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GP Week : Issue 223
such was th pace of Mercedes in Austria that even with a five second penalty for Lewis Hamilton and a vibrating front wheel for Nico Rosberg they were still comfortably in control. Throughout practice there were suggestions Ferrari could match the silver team on pace. The long runs looked promising and the lap times, around the short Spielberg circuit, were all pretty similar. Mercedes wasn't on the back foot, but it certainly wasn't striding clear. Ferrari, we all thought, had its best chance since Malaysia to snag a win. Until the race, that is. From the start the two silver cars shot away like the proverbial rat up a drainpipe. Third placed Sebastian Vettel, even without his unco-operative wheel nut, never stood a chance. If we're honest about it, neither relly did Hamilton. "It was a great start and I managed to defend in the first couple of corners and then I really just tried to push flat out," Rosberg explained. "I was really happy with the car and happy to see the gap open up to Lewis, so it really worked out perfectly today." Once Rosberg had moved into the lead it was his race to lose. He'd been the faster and more consistent of the Mercedes drivers throughout the weekend and only an unusual qualifying session saw Hamilton take pole. "In the second stint Nico generally had better pace," Hamilton confessed. Had Lewis managed to stay inside the line at pit exit, and make a better start, it may have been closer, but Rosberg always seemed to have him covered. 25 GPWEEK.com // 25 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> AUSTRIA PARTNERS: shooting clear