Rosberg holds off Hamilton in Austria for third win of season

Mercedes driver reduces teammate’s lead in title race to 10 points

Afp June 21, 2015
Nico Rosberg won the Austrian Grand Prix for the second year in a row in a Mercedes one-two finish with teammate Lewis Hamilton, , who picked up a five-second penalty in the race, on Sunday. PHOTO: AFP

SPIELBERG: Nico Rosberg celebrated his 30th birthday with a third win in four races on Sunday when he beat Mercedes teammate and series leader Lewis Hamilton to triumph in an incident-filled Austrian Grand Prix.

The German driver, who left his twenties behind on Saturday, repeated his 2014 success when he came home a comfortable 3.8 seconds clear of the defending world champion and reduced his lead from 17 points to 10.

After eight of this year’s 19 races, Hamilton, who picked up a five-second penalty in the race, has 169 points and Rosberg, who won last year’s Austrian event, has 159. It was Rosberg’s third win of the season and the 11th of his career.

Brazilian Felipe Massa came third, 17 seconds adrift of the two Mercedes men, six-tenths of a second ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Finn Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams and German Nico Hulkenberg, who one week after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours race, finished sixth for Force India.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was seventh for Lotus ahead of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso, Mexican Sergio Perez in the second Force India and Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who picked up a point for Red Bull, after starting down the back of the grid.

The race began with drama as Rosberg sped into a first corner lead and almost immediately a spectacular collision between two-time champion Fernando Alonso and 2007 champion  Kimi Raikkonen caused the race to be red-flagged with the introduction of a safety car.

Alonso’s car landed on top of Raikkonen’s. Both drivers were unhurt and walked away, shaken but not injured. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd,  2015.

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