Friday, 14 December, 2018

Lewis Hamilton says he lost rhythm after early Q3 error

Sebastian Vettel REUTERSSebastian Vettel is now 14 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s standings
Cassandra Castillo | 09 July, 2018, 05:37

When's the British GP on Sky Sports?

Having backed Bottas for a podium finish, as well as correctly supporting Hamilton for the win, I was all for having Vettel hung, drawn and quartered myself.

"Maybe it helps with overtaking, but if you end up just driving past another auto, that isn't very exciting either".

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas also retired on a woeful day for Mercedes.

Hamilton had been left frustrated and angry in the auto when the strategy was wrongly called and the team took the unusual approach of having chief strategist, James Vowles, take the blame publicly over the radio in a bid to keep their driver focused.

"And we thought that it wasn't all over". He continued his tantrum saying, "Mistakes happen and they happen to the best of us".

"It was about extracting what was left in the performance - helping Lewis out of the mind loop of how this could possibly have happened". "With just the strategic mistake, we could still have got P4 or P5". "It needed guts to come out and speak in front of millions of people and say it was my mistake".

It was the first time the Mercedes team had a double retirement for reliability reasons since 1955, although Hamilton collided with team-mate Nico Rosberg at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. "I don't know if it is a solution to put in an extra DRS zone".

F1 overhauled its technical regulations a year ago in order to make the racing more entertaining, but increased downforce on the cars has made it harder to follow.

More news: You Need to See Imp signal? BHP Billiton plc (BBL)

"Both retirements have cost us all the points", team principal Toto Wolff said.

It was a dream start for Mercedes, but things quickly changed. But the appearance of the VSC when Romain Grosjean's Haas stopped on track changed all of that.

"So I think the longest straight on the track, which is already a pretty long straight, with DRS is probably going to be fairly easy to overtake here", said the former McLaren and Renault driver.

Leclerc has been hit with a five-place grid penalty after suffering a gearbox failure in FP3, meaning he is set to start 18th.

Mercedes have enjoyed a remarkable run of success over the past four years, but their decision-making is now in the spotlight after they fell behind in both the drivers' and constructors' championships on Sunday.

"Here, they have gone from one, to two, to now three DRS zones to try and make the racing more exciting because it hasn't been that up until now".

Moments later, Hamilton was back on the radio again.

Lewis Hamilton lost the lead as the team opted against pitting under the Virtual Safety Car, before he was also forced out of the race due to a loss of power.

Hamilton was quickest in both of Friday's practice sessions, at a track that has crowned a Mercedes victor in each of the four years since Austria returned to the calendar in 2014, but Ferrari appeared to have found some extra speed overnight.

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