The 2017 Austrian Grand Prix is officially in the books and it was a fairly straightforward affair as pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and his first row companion, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari started 1-2 and finished 1-2 in the race. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished third.
Bottas got an amazing start that had both Vettel and race stewards thinking he may have jumped the green light – but his magnificent .2 of a second reaction time was legal – and that meant it was merely a 71-lap Bottas-Vettel parade with the only real drama coming from whether or not Bottas’ Mercedes’ teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who started in the eighth position, could eventually overtake Ricciardo for the final podium spot. But Ricciardo masterfully held off Hamilton and the 1-2-3 finish of Bottas-Vettel-Ricciardo is how ASN will keep the point-scoring for this race with Bottas performing a very good drive to go along with his great start, Vettel doing his best to put pressure on Bottas [especially at the end] and Ricciardo being solid throughout the race.
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award is a no-brainer – going to Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who clumsily rear-ended McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who then pinballed into Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – taking all three out of the race on the opening turn of the opening lap. You can’t get more Maldonado-esque than that.
It was a light day on the radio for the drivers so the Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing! Award was a difficult one to assess and ASN reluctantly awards it to Hamilton for his whiny “I’m struggling out here” remark as he tried to catch up to Ricciardo.
The Bernie Ecclestone Doofus Moment Award was somewhat easier, going to 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed organizers – their event preceding the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix and their decision to honor Ecclestone, whose exceptionally greedy handling of Formula One while he was in charge, arguably, nearly destroyed the sport.
2017 ASN Formula One Driver’s Rankings [after 2017 Austrian Grand Prix]
1] Sebastian Vettel – 20 points
2] Valtteri Bottas – 10
3] Lewis Hamilton – seven
4] Daniel Ricciardo – five
5] Esteban Ocon – four
6] Sergio Perez/Kimi Raikkonen – two
8] Fernando Alonso/Romain Grosjean/Lance Stroll/Stoffel Vandoorne/Max Verstappen – one
2017 Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award [after 2017 Austrian Grand Prix]
1] Perez/Sainz, Jr. – two points
3] Grosjean/Kvyat/Magnussen/Palmer/Vandoorne/Vettel – one
2017 Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award [after 2017 Austrian Grand Prix]
1] Alonso/Vettel – two points
3] Jenson Button/Grosjean/Hamilton/Mercedes pit [Bottas]/Red Bull pit [Verstappen]/Vettel – one
2017 Bernie Ecclestone Doofus Moment Award [after 2017 Austrian Grand Prix]
1] Ecclestone – three points
2] 2017 Australian Grand Prix officials/Bottas/Canadian Grand Prix officials/2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed organizers/Mercedes marketing/Stroll – one