Verstappen wins Austrian GP; Mercedes fails to finish

A scathing Hamilton had already accused Mercedes of depriving him of a straightforward win after, and not for the first time this season, they failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period, caused by Valtteri Bottas's retirement in the sister car, and stop him for new tyres.

While most teams pitted early during the virtual safety auto due to debris on the track Mercedes didn't bring Hamilton in and when he pitted Red Bull took the lead of the race with Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo leading a one-two.

Hamilton lost out massively - the team told him that he would have to make up eight seconds on the track - but later it became academic as he retired with a loss of fuel pressure.

Romain Grosjean was seventh ahead of his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen‚ an indicator that their Ferrari-powered cars have the performance needed to shine on the short‚ but picturesque and power-hungry Red Bull Ring circuit in the Styrian Alps.

Having dropped to fourth, Hamilton then had to park his auto on the 64th lap, seven short of the finish.

"This is definitely the worst weekend for us I can remember for a long, long time".

"He went a completely different way with the set-up and maybe in hindsight I should have gone that direction as well". Going into Turn 3, I could recover two places and was back in second place. The auto has been great all weekend. The vehicle has been great all weekend - we were the quickest - but to have two different faults on each auto, which is very unusual, we really can't throw away points.

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"It looks like we're going well". We were comfortably ahead but we will work on it and will try to re-evaluate to come back stronger for the next race.

A seething Hamilton said: "I want to say something, but just leave me to it". I couldn't see where they were so in those circumstances you have to rely fully on the guy who's on the pit wall.

"That's what got me invested in racing and really caught my heart, it's where the passion is", Hamilton said.

This outcome eventually led to chief strategist James Vowles coming on the team radio to apologize to Hamilton, saying that it was his decision that had lost the race, not anything that Hamilton had done. We haven't had this kind of failure before so for sure we need to find out the reason and fix it but it's quite unlucky for me as well.

"We could all have done a better job this weekend".

"Last weekend with the new engine it was positive, but even with the engines between us and Ferrari the margins are very small". A real shame because we had a great auto and were looking very strong, but we will live to fight another day. I know what I signed up for with this sport as a kid and sometimes it does this.

The team admitted to a wrong strategy call after Valtteri Bottas retired from the race and triggered the VSC, which meant all the frontrunners except leader Hamilton made pit stops. 'For me, personally the most painful in the last six years, that's with Barcelona [2016] losing both cars.

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