The Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas team returned to winning ways in Austria on Sunday when Nico Rosberg led home team-mate Lewis Hamilton to claim the squad’s sixth 1-2 finish of the 2014 F1 FIA World Championship.
Rosberg’s victory was his third of the campaign and the seventh from eight races for the Mercedes team. The win has allowed the German to stretch his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Standings to 29 points ahead of next weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Rosberg’s margin of victory over his British team partner was just under two seconds at the fall of the chequered flag at the end of 71 laps around the Red Bull Ring, a track making a return to the F1 schedule after many years in the international racing wilderness.
Speaking afterwards, Rosberg said: “This was another great result for me. I felt good throughout the race and my car was running well.
“I had a small brake issue, but I kept that in my mind and was careful. Lewis may also have had the same issues, so we were pretty even during the entire race.”
After claiming his second runners-up position of the season, Hamilton said: “I needed to score as many points as possible today. Nico drove a great race to win, and he deserved it. It was very important to finish and if I was unable to win, I needed to finish as close to Nico as possible in order to score points and maintain my title challenge.
“It was good to race at the Red Bull Ring and now I can look forward to Silverstone. It’s great to race with home fans cheering, and if it had not been for tyre issues last year then I think I would have won.
“As it turned out, Nico won at Silverstone – which was good for the team, but I think now it is my turn!”
Finishing third behind the Mercedes duo was Valtteri Bottas, scoring his first podium finish in Grand Prix racing, driving a Martini Williams. The Finn started the race second on the grid alongside his team-mate, Felipe Massa as the Mercedes-powered Williams cars caused a surprise by locking out the front-row.
Niki Lauda, chairman of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, said after the weekend: “This was a good race for us but we have to be mindful that other teams are capable of winning and catching us up.
“The season has many races still to run so we must not rest on our laurels just yet.
“We will continue to develop our car and look at ways to increase the performance and the gap ahead of our rivals, but we know it will not be easy.
“This season is turning into something very exciting and now we will head to Silverstone. This will be a big race as it is the home race for the team as our headquarters is literally just down the road from the track.”
Standings after round eight: 1. Rosberg (Mercedes) 165; 2. Hamilton (Mercedes) 136; 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 83; 4. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 79; 5. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 60; 6. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 59.