Updated: Monday, 23 June 2014 03:54 | By Agence France-Presse

Mercedes top of the podium again in Austria

Mercedes proved on Sunday that Canada was just a glitch in the season as leader Nico Rosberg topped the podium again at the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton.


Mercedes top of the podium again in Austria

Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg holds his trophy as he celebrates on the podium after winning the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 22, 2014 - by Samuel Kubani

The 28-year-old German denied his teammate until the very end to clinch his third win this year, while Williams driver Valtteri Bottas made it onto his first ever podium in what turned out to be a disastrous home race for Red Bull.

For Mercedes, this was a seventh win in eight races and a welcome return to the top after they had to settle for second place at the Canadian Grand Prix behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. 

Even more impressively, the team have now occupied the top two steps of the podium on six occasions. 

"A 1-2 is good for the team, I'm happy we achieved that again after the difficult race in Montreal," Rosberg said after the race. 

"I'm extremely happy with the result and it's also great to extend the championship lead which was really my goal coming here to Austria." 

The German -- who has never finished off the podium this season -- now has a 29-point lead on four-win Hamilton in the fierce internal Mercedes battle.

The team have meanwhile extended their lead in the constructors' standings to 301 points, with Red Bull a distant second place with 143 points. 

Sunday's race at the Red Bull Ring started with an all-Williams front row after Brazilian Felipe Massa and Bottas dominated Saturday's qualifying, depriving Mercedes of pole for the first time this year. 

But the German team showed from the very first lap that they were in fighting spirit, with Rosberg briefly coming into second position, while Hamilton jumped from ninth into fourth place after a thundering start.

Massa eventually finished fourth, followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez of Force India and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen.

"It wasn't an easy race. Williams were very quick in the straights so it was hard to fight with them, also in the start. But I had a faster car," Rosberg said. 

A displeased Hamilton meanwhile complained "there wasn't an opportunity to overtake", after he spent several laps trying to pass his teammate. 

But he added: "To get from ninth to second and be pressuring Nico at the end of the race really shows the pace I had this weekend."

- Long way back for Williams -

After taking his first pole position since 2008, Massa had hoped to follow this up with his first win in six years.

But it was Bottas who brought Williams their first podium in a year, bumping them up to fifth place in the constructors' standings.

"That was the best champagne I've ever tasted," the 24-year-old Finn rejoiced afterwards. 

"I'm really really happy, I'm just really thankful for the team. It's been a long long way for us since last year.

"The race was exactly what we needed at this point, everything went like planned really. I was good (enough) for the podium this time and I'm so happy."

Red Bull, racing at home, had hoped to capitalise on its recent win in Canada, but the day proved a wash-out with Ricciardo finishing eighth. 

A disappointing season for reigning four-time champion Sebastian Vettel meanwhile went from bad to worse as his car came to a complete halt shortly after the start. 

He eventually called it quits halfway through the race.

"I had no power anymore. I don't know what the problem was. It then sorted itself out and I could drive again but with one lap down it didn't make much sense... so we decided to save on mileage," Vettel later said. 

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne also had to pull out with brake problems. 

Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez meanwhile earned a 10-point grid penalty for the next race after a dreadful pit stop error saw him move off without a wheel properly attached. 

The Austrian Grand Prix was making its big comeback this weekend after an 11-year absence, with some 100,000 spectators watching Sunday's show at the historic Spielberg under blue skies and sunny weather.   

The Formula One next travels to Silverstone on July 6.

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