Updates: 04.07.2021 19:08
Spielberg (Austria) – Although the reigning Formula One World Champion wished to minimize losses in the Austrian Grand Prix, he had another race he will not remember well. After technical difficulties, the Mercedes driver finished fourth as well as in qualifying, and looking at Max Verstappen’s current loss of 32 points, he made no secret of the fact that he needed significant changes to the car in order to participate in the title race.
“We’re miles away from Red Bull. We have a lot of work to do and we need all our hands to join in. The opponent has made a number of changes to his car over the last two races, while we haven’t made anything at all,” Hamiton told Autosport, alluding to the fact that Mercedes officials said a week ago that they had already stopped the car’s development program for this season. “But it is necessary to add something new, otherwise we will have to get used to such results,” Hamilton said.
The seven-time world champion did what he could to finish as close as possible to the sovereign Vestappen from Red Bull in the second race on the track in Spielberg. Twenty laps before the end, he was still in second place. But in the end, he paid for the technical difficulties caused by hitting the curb in turn number 1 and failed for both teammate Valtteri Bottas and Landa Norris of McLaren.
According to team boss Tot Wolff, he lost 30 pressure points, which cost him about half a second per lap. “I don’t think Lewis was to blame,” Wolff said, adding that fatigue could have played a role. Hamilton was not aware of the mistakes either.
“I honestly admit that I didn’t drive over the curbs more than ever, so I don’t know where it happened. But it’s a shame,” Hamilton regretted, finishing third outside the podium for the third time in the last five races. After nine races, there is already a difference between him and Verstappen exceeding the maximum number of points per race, and in addition, Mercedes is already losing 44 points to the Red Bull rivals in the Constructors’ Cup standings.
“It felt like Mercedes was now hoisting a white flag, giving up its points on its own and not fighting to the maximum,” former driver Jolyon Palmer told the BBC. “It is one thing to let Bottas overtake Hamilton, but to encourage him to do so? When was the last time a challenger had to resign as a team in title title? I didn’t see that,” Palmer added.
Hamilton will have an important attempt at a possible dramatization of the World Cup in two weeks, when he will try to end his opponent’s series on the home track in Silverstone.
Source: České noviny – sport by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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