Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Lewis Hamilton furious after Mercedes blunder again at Austrian Formula One GP

Lewis Hamilton furious after Mercedes blunder again at Austrian Formula One GP

Red Bull's Max Verstappen capitalised on Mercedes' first double mechanical "did not finish" since their return to the sport in 2010 to claim his fourth career win ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel.

With Ferrari now leading the constructors' championship and Sebastian Vettel ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' standings by one point, the Mercedes factory in Brackley will be on red alert.

Verstappen's first win this year could not have come at a better time as he has faced questions about his driving style after being involved in a series of incidents this season. But the race flipped on its head in the space of only a few minutes to turn their dream into a nightmare.

Horner also paid tribute to his team for pulling off a high-pressure double stacked stop during the virtual safety vehicle period that was called when Valtteri Bottas retired. "We were comfortably ahead but we will work on it and will try to re-evaluate to come back stronger for the next race".

Raikkonen grabbed second, but then ran off at Turn Two giving fellow-Finn Bottas a chance to recover second on the straight in a frantic opening lap. "How did we miss that?"

"Lewis, this is James".

'We made a mistake. And when he completed his unavoidable pit stop 10 laps later, he returned only in fourth place - on a track with limited possibilities for overtaking. Tire life began to factor in as Ricciardo had already suffered major blistering on Soft compounds while Hamilton complained of a similar issue over team radio.

"I don't get it", he yelled. "I feel that means the difference I can make in the sport can be seen more, I can utilise it more". As Hamilton described it on the radio, the Mercedes crew had just thrown away a win.

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Vowles subsequently twice spoke to Hamilton directly, apologising for the mistake and trying to motivate him, saying "Give us what you can", and later, "We trust in you and believe in you".

The crisis continued to worsen for Hamilton when Vettel, who had started sixth, passed his rival on the inside at Turn 3.

The Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas remained atop FP2, with Hamilton's quick time of 1:04.579 bettering Bottas' mark by.176 of a second.

When Bottas went out on lap 14 after losing hydraulic pressure, Red Bull and Ferrari were quick to take advantage of the reduced pace on the track during the virtual safety auto period and got all their cars to the box for a tire swap.

Hamilton reeled off two fastest laps, but it was asking too much as Mercedes' unbeaten four-year run in Austria, and his own race, came to an end when he pulled up on lap 64 after losing power.

Romain Grosjean finished fourth, a best-ever result for the Haas F1 team, with teammate Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top five.

Stoffel Vandoorne‚ struggling with his McLaren‚ also ran off at the final corner before winding up 18th‚ four places behind his team-mate‚ two-time champion Fernando Alonso.

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