Romain Grosjean, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2017

2017 Austrian Grand Prix Star Performers

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean were F1 Fanatic’s Star Performers for the Austrian Grand Prix. Here’s why.

Stars

Valtteri Bottas

Bottas banished any suggestions he might be a one-win wonder with a classy pole-to-flag drive. It wasn’t flawless – his pole lap was a little scruffy and he blistered his tyres in his final stint. But he deserves credit for an excellent first stint, another fine performance under pressure from Sebastian Vettel and a start which was so good some of his rivals literally couldn’t believe it.

Sebastian Vettel

Second was probably the maximum for Vettel and Ferrari, though it bears pointing out he beat Lewis Hamilton on merit in qualifying before the Mercedes driver’s penalty. He couldn’t get close enough at the end to put a move on Bottas but he gave it a good go.

Daniel Ricciardo

Max Verstappen was flying again but Daniel Ricciardo beat him in qualifying to take fourth. That became third with a bold pass on Kimi Raikkonen at the start, and from there he just had the pace to hold off Hamilton, needing only to cover off the Mercedes driver on the penultimate lap.

Romain Grosjean

Couldn’t have bounced back more emphatically from his torrid weekend in Baku. Took ‘best of the rest’ honours in qualifying and the race, and even led Raikkonen briefly during the latter. Needs more performances like this to make a case for the 2018 promotion he craves.

Strugglers

Start, Red Bull Ring, 2017
Kvyat eliminated 10% of the field

Daniil Kvyat

Carlos Sainz Jnr beat him into Q3 and Kvyat seemed to get a bit too excited when he got ahead of his team mate at the start. He braked too late, took out two of his rivals, and was arguably lucky to get no more than a drive-through penalty in a race he had already ruined.

Stoffel Vandoorne

Vandoorne was arguably McLaren’s best chance of taking points in Austria as he was the only driver whose updated ‘spec three’ engine was still working come qualifying. He was beaten by Alonso, however, and collected a penalty in the race which did for his chances of scoring.

Kimi Raikkonen

Well off Vettel’s pace all weekend – a half-second margin in qualifying is a lot around a 64-second lap. He offered little resistance to Ricciardo and Grosjean at the start, though he reclaimed a place from the latter before being relegated back to fifth by Hamilton. He took the chequered flag almost 20 seconds after his team mate.

And the rest

Had Hamilton been able to replicate his Friday pace on Saturday he might have started two places higher up and come away with something better than fourth after his penalty. Verstappen and Alonso’s races were ruined through no fault of their own.

The Force India and Williams drivers had clean races, the former pair keeping out of each others’ way this time. Kevin Magnussen, who probably deserved a ‘Star Performer’ nod in Baku two weeks ago, might have got one for Austria too had his car not broken down in qualifying and the race. Carlos Sainz Jnr’s weekend was also compromised by multiple technical problems, though he did manage to reach Q3.

Jolyon Palmer had his most convincing race performance so far this year after another indifferent run in qualifying. His team mate’s weekend was a mirror image. Sauber were well off the pace but Pascal Wehrlein did well to beat Marcus Ericsson after starting in the pits.

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other F1 Fanatics share your view here:

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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21 comments on “2017 Austrian Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    10th July 2017, 16:42

    I think Hamilton deserves more credit. After incurring the gear box penalty the team took off wing to help him overtake on the short straights; this impaired the car’s balance and tyre handling for the remainder of the weekend. In qualifying his tyre strategy was compromised to give him more flexibility in the race. In other words, the knock on consequences from the penalty were significant and loaded the dice against him, despite which he came from 8th to beat one of the Ferraris on merit and came close to making the podium. This seems far more impressive to me than Vettel’s performance: beaten in qualifying (thanks to mistakes), beaten in the race.

    1. yet Seb out-qualified LH in a slower car -_-

      1. yada yada yada

  2. Many wish they had loyal fans like you ;)

    1. Racerdude7730
      11th July 2017, 3:37

      We all have favorites but damn it’s hard to see people try and say the best of the race was someone in the fastest car moving up a few spots to not even make the podium and pass a Red Bull that in reality should be slow. Not the fact his teammate won the race and held everyone off or the fact someone like massa came from the back of the field to being well inside the points in a bad car but hey Lewis was awesome ūüĎŹ

      1. Racerdude7730
        11th July 2017, 3:39

        Also Lewis was beat fair and square by vettel and his team mate

        1. Racerdude7730
          11th July 2017, 3:40

          In qualifying ( we really need an edit button this is getting crazy)

  3. Vettel beat Hamilton fair and square during Q3 and despite making up some places, Hamilton gave no indication that he could have caught Vettel. Hamilton’s fast laps towards the third quarter of the race when all the cars were lighter than at the start have little bearing as he was in fresh US tyres whereas all the others were on SS tyres.

    1. His tyres were anything but fresh at that point.

      1. Even so, all cars were lighter in the second stint, which would mean that while the US tryes would continue to give that additional grip, their wear differential would not be quite so high as at the start of the race.

        1. Racerdude7730
          11th July 2017, 3:43

          He had nothing for DR much less vettel he was beat fair and square on pace. You can’t say any different bc he had no in race issues other then not being able to manage his tires from the way it sounded on the radio. They seemed to hold up but either way he was the 4th fastest and idk how anyone can say different

          1. he was the fastest in the race, he made the race lap record… and he didnt race harder if you heard his radio messages, he was super concerned about his blisters (last year vettel anyone?)… i think he still played it plenty safe… have you seen him make any aggressive move on Ric? he was playing the long game i believe, rather than short quick point to risk no point at all… props to Ric also he held his lines well all due to slow corners are RB territory and straights are not crazy long here to make anything stick unless you get super good exit and start bare meters away from leading car to get slip stream…

            hopefuly ham wont have those technical gremlins come this weekend, and you may see real Ham…

            British and Hungarian GPs are one of Ham’ fav, and he has always been more successful here in general… Also think about Vettel’s overdue technical penalties for engine parts… he has been lucky to get parts changed without incurring any penalty as of yet, but he is at limit now…

            it will be interesting second half of the calendar… apart from 2 potential races, i dont see Ferrari being dominant unless they make some major PU break through… Since OIL burn limit, Ferrari seems to be effected more… so we will see…

  4. Flat race, with very good finish, …three more laps and who knows.
    Bottas can reach the end with a chance?, fight between three?.
    My Stars Von √Ėsterreich
    5 Bottas
    4 Vettel, Ricciardo, Grosjean
    3 Perez, Ocon, Massa, Stroll
    2 Hamilton, Vandoorne
    1 Palmer, Wehrlein, Magnussen
    0 Räikkönen, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Ericsson, Sainz, Alonso
    -1 Daniil Kvyat

    1. Vandoorne on +2. For what? Getting out qualified by his teammate despite having a faster engine. Having absolutely no impact on the race whatsoever? Finishing just in front of the Saubers and well out of the points??? I thought he was marginally better than Kvyat… who was an absolute disaster this weekend.

      1. Stoffel had a very decent race in a car that doesn’t work, did the best he could, taking the car in the end, its enough. We agree, Kvyat was a disaster.

    2. I’d drop Stroll and Kyvat a notch. I’d drop Vandoorne probably two notches.

      1. No, Stroll finished where he should end, he did very well.
        Kvyat, an absolute disgrace, was more concerned about passing to Sainz than looking forward, had passed to Sainz and had time to slow down, but still saw Sainz, …terrible.

  5. Well in all fairness to Kimi, his race strategy was quite insane. Ferrari obviously keep him on old tyres too long and try to use him as block for Bottas(which did not work out that well) to give Vettel change to win the race.

    The start I can agree, he really should stop being such a fair to other drivers.

  6. @f1-liners Missing your season tally here!

  7. @f1-liners sent me a message saying he can’t contribute anymore, so I will run the season tally.

    Season Star Performers:
    +6: Vettel
    +5:
    +4:
    +3: Alonso, Perez, Hamilton, Verstappen
    +2: Hulkenberg, Bottas
    +1: Wehrlein, Ricciardo
    0 : Giovinazzi, Massa, Ocon, Button, Sainz, Grosjean
    -1: Magnussen, Ericsson, Kvyat
    -2: Stroll
    -3: Raikkonen, Vandoorne
    -4: Palmer

    To pre-empt any questions: This is simply the running tally of Keith’s star performers and strugglers, with one point added when a driver was mentioned as a star performer, and one point subtracted when a driver was mentioned as a struggler.

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