Lewis Hamilton had the perfect start to the Austrian GP today, managing to survive that brave overtaking ‘sandwich’ attempt from Raikkonen on Turn 1 to take the lead away from Bottas.
A lot of drama took place behind Hamilton from there on, but it looked like the Brit was sailing smoothly, looking almost certain for another grand prix win this season.
But it wasn’t smooth sailing for Hamilton ever since Bottas bowed out of the race due to a gear box issue.
With VSC applied, all drivers decided to come into the pit lane and get their one pit stop of the race out of the way.
However, Mercedes were slow to react and wanted to see how the other teams behaved.
Thus, Hamilton was left out on track and before they could bring Hamilton in, the VSC was done with.
Hamilton then had to make a pit stop under normal race circumstances and slipped to 4th on the grid due to it.
He was extremely furious with his team and wanted to know what really happened.
Here is the complete transcript of the conversation between Hamilton and his team.
Hamilton: “Anything I should be aware of?”Bonnington: “Nothing at the moment. Let’s just target Verstappen’s lap times.”
Bonnington: “VSC, Keep the delta positive.”
Bonnington: “OK Lewis it will be box at the end of this lap if we are still under VSC conditions.”
Hamilton: “Were we supposed to box that lap?”
Bonnington: “Negative, we weren’t. We were just waiting to see what everyone else did.”
Bonnington: “So VSC ending.”
Bonnington: “So staying out.”
Hamilton: “What the hell was that? How did we miss that? I’ve got no tyre left.”
Hamilton: “I’ve got no tyre left, these tyres.”
Vowles: “Lewis, It’s James. I understand. We’re still with you mate. It’s my mistake. But give us what you can. There will be opportunities later.”
Hamilton: “I can hear you guys.”
Hamilton: “Am I fourth now?”
Bonnington: “Affirm Lewis, yeah. Entirely on us that problem.”
Hamilton ultimately bowed out of the race due to a loss of power and hence the Mercedes error didn’t really cost him much, but still would leave the Brit furious with his team’s decision making under pressure.
Hamilton has now lost out on his championship lead, as he trails Vettel by one point. Vettel managed a third place finish, behind Raikkonen and Verstappen.
Hamilton has now urged the team to bulletproof all possible errors, as they can’t really be losing out on points, when they have the quickest car out there.
“All areas we’re going to have to work on,” he said.
“The car has been quick all weekend, we were the quickest and then to have two different faults on each car is very unusual. We can’t throw away points.
“We’ve got to find a bulletproof method to move forward with our strategy because if our car was still going it was an easy win for us. We were comfortably ahead.
“But we’ll work on it, we’ll try to re-evaluate and try to win the next race.”
“Everyone in the team is feeling the pain today.
“We’ve had such great reliability for so many years. As painful as it is and we are professionals, we really have to take the rough with the smooth.
“This is definitely the worst weekend I can remember us having for a long time. But I have every confidence in my team that we’ll be able to bounce back.” he added.