Lewis Hamilton unhappy after Mercedes blunder costs him in Austria

Sebastian Vettel

On a bleak day for Mercedes, both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas retired from the race with mechanical issues.

The 28-year-old is now sixth in the drivers' standings on 92 points, a place where he doesn't deserve to be, with title leader Vettel 54 points ahead and Hamilton one point behind the German.

Immediately, both Ferrari and Red Bull responded with double pit-stops for their drivers while Mercedes left Hamilton out - a tactical oversight that was to prove costly.

In Austria, apparently distracted by Bottas stopping on track following a lack of hydraulic pressure, they took their eye off the ball, and when the VSC was deployed to slow down the pack, Hamilton, unlike all of his rivals, did not stop for fresh rubber. "It can be very, very cruel and we had all the cruelty go against us today and it just got us brutally".

"The hydraulic leak on Valtteri's vehicle was linked to the steering, and we had a drop in fuel pressure on Lewis' auto which was linked to the fuel system". But the VSC cleared sooner than predicted; we simply made the wrong decision. "In doing so, the rear tyres blistered, he lost position to Sebastian, then we chose to pit again as there was nothing to lose from doing so - but, shortly after, a loss of fuel pressure forced him to retire".

We have a lot of strategists and so many things go on, so how we can make those sorts of errors ... but James put his hands up and said it was his call and we will try to analyze it and figure out how we can improve. "We understand. It's my mistake".

"That whole thinking loop, I wouldn't say distracted us, but we spent too much time on that".

Moments later, Hamilton was on the radio again.

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"I don't get it guys, I'm not going to be able to pass these guys". "All I can see is the guy in front of me and the guy behind me". The next one was really good, and obviously it was quite close between us which I'm happy about.

Vowles responded: "I have thrown away the win".

"I saw him in the garage, we had a hug". "But what can I say?"

"So it was a very good example of strong leadership by James, trying to explain to Lewis what had happened".

"It was about extracting what was left of performance in him, and helping him out of the mind loop of 'How can this possibly have happened?' By admitting the mistake it's easier to get yourself out of the spiral".

Wolff revealed that Hamilton paid tribute to the team during their post-race debrief. I don't think that we would make an error twice, it's just the situation is very different this year, and very complex.

"We can't afford to throw away points". "We move forwards. I'm looking forward to getting the vehicle back and trying to understand what the problem is and the guys will all be working hard to rectify it and make sure it doesn't happen again". We wanted to recover the maximum points that we could, and at that stage we were all in pain about the mistake that we'd made.

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