475.85975.28674.78875.42474.89574.76874.49674.26874.62774.88574.27874.17274.14774.15174.07474.17374.14574.20674.00574.69174.03875.20174.27375.11374.46274.20474.19373.6473.71774.29674.49874.14275.89874.43974.32774.8273.94278.16691.54874.4974.02672.55772.70372.64372.32572.4572.31672.62672.46572.60772.59572.70673.00372.96973.09673.11473.5373.97973.59373.54773.12273.35976.717
Roberto Merhi106.309137.092124.662119.873111.937102.60478.27977.45578.33776.93976.62976.54477.35976.13476.1776.17975.60875.70175.65477.36375.92475.78277.78376.0675.96877.19176.84176.10575.92675.92376.26977.40776.57580.71396.66175.72275.29275.19275.58975.03576.53776.24775.4375.3475.45375.17678.49775.10575.15874.96976.03675.58776.45775.14976.58275.20977.12774.93976.69176.6875.50275.33676.86977.36576.45875.34675.19775.18
Will Stevens109.759
Daniel Ricciardo107.791137.708124.128119.923111.412101.61977.49475.67175.09974.82974.37674.46374.28374.58374.28874.18874.2974.11674.03774.14474.07174.08774.1374.27773.98574.07174.1673.92574.03173.86273.76473.92973.80173.71873.51273.69773.94173.94974.32974.12673.84673.75573.65973.71773.71173.61173.61873.8274.20478.16296.22272.00471.73971.77971.80971.74271.71571.83872.25672.36471.90571.6975.81872.01272.09372.1371.91671.83571.68971.962
Fernando Alonso
Jenson Button108.678138.046124.174121.925112.208102.229101.204118.603

2015 Austrian Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’11.23535
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’11.4750.24060
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’11.4990.26444
4Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’11.6130.37858
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’11.6890.45469
6Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’11.7850.55058
7Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’12.2481.01352
8Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’12.3161.08154
9Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’12.3491.11464
10Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’12.3771.14258
11Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’12.5161.28156
12Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’12.5411.30662
13Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’12.8811.64634
14Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’13.0501.81557
15Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’13.2341.99928
16Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’14.9393.70458
17Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’41.20429.9697
18Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’49.75938.5241

2015 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Mercedes surprised by gap to Ferrari”

  1. Pre-race: Ferrari is closer than you think, we will have to watch our back.
    Post-race: Gap is bigger than we thought.

    Every single race since Bahrein….

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      21st June 2015, 19:57

      Indeed. They get our hopes up for a challenge on Friday and then it comes to nothing in the race. Either Ferrari are consistently running light on Friday or (and I think more likely) is that Mercedes just don’t turn the wick up at all on Fridays.

      1. Or that way they just have an excuse in case they lose xD

    2. pastaman (@)
      21st June 2015, 21:26

      Agreed, is anyone really “surprised” anymore

    3. They seems to take turns between Toto/Lauda/Ros/Ham to make a comment about how quick the Ferrari’s are after Friday’s practice.

      I think its Lauda’s turn to be ‘worried’ about Ferrari’s pace at Silverstone.

  2. Even this “soft tyres kind of pace” isn’t real. Massa too, while trying to maintain the gap to Vettel was faster than both Mercedes.
    Mercedes was already cruising. Their battle ended when Hamilton made the mistake exiting the pits.

  3. Sometimes I’m more surprise about all this talk coming from Mercedes and media all around, about Ferrari having similar pace to Mercs and maybe challenging them. Arrivabene never said Ferrari would fight with Mercs this year for the title.. The only thing he promised is that they would try to get 2 wins and be the best of the rest (which lately isn’t really working)

    1. Same here. I think people need to keep their expectations of Ferrari in check. Mercedes almost always have a pretty comfy performance gap over them. I don’t read too much into Ferrari’s practice pace compared to Mercedes because by now everyone knows Mercedes aren’t showing their hand fully.

      Ferrari are still having a pretty strong season considering last year.

  4. a straight ‘fight’

    I don’t think Vettel would have been able to get within 5 seconds of Hamilton even if his pit stop went right.

    1. Yeah, he was already 10 seconds behind, with the two Mercs on fresh tyres. They could have pulled further away if needed.

      1. I mean 10 seconds behind before the pitstop.

  5. Help me understand something … the comment about Massa being faster than either Mercedes … if you isolate the graph to just Massa and Nico, the big differences seems to be that Nico had a quicker pitstop and outlap, otherwise, pretty close. Am I reading this correctly?

Comments are closed.