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Toto Wolff Explains Mercedes Blunder That Cost Lewis Hamilton Austrian GP Win

03 July, 2018, 11:29 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Lewis Hamilton wins the French Grand Prix

As far as Wolff war concerned, the events that unfolded at the Red Bull Ring were far more painful.

"We can't afford to throw away points". "The whole weekend, it was awesome to see so much orange".

The win saw Verstappen climb to fifth in the standings with 93 points. "I told Max he had a very good race", said Vettel. Raikkonen is 45 points behind Vettel in third.

"I think it's disappointing - obviously it's great for the team, a lot of points, against the team that we race in the championship [Mercedes], they had a pretty terrible day". With one vehicle out there against two others, the thinking process that happened was, 'What would happen if the others pitted (only) a auto?'.

Under the virtual safety vehicle, all frontrunners stopped except for Hamilton due to a miscommunication.

A strategy blunder then dropped the four-times world champion from first to fourth before he eventually retired with a fuel pressure problem seven laps from the end of a calamitous afternoon.

"I am not going to lie, all areas we are going to have to work on", Hamilton said.

Hamilton, who is due to sign a $NZ78 million-a-year extension with Mercedes, later added: "As painful as it is, we are professionals and we have to take the rough with the smooth". "The auto has been great all weekend - we were the quickest - but to have two different faults on each vehicle, which is very unusual, we really can't throw away points".

Ironically enough, it was a Mercedes reliability fault that then triggered their rivals to pit and Mercedes to leave Hamilton out, effectively costing him a shot at the race victory.




"I had to back off at Turn 1 because the cars were squeezed together. I guess it was just not meant to be today - but one day it will be". "We had the right auto, today, some points were a little bit hard, but it was a good day for the team".

A loss of fuel pressure then forced Hamilton to retire, creating Mercedes' first double-DNF since 2016 as Bottas had earlier exited the race with a hydraulic problem.

His exit brought out the virtual safety auto, slowing down the pace and disallowing overtaking.

In China, Mercedes' poor decision-making on not pitting during the safety auto saw Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - on fresher tyres - come from nowhere to snatch a remarkable victory from Bottas, who was leading up until lap 45.

Before being hit with a grid penalty for impeding Renault's Carlos Sainz in qualifying, Vettel had qualified third for Sunday's race, 0.344s off the time which earned Valtteri Bottas pole position.

"But going into turn three, I could recover two places and was back in second place", he continued.

Hamilton was the only frontrunner not to pit when his teammate Valtteri Bottas triggered the VSC.

Max Verstappen delivered a home victory for Red Bull but it is the race's significance in the context of the championship battle that will dominate the headlines.

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