Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton unfazed for Silverstone despite setback

 

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Lewis Hamilton insists he does not need to change anything in his approach, despite heading to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this week on the back of another average result at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Briton will enter his home race 20 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel after recovering from a pre-race grid penalty to finish fourth at the Red Bull Ring.

His Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas is also breathing down his neck having sealed the second win of his career, with Ferrari's Vettel coming home a close second to extend his advantage and Daniel Ricciardo finishing third to take a podium for Red Bull at their home track.

Hamilton, still smarting after Vettel escaped any post-race reprimand for deliberately driving into him at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, came to Austria with plenty to ponder.

But the three-time world champion was on the back-foot from the get-go as - despite setting the early pace - he would drop five places on the grid following a gearbox change.

A brake-disc failure in Saturday practice added to his issues before he could only go third-fastest in qualifying.

All in all it means the 32-year-old heads to Northamptonshire under pressure to turn things around but not, in his mind, having to alter anything to do so.

"I don't think there's a call for me to do anything else than I'm already doing," he said.

"It's not like the team aren't on my side or they're not working hard or I'm not pushing them hard enough, so all I can do is try to inspire them with the drives I had today.

"When I go and look at the race pace, I was actually quickest so I actually had the strongest race...I don't think the points really reflect this. There's nothing else I can do, I just have to keep driving the way I have been and hope things get better."

Bottas was fully deserving of his second F1 win, putting in a near-perfect qualifying lap on Saturday and then pulling off a miraculously-quick start to maintain his lead in the race.

It was that on-point that the stewards investigated whether he had jumped the start for the next 26 laps, only to deem the flying Finn had indeed timed it to perfection.

Final Positions after Race (71 Laps): 1 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1hr 21mins 48.527secs, 2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:21:49.185, 3 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:21:54.539, 4 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:21:55.957, 5 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:22:08.897, 6 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:22:54.808, 7 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India at 1 Lap, 8 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India at 1 Lap, 9 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams at 1 Lap, 10 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams at 1 Lap, 11 Jolyon Palmer (Gbr) Renault at 1 Lap, 12 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren at 1 Lap, 13 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault at 1 Lap, 14 Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber-Ferrari at 1 Lap, 15 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari at 2 Laps, 16 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso at 3 Laps Not Classified: 17 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Scuderia Toro Rosso 44 Laps completed, 18 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 29 Laps completed, 19 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 0 Laps completed, 20 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 0 Laps completed

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton 1min 07.411secs on Lap 69

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