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Hamilton forced to retire from Austrian GP, loses world championship lead

05 July, 2018, 01:35 | Author: John Swanson
  • Daniel Ricciardo upset with team, and his teammate, after F1 qualifying in Austria

When asked if Red Bull is a title contender this year, Horner said: "I think that we definitely have an outside chance".

Up ahead, however, Ricciardo was struggling with blistering tyres in the Austrian sun. But at the time, the strategist faces more of a dilemma and the person who is in the lead of the race always faces the biggest dilemma of all because they have the most to lose.

The virtual safety vehicle meant Red Bull pitted both their cars at the same time and Horner gave credit to the pit crew for the job they did as well as the whole team.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who trails championship leader Hamilton by 14 points going into Sunday's ninth of 21 races, had a fastest lap that was 0.236 behind Hamilton's.

The 20-year-old claimed his first win of the season, and fourth career triumph, at the Red Bull Ring - the circuit owned by his Red Bull Racing team - in a faultless performance. So I think you'd have to consider us as an outside contender.

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"The vehicle came very good but we just ran out of the laps - we took it easy too long", Raikkonen said.

"From my side I felt in control, I was driving to the best I could with the vehicle I had and at the end we were struggling a little more than Ferrari with the tyre blistering but we managed to stay ahead".

Q: (Scott Mitchell - Autosport) Max and Kimi; although the race was 71 laps long, it was effectively decided by the move at turn seven on a frenetic opening lap. "It was a very disciplined and mature drive". On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.

Horner said that Verstappen did such a good job in ensuring that the tyres were being looked after that the critical left rear tyre was operating at a cooler temperature than the right.

"Until we get the cars back and stripped, it's hard to say".

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"It was a good result for the team".

"Obviously it would've been nice to start further up", he said.

"I tried to get some [places] back at the start but was left with nowhere to go and it was the same at Turn 3", Vettel said. "It was damage limitation for me and a positive day".

Esteban Ocon was sixth for Force India, ahead of Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, with McLaren's Fernando Alonso completing a remarkable afternoon with eighth place after starting in the pit lane. It was double points finish for Sauber - with Charles Leclerc finishing ninth and Marcus Ericsson taking tenth place.

Formula One's unprecedented triple-header concludes next weekend (July 6-8) with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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