Austrian GP: Bottas beats Hamilton to pole by 0.019s

02 July, 2018, 14:31 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
  • Lewis Hamilton wins the French Grand Prix

The ninth round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg as teams prepared for the Austrian Grand Prix Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton lost the lead when Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke down to cause a virtual safety auto (VSC) and his own race ended with a late engine failure.

The pit blunder turned out to be academic, with Hamilton retiring from the race nine laps before the finish with a loss of fuel pressure.

Max Verstappen surprised the field by winning a dramatic Austrian Grand Prix on the day where Mercedes suffered its first double retirement in more than two years.The turn of events left Ferrari's.

Bottas's retirement prompted a virtual safety auto, under which both Red Bull and Ferrari pitted.

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".

"This team has had the best reliability over the last years, this team has had by far the fastest vehicle in the race today, and is the best team I've ever driven for".

"We can not throw away points".

Hamilton was in front from the start but lost his lead following a tactical mistake by his team, which did not pit him under a virtual safety auto while most other teams took the opportunity to switch to soft tires.

"But the VSC cleared sooner than predicted; we simply made the wrong decision".

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"The battle was close between us all, I didn't know who I was going ot be fighting for pole - just knew that it would be close".

Sauber also grabbed a double points finish behind Fernando Alonso, who came home eighth after a pit lane start due to an overnight wing change while McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished last after lap 1 damage. "We have thrown away the win".

Hamilton said the result was tough to take.

Wolff said in defence of his chief strategist: "James is one of the best ever".

Despite not appearing on the podium, Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton led the race early on, holding off a hard-charging Raikkonen at the start. 'It needed guts to come out and speak in front of millions of people and say it was my mistake.

Sadly, Kimi got a bit greedy a corner later, locking up and losing all the ground he had made up, falling back behind Hamilton and Bottas.

"For Lewis, he was leading comfortably and then he was in fourth". James coming on the radio was to help Lewis out of the mind loop of how could this have happened?

Wolff revealed that Hamilton paid tribute to the team during their post-race debrief.

"I've got no time left in the tyres", said Hamilton, aware that a straightforward race win was in peril.

"We have to find a bullet-proof method to move forward with strategy". Everyone in the team will be feeling pain today but we've got to take out the positives of this weekend.

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