Nico took his third win of the 2015 season and the 11th of his Formula One career to date at the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix. Teammate Lewis Hamilton completed a Silver Arrows 1-2 for the second consecutive time this season in Spielberg with a P2 finish. Felipe Massa and Williams made it an all Mercedes-Benz powered podium in P3. Hamilton is now leading Nico by 10 points in the Driver’s Championship, with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS heading Ferrari by 136 in the Constructor’s standings.
Wow, what a day! It feels so great to win again in Austria. It’s such a special track – very tricky and with a fantastic crowd. After my mistake yesterday in qualifying I was determined to push really hard to win this race. I had a good start and went into turn one in the lead, which was very important as I knew from past races this year that it’s very difficult to overtake the same car on track. After I passed Lewis I was able to control the lead quite comfortably. Towards the end I felt some vibrations on the right front tyre but I was able to manage it to the flag. Big thanks to the team for a great car and a perfect race. Now I’m really looking forward to Silverstone, where I have good memories with the pole last year and the win in 2013.
It was a pretty straightforward race. I didn’t have the best start. I had a problem with the revs in that, when I came off the throttle, the revs stayed up. So, when I dropped the clutch, I had too much wheel spin and lost ground. That’s something we’ll look at after the race. Then, I was keeping up with Nico in the first stint – but in the second phase he just had better pace. At the end it was just about bringing it home – but Nico deserved the win so congratulations to him.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
I’m very happy with the result today, especially at my and Niki’s home circuit here in Spielberg. It’s even more special because we have three Mercedes engines in the top three for the second year in a row; it couldn’t be better. Nico drove a brilliant and dominant race today – he got a great start, had the upper hand on pace and made no mistakes at all. Both boys were right on the limit, as you could see when Nico came into the pit lane sideways for his pit stop! As for Lewis, his race boiled down to the start and the pit stop; he lost out off the line, which we will need to analyse, then looked to have a snap oversteer as he left the pit lane and put two wheels over the line. From there, he just brought the car home and managed the gap to Felipe behind. Like in 2014, we are seeing the advantage swing from driver to driver across the races, and I’m sure they’ll be battling all the way to the end of the season.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
A fantastic result to achieve another 1-2 and particularly so at a home race for Toto and Niki. The start was not ideal for Lewis, so he lost the benefit of pole position. There was no particular issue – Nico just managed to get away slightly better and there was actually not much in it away from the line. 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. It therefore became more of a battle between our two drivers up until the first round of stops. Lewis, of course, was then handed a time penalty for a very small error. The number of errors that either he or Nico make is very small indeed and I think this highlighted that rarity rather than presenting any cause for concern. From there, it became clear to Lewis that the race win was out of reach barring any dramas, which gave us the luxury of managing the cars home for a great 1-2 finish.