Mercedes have slammed the “brainless” last-lap crash in the Austrian Grand Prix which has left Nico Rosberg under investigation by the stewards after he collided with Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton won the race, passing his team-mate on the final lap, but Rosberg broke his front wing and toured round to finish fourth. The gap in the drivers’ championship is down to 11 points.

The stewards announced they were putting Rosberg under investigation both for causing a collision and for driving a car for almost an entire lap with serious damage.

But Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, said the crash was “brainless”, and that Rosberg had a brake problem. Hamilton was booed on the podium by the Austrian fans but Rosberg appeared to be at fault for the crash.

A furious Wolff said: “Cars colliding seems a  déjà vu. It’s absolutely not what we want. We are looking like a bunch of idiots and it’s disrespectful to 1,500 people who work their nuts off to prepare the cars and this is why it needs to end. We were marginal on brakes, if not to say completely over the brakes.

“We couldn’t tell the drivers so Nico had a brake by wire failure on to the last straight and defended very hard, then seeing both cars nearly colliding is upsetting.

“At the moment I don’t now what I will say to them. It could easily have been a double DNF.”

The accident comes just two months after the Mercedes pair collided in Spain on the first lap, taking each other out of the race.

Rosberg immediately blamed Hamilton, despite images showing he drove well wide and into his team-mate.

“I am absolutely gutted, it’s unbelievable,” Rosberg said. “I was sure to win the race and lost it on the last lap, that’s pretty intense.

Lewis Hamilton was booed on the podium after a last-lap collision with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg handed the triple Formula One world champion a dramatic first Austrian Grand Prix victory on Sunday.

Championship leader Rosberg, who had been in front with Hamilton in his slipstream, nursed his damaged car over the line for fourth place with his advantage cut to 11 points after nine of 21 rounds.



Briton claims maiden win as countrymen fill podium 
Jordan King has converted pole position into his maiden win in this morning’s Sprint Race in Spielberg, but he had to work the whole way: denying the soaking conditions which saw the race start behind the safety car, the Manor test driver set a string of fastest laps to dominate the race to win by 6 seconds from Oliver Rowland and Alex Lynn.
The grid formed under heavy rain conditions which saw spins on the way out on track: inevitably the decision was made to start the race behind the safety car as the rain slowly lightened, going live on lap 3. King defended immediately after a slightly slow getaway, but teammate Norman Nato was unable to take advantage given the volume of water on track. Sean Gelael and Arthur Pic came together on the top of the circuit, and when yesterday’s podium man spun into retirement the safety car was brought back out to give marshals time to deal with his beached car.
Two laps later the race was live and King was not looking back: the Briton set a string of fast laps to break away from the pack and set up a lead that was not to be denied. Behind him Nato was falling back, with Rowland, Raffaele Marciello and Luca Ghiotto all finding a way past in the tricky conditions over the next few laps, while Lynn was also on a charge, sliding up into the points by disposing of Sergey Sirotkin, Mitch Evans and teammate Nicholas Latifi before bringing the two groups together by coming out on top of a huge battle with Ghiotto for P4 on lap 17.
With the rain stopped and the fast drying nature of the circuit in evidence the teams were all telling their drivers to cool their wet tyres wherever they could, but would anyone be brave enough to switch to slicks? Artem Markelov was the first man to gamble, just before another safety car period following Latifi’s spin at Turn one gave the others outside the points the chance for a punt, with the race going live again one lap later.
Lynn was on a charge and claimed Marciello’s scalp after running side by side across the top of the circuit, while behind them Sirotkin, Evans, Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi were squabbling over the final points paying positions. King didn’t look back and recommenced his incredible pace over the closing laps (slower only than the drivers on slicks) to rebuild his lead: with Rowland unable to stay with him King won by 6 seconds, with Lynn unable to stop Rowland scoring his best result to date. Marciello stayed out of trouble late in the race for P4, but Giovinazzi was on fire in the closing laps to move up from P9 at the restart to P5 at the flag, ahead of Sirotkin, Gasly and Evans, all of whom picked up a position when Ghiotto spun on the final corner of the race, undoing all of his good work.
Marciello leaves Spielberg with the lead in the drivers’ title fight on 66 points, ahead of Evans on 56, Nato on 55, Markelov and Rowland on 54, Giovinazzi on 53 and Lynn on 51 points, while in the teams’ competition RUSSIAN TIME leads Racing Engineering by 120 points to 100, ahead of PREMA Racing on 99, Pertamina Campos Racing on 80 with DAMS and ART Grand Prix on 72 points as the grid heads to Silverstone.



ART Grand Prix claim a one-two-three in qualifying in Austria
Series leader Charles Leclerc claimed his first pole in the category after posting a superb lap of 1:19.041 which was over half a second quicker than his ART Grand Prix teammate Alexander Albon. Nyck de Vries in third also from ART GP completed the trio.
The thirty minute qualifying session for Round 2 of the 2016 GP3 Series got underway in warm temperatures and under blue skies. Scuderia Ferrari Team development driver Leclerc was first to set the pace with Albon in second and Trident’s Antonio Fuoco in third.
Soon after De Vries grabbed P1 by 0.039s before Leclerc dipped into the 1m19’s to go top. Albon then found some extra pace to lap one tenth shy of the Monegasque driver. At the midway point, the drivers returned to the pitlane to switch to new Pirelli rubber; ready to attack again for the coveted pole and four points attached to it.  Leclerc led Albon, De Vries, Fuoco and Nirei Fukuzumi at the half way point, the top four covered by 0.365s.
Fukuzumi then jumped up to P2, a mere 0.003s off Leclerc’s fastest lap – with the ART GP squad holding the first four positions. The battle for pole wasn’t over as Leclerc and Albon fought intensely; the two swapping P1 several times in the final minutes.
However, Leclerc put his foot down and recorded a fantastic lap; seven tenths faster than his opposition. Albon did his best to retaliate yet again; but his best efforts were still half a second shy of the Series leader. In the final minutes, Koiranen GP’s Ralph Boschung shot up to P4; demoting Fukuzumi to fifth.
At the chequered flag, Leclerc was happy to achieve his debut pole; ahead of his teammates Albon and De Vries. Boschung, Fukuzumi, Matthew Parry, Oscar Tunjo, Jake Dennis, Jake Hughes and Santino Ferrucci completed the top ten.



ART Grand Prix driver denies Antonio Giovinazzi
Sergey Sirotkin took his second pole position of the season in today’s qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring. The Russian driver set the fastest laptime in a 1:13.663 denying Antonio Giovinazzi by six thousandths. Pierre Gasly completed the top three.
The session opened once again in sunny conditions and warm temperatures. The drivers fed onto the track eager to put their Supersoft Pirelli tyres to good use. Sirotkin was quick to set the early pace but Gasly was the first man to dip under 1m14s, lapping the Austrian track in a 1:13.974 and claiming the provisional pole.
Halfway through the session, the cars returned to the pits for fresh rubber. With ten minutes left on the clock, Alex Lynn led the final charge. On a busy track, Sirotkin found a clear lap to clock in a laptime of 1:13.663 – almost a second better than last year’s pole, and went top. Giovinazzi lit the first sector in purple and was on a flyer but went too wide in the final corner. The Italian driver had to settle for P2 ahead of teammate Gasly who also improved but not enough to start from the front row. On his final attempt, rookie Luca Ghiotto found some extra pace to move up to P4; his best qualifying result this season. The session ended under yellow flags after Jimmy Eriksson stopped at Turn 7.
At the chequered flag, behind the top three, Ghiotto, Artem Markelov, Raffaele Marciello, Oliver Rowland, Lynn, Norman Nato and Mitch Evans rounded up the top ten.

F1Weekly podcast # 706


John Surtees, CBE (born 11 February 1934) is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He is a four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion – winning that title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – the Formula One World Champion in 1964, and remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. He founded the Surtees Racing Organisation team that competed as a constructor in Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula 5000 from 1970 to 1978. He is also the ambassador of the Racing Steps Foundation.

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An emotional Sunday for Nico Müller: in the second race at the Norisring, the 24-year-old Swiss scored his maiden DTM race win. Having started from third place, Müller took the lead on lap 43 following a perfect pit stop by his Team and defended this position until the finish. After 72 laps of the only 2.3 kilometres long track, he crossed the finish line with a margin of 0.670 seconds from second-placed BMW driver Tom Blomqvist from Great Britain. Belgian Maxime Martin, another BMW driver, ended up third. In total, 123,500 spectators came to witness the DTM action in Nuremberg over the weekend. The Norisring is the only street circuit on the calendar of the popular touring car series.

“This can become addictive,” a buoyant Müller commented in his first interview. “Now, I want to be on the top step of the podium more often. My team laid the foundation for this victory with a perfect pit stop, many thanks to them.” Blomqvist wasn’t too upset about the fact that he hadn’t been able to convert his maiden DTM pole position into a race win. “To be honest, we didn’t expect such a good result at the Norisring. Therefore, I am happy, even though I am only in second place.”

Behind the trio in front, the two Mercedes-AMG drivers Paul Di Resta and Lucas Auer finished fourth and fifth, with local hero Marco Wittmann (BMW) coming home sixth. This result was enough for the 26-year-old to take the lead in the drivers’ standings after eight races. Wittmann is now on top with 75 points from Edoardo Mortara (73 points). The Audi driver only finished eighth in the race behind Bruno Spengler (BMW) and thus lost the points’ lead he only had secured on the previous day. Di Resta is third, with the first three drivers in the standings separated only by five points.

The result promises excitement for the remainder of the DTM season, with the next round scheduled at Zandvoort in The Netherlands, July 15 till 17. At the dune circuit, only a stone’s throw away from the North Sea Coast, the DTM will reach its halfway point with races nine and ten of the current season.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast