Lewis Hamilton felt car damage cost him ‘easy second’ at Austrian GP


Lewis Hamilton lamented a big points loss to title rival Max Verstappen at the Austrian GP, where a damaged car ruined his chances of a podium finish.

Hamilton started fourth but managed to move up to second in the opening 20 laps. In the second stint he reported damage to his car — believed to have been from hitting kerbs at Turn 10 — and quickly dropped behind Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris.

Making matters worse for Hamilton was that Verstappen claimed a comfortable win out in front to extend his championship by 13 points — he leads Hamilton by 32, more than one race victory is worth.

“I already said before the race that it would be very hard to beat Max, of course,” Hamilton said.

“But obviously it’s frustrating to lose so much downforce on the rear of the car and not be able to hold on to second place. So a lot of points lost today.

“I would have been second. I was in second when all of a sudden it obviously broke. It would have been an easy second, generally. But obviously not able to catch those guys ahead.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “The damage occurred outside of Turn 10, over the kerb. I don’t think he was particularly running too hard over the kerb, it was just a part that fell away and we look at the looks and they were the same in the laps before.

“So we need to look at why that happened.”

Mercedes will look to end Red Bull’s run of five straight race victories at the British Grand Prix. Mercedes has won that event on eight of the last nine occasions.



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