F1’s return to Austria produced a middling race

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2014Formula One’s return to Austria was greeted by a huge and enthusiastic crowd. But how did the race go down with fans?

An average score of 6.6 out of ten was slightly down on the average for the season so far (7.1) but not far off the same figure since Rate the Race began in 2008 (6.8).

The widely-held view among fans was that after an exciting qualifying session, which produced some surprise on the grid, the race didn’t really live up to expectations. And for some the increasingly common sight of computer-generated advertisements – which at this race included a personal message from Bernie Ecclestone to Red Bull Ring owner Dietrich Mateschitz – has become an irritation.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about the Austrian Grand Prix since 2003.

Nice track, shame about the race

A hesitating grand prix. When you take a look at the live timing and see that a driver is less than one second to another, you expect some racing action.

At this track, you can overtake at turn one, two, three, four, six, seven and eight. Seen in GP3 and GP2.
JayfreeseKnight (@Jeff1s)

Great track, never expected the race to be that boring. Williams did everything strategy-wise not to get in Mercedes’ way. Great drive from Perez though.
Oli (@Dh1996)

Lack of track action

The battle between the Mercedes drivers never happened and a battle between Bottas and Massa didn’t really happen either.

The most exciting part was wondering if Maldonado would be clean when being lapped, he actually pleasantly surprised me today. Good drive from Perez to make up for his stupidity last race. A few nice overtakes and a nice first lap but tapered off towards the second half.
Duncan Brokensha (@Broke84)

Even though Williams had both cars on the front row from even before the race I thought that Rosberg would end up winning and that although Hamilton might catch his team mate he would not get past him. So there wasn’t really much excitement and tension relating to the victory itself for me.

Also I didn’t think there was that much on track action through the rest of the field.
@PJA

More drivers should look into using the harder tyres for their first stint. It’s obviously the better strategy.

Although current regulations make that pretty much impossible other than missing out on Q3 (like Perez keeps doing). Not sure what the idea was to fix tyres on the fastest lap in Q2, but it has definitely made sure there will be no different strategies among the drivers going through to Q3.
@Patrickl

TV direction, artificial ads – and personal messages

It almost looked like there were only five cars racing at some point. It was obvious nothing was going to happen, show some other cars then…
PorscheF1 (@Xtwl)

Showing Dietrich Mateschitz signing autographs mid-race, the cheeky television print on the track saying ‘Congratulations Mr Dietrich’… I understand it’s basically their race, but there are cleverer ways – the end for example, with everyone in the grandstands showing the Austrian flag, and the bull sculpture in the middle of the track. The rest is just cheap stuff that annoys viewers. Show the race instead!
@Fer-no65

The overlaid ads were an absolute joke. FOM needs to stop with those. And the whole ‘Congratulations Mateschitz, thanks Bernie’ thing was real dumb.
Alex Williams (@Scuderia-Alex)

2014 Rate the Race results

Race Rating
2014 Canadian Grand Prix 9.190
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix 9.095
2014 Monaco Grand Prix 7.044
2014 Australian Grand Prix 6.889
2014 Austrian Grand Prix 6.698
2014 Spanish Grand Prix 6.449
2014 Malaysian Grand Prix 5.896
2014 Chinese Grand Prix 5.473

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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16 comments on F1’s return to Austria produced a middling race

  1. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd July 2014, 11:54

    Why does F1 need more advertising banners anyway? The overlays glitch constantly and are blatantly fake – though perhaps that is the point as they draw attention as an eyesore.

  2. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 2nd July 2014, 11:55

    I guess that’s fair enough. I voted a 7 (although i enjoyed the race much more than that because for once my bets were paying off!), which for me is a good bit above average. I thought there was tension in the end and wasn’t convinced Rosberg would stay ahead, especially since he had already run wide once and locked up a few times. I watched highlights though so often that actually helps when there are long gaps in the action.

  3. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 2nd July 2014, 11:57

    Yeah, I voted 6.5 (technically 7 rather than 6 based on the fact the track was awesome and that itself made it more enjoyable to watch), so I agree with the rating it got.

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 2nd July 2014, 12:48

    Did anyone else notice that the huge red Fly Emirates (i think) digital advert that covered the grass on the inside of turns 5 and 6, was reduced in size from friday to sat/sun?
    The red colour covered the whole grass bank and looked ugly but FOM seemed to reduced the size of the red area (but maintain the size of the text of course).
    so they do have sensible humans working for them! :)

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 2nd July 2014, 13:38

    I agree with the selected quotes. I gave the race a 6, which is low for my standards. There was a feeling of inevitability about the outcome and FOM only made it worse. It is not the first time when we miss exciting battles and passes at the back of the field, while TV direction is showing the front cars “going round in circles”. The personal message was simply childish.

    Great circuits do not always produce great races and vice versa. That said, I was happy to see F1 returning to Spielberg and I am already looking forward to the next year’s race (who knows, I might even go to see it in person). Mateschitz should really be praised for returning this race to F1 circus and deserves much more than a silly CGI. What about a lower race hosting fee, huh?

    • William Stuart (@williamstuart) said on 2nd July 2014, 14:43

      Exactly, people complain about the domination if mercedes at the front of the field, but the FOM showing nothing else really exacerbates the problem. I find the battle between the back three teams in 2014 as interesting as the battle between Red Bull and Mercedes at the front. At the moment I get the impression that F1 treats them like second rate teams that only exist to pay the bills and keep the numbers up (somewhat reinforced by what Ecclestone said above) whereas I think they should be treated far more equally, especially if the cost saving methods level the playing field in terms of performance.

  6. Breno (@austus) said on 2nd July 2014, 15:06

    As long as it doesnt interfere with the racing, what’s the problem with digital advertising?

  7. Sumedh said on 2nd July 2014, 20:23

    Quite strange that there are only 2 races that have done above average (> 7.1) this season.

    In statistics, we call this a left-skewed data and usually take median (instead of average) as a summary figure for the season. The median for this season would come to 6.8 instead of the 7.1

    • Mr win or lose said on 5th July 2014, 10:24

      It’s a remarkable distribution indeed. So this season there is a large probability of getting a fairly boring race, and a small probability of getting an awesome race. We probably need more unpredictability to get good races.

  8. RACERNORRISKI (@racernorriski) said on 2nd July 2014, 22:45

    Too many cricket fans watching and critiquing F1…… perhaps if there were some motocross jumps and flaming arches to pass through some fans would be happier or ?????

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 3rd July 2014, 5:38

      It’s not that.

      I gave it a 3, and I love this track.

      I just thought it was an extremely boring racing, no matter what season it was.

      I know a lot of people give it extra marks for where Williams qualified, but for me, the racing never really properly materialised, which is a big shame.

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