Botched strategy, mechanical issues doom Mercedes at F1 Austrian GP

Virginia Santiago
July 2, 2018

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain talks to the media ahead of the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps August 22, 2013.

After a torrid start to 2018, which drew stinging media criticism, Verstappen is now fifth in the world championship but still over 50 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel in the standings.

"You feel the first couple of points [of downforce] straight away in a certain corner, you feel those improvements".

Lewis Hamilton said he was excited by a raft of new updates for his Mercedes auto, but ducked all questions about his singing career yesterday.

A scathing Hamilton had already accused Mercedes of costing him a straightforward win after, and not for the first time this season, they failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period, caused by Valtteri Bottas' retirement in the sister car, and stop him for new tyres.

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James Vowles, the team's chief strategist, moved to take the blame. Daniel struggled with his tyres and Kimi was in second.

Although Mercedes has officially said little about the updates for this weekend's race, the changes to the W09 include upgraded sidepods, bargeboards and rear wing. Everyone is going to be feeling the pain. For me the most painful day in my years at Mercedes was in Barcelona.

"I had plenty of people coming to see me before the start and saying, 'This was going to be a walk in the park, 1-2, you have the quickest auto'. It can be very cruel and we had all the cruelty go against us today". We were the quickest and to have two different faults on each auto... very unusual but we really can't throw away points.

"I've not really looked at the pieces, and only got told about it this morning".

"We will try and analyse and figure out how we can improve".

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Hamilton, who is due to sign a new £40million-a-year extension with Mercedes, added: 'I am not going to lie we're going to have to work on all areas. "I anticipate it being probably one of the closest qualifying sessions that we've had this season".

"We could all have done a better job this weekend". It's very rare and incredibly unusual for us to have these two DNFs in one weekend. "It's a real shame because we had great vehicle and we were looking very strong but we will live to fight another day".

He said afterward he felt the auto was in the right place and had decent underlying pace at the Red Bull Ring, giving him hope of going into Saturday that there was a strong result on the cards.

Hamilton said: "These tyres aren't good enough for us to really race". "If they call you in you can choose to stay out but ultimately the guys on the pit wall you have to put 100 percent confidence and faith in them".

"The only ones who didn't have the tyre problems were the Ferraris, but all others suffered from heavy blistering and that was definitely not something that we expected".

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