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Rosberg clinches Austrian crown

Nico Rosberg, in Spielberg, on Sunday

Spielberg: Nico Rosberg won the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix in a Mercedes one-two finish on Sunday to stretch his championship lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton to 29 points after eight races.

Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who had started on the front row, finished third and fourth, respectively. The victory was Rosberg’s third of the season and his team’s seventh. It was also their sixth one-two finish of the year and came after Massa had ended their run of seven successive pole positions.

“It was not the easiest of races, trying to manage certain things which were right on the limit on the car. But in the end, I had a very, very fast car again,” said Rosberg, interviewed on the podium by former Red Bull racer Mark Webber.

“It was fantastic to win today. It was great also to get a one-two here in Austria. It’s been great to come back here,” added the German, after his eighth successive podium finish and sixth career win.

Meanwhile, Sergio Perez staged a remarkable recovery to finish sixth from 15th on the grid while Nico Hulkenberg came home ninth to earn 10 points for Force India.

In the first Grand Prix held in Austria since 2003, champions Red Bull were eclipsed at their own track with quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel retiring and Australian Daniel Ricciardo finishing eighth.

Having started in 12th position, Vettel never had a chance as his car came to a complete halt shortly after the start. He managed to restart but had to call it quits halfway through the race, having also had a minor brush with Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez that was being investigated.

Mexican Sergio Perez also led the field for Force India until Rosberg hit the front on lap 28 with Bottas caught in a Mercedes sandwich and making it hard for Hamilton to overtake.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished fifth, after also briefly leading, with Perez sixth and Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen seventh for McLaren. Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Force India after being overtaken on their final lap by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen took the final point for Ferrari. (Reuters)