2003 may not be a year that many remember with a particular fondness, but it does hold a great deal of relevance this weekend in Austria.
It was the year that the last race in Spielberg was held at the old A1-Ring, and it was also the year that Williams last locked out the front row in qualifying in Formula 1.
Eleven years later, all of that has changed. We’re back in Austria at the revamped and renamed Red Bull Ring, and Williams is back on top. Despite Mercedes dominating proceedings so far this season, both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came unstuck during Q3 on Saturday, allowing Felipe Massa to secure pole position for the first time in five years. Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas will join him on the front row of the grid, with Rosberg in third place and Hamilton down in ninth.
FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE
- Sergio Perez has carried over a five place grid penalty for causing the accident at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix with Felipe Massa.
- Marussia’s Max Chilton received a three place grid penalty for crashing into teammate Jules Bianchi in Montreal two weeks ago.
- The stewards were busy deleting times during qualifying for drivers running wide at turn eight. In total, fourteen times were deleted.
- Race director Charlie Whiting has written to the drivers explicitly warning them against running wide at turn eight. The letter reads: “Any driver leaving the track on the exit of turn eight who appears to have gained a clear and lasting advantage by doing so, will be reported to the stewards. We would not, for example, expect a driver who left the track on the exit of turn eight to attempt to pass a driver in front of him into turn one.”
- The stewards have also reminded the teams about the fuel flow limit rule, having done the same ahead of the Canadian GP.
- 0700 ET – Romain Grosjean will start from the pit lane after the team broke parc ferme rules to change his gearbox and his rear aerodynamic setting.
2014 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID
1. Felipe Massa Williams
2. Valtteri Bottas Williams
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
11. Jenson Button McLaren
12. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
15. Sergio Perez Force India
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber
17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia
19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
21. Max Chilton Marussia
Pit Lane: Romain Grosjean Lotus
The Austrian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET. For live streaming options, click here.
Belardi Auto Racing, which currently fields entries for Aaron Telitz, Santi Urrutia, and Shelby Blackstock in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, announced on Tuesday that USAC standout Chad Boat, son of former Verizon IndyCar Series race winner Billy Boat, will make his Indy Lights debut with the Brian Belardi led-outfit. Boat will contest the July 9 race at Iowa Speedway, a track he has previously raced on in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and will return for the August 26 event at Gateway Motorsports Park.
“We’re extremely pleased to announce the addition of Chad Boat to our stable of drivers for the Iowa and Gateway Indy Lights oval races this summer,” team owner Brian Belardi detailed. “It’s exciting to have a second-generation driver running with us, and we’re certainly looking forward to getting Chad on track in Iowa.”
The younger Boat has become a star in his own right in USAC, winning Rookie of the Year honors in both the USAC National Midget and Sprint car divisions. The 25-year-old will pilot the No. 84 entry, with sponsorship from Pristine Auction.
“I grew up watching my dad race Indy cars, so having the opportunity to run Indy Lights this year is absolutely surreal,” said Boat. “I have to thank Belardi Auto Racing for giving me a shot behind the wheel of the No. 84 Dallara, as well as Pristine Auction for their continued support in my racing career. I can’t wait to get to Iowa Speedway.”
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Pirelli has confirmed all 20 Formula 1 drivers’ tire picks for next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with most opting to stack up on ultra-softs.
As it does for every grand prix, Pirelli will bring three compounds to Austria next week, electing for the softest possible combination of ultra-soft, super-soft and soft tires.
In the regular pre-race release of each driver’s tire picks, Pirelli revealed that Force India, McLaren and Red Bull have gone down the most aggressive routes, stacking up on the ultra-soft tire.
Title contenders Mercedes and Ferrari have gone down a more conservative route, favoring additional sets of the super-soft compound.
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will take seven sets of ultra-softs to Spielberg, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will have eight sets at their disposal through the weekend.
Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing faced a roller coaster of a race during the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America on Sunday.
He was a rocket off the initial start, jumping from sixth on the grid up to fourth exiting turn 1, but was almost immediately ordered to surrender a position for blocking. He quickly slipped back to sixth, and then began plummeting down the order as he battled an oversteer condition that saw his car chew through its rear tires more quickly than others.
Forced to abandon the planned three-stop strategy, he and the No. 15 Gehl Honda team switched to a four-stop plan that saw him drop well outside the top ten at times.
However, they kept plugging away and rebounded nicely in the second half of the race to eventually finish in eighth. While he would have liked to finish higher up the order, Rahal knows that he and the team got everything they could out of it.
“The car was a handful today. I knew about five laps in that I didn’t have the pace for a three-stop strategy,” Rahal revealed post-race. “We tried as best we could to work with what we had during the race and overcome it. I would have obviously liked to have finished better, but eighth is about as good as we could do today. We struggled with a very loose race car all weekend and just couldn’t put a dent in the problem. We worked awfully hard but just missed it this weekend.”
The eighth-place finish keeps Rahal in the championship hunt. Rahal now sits seventh in the standings, 11 points behind fifth-place Josef Newgarden and 72 behind championship leader Scott Dixon.
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Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones has made waves in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a string of solid performances that belie his rookie status.
And Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America was no different.
The 22-year-old battled an oversteering car most of the weekend at Road America, and had to navigate a little carnage late in the race as Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay both fell through the field with front wing problems.
However, Jones weathered all storms to finish an impressive seventh, his fifth finish inside the top 10 this year, and his best finish since his third place at the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade MotorOil.
“It was a really tough race,” Jones said of the effort. “We had a loose car yesterday. It was loose, but fast, for qualifying, and today again the car was really loose. I was hanging on the whole race, but the team had some good pit stops and we were able to move up.
“Obviously, the strategy was pretty similar to everyone else. Everyone was aggressive out there. It was hard racing but we came out with a seventh place and we moved up a little bit in the points.”
The seventh-place run sees Jones maintain his position in the top ten in the championship. He currently sits tenth in the standings, three points ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Max Chilton.
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