Lewis Hamilton says car damage cost him second place in the Austrian Grand Prix and frustratingly increased the points loss to Max Verstappen.
Championship leader Verstappen took a dominant victory from pole position, and added an extra point for the fastest lap as well as led every lap at the Red Bull Ring. While Hamilton was aware from a week ago that he was unlikely to be able to challenge for victory, he once again climbed into second place before picking up car damage that saw him slip back to fourth.
“I lost a lot of downforce on the rear,” Hamilton said. “I just felt like I’d gone down a couple of steps on the rear wing … I’m grateful to finish today, frustrating to not finish second; we did a good job to get there. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be today.”
The damage was picked up at Turn 10, but Hamilton told Sky Sports he feels he didn’t do anything different to any other driver through that corner when any of the parts failed.
“I already said before the race that it will be very hard to beat Max, of course. Frustrating to lose so much downforce on the rear of the car and not be able to hold onto second place. A lot of points lost today.
“I wasn’t going over the curbs anymore than anyone else so I have no idea where it happened. There was a lot of damage.
“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.”
Hamilton reiterated his comments from a week ago that without upgrades Mercedes is unlikely to be able to fight Red Bull for victories on a regular basis throughout the rest of the season.
“We are miles away from them. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We need all hands on deck — which I already know they are. They’ve brought a lot of upgrades clearly over these past few races and we’ve not brought any. We’ve got to bring some, find as much performance as possible, otherwise this will be the result most often.”