Spielberg, 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.
Rosberg denied his team-mate 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 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.
Rosberg said after the race: “A 1-2 is good for the team, I'm happy we achieved that again after the difficult race in Montreal.
“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.”
CONSISTENCY THE KEY
Rosberg - who has not finished off the podium this season - now has a 29-point lead on four-win Hamilton in the fierce internal Mercedes battle.
The team has meanwhile extended its 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 Felipe Massa and Bottas dominated Saturday's qualifying, depriving Mercedes of pole for the first time in 2014.
But the German team showed from the very first lap that it was 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.”
Rosberg said: “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.”
A displeased Hamilton meanwhile complained “there wasn't an opportunity to overtake”, after he spent several laps trying to pass his team-mate.
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.”
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 its first podium in a year, bumping it up to fifth in the Constructors' standings.
“That was the best champagne I've ever tasted.”
Bottas 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-times 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.
Vettel said later: “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.”
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 about 100 000 spectators watching Sunday's show at the historic Spielberg under blue skies and sunny weather. - AFP