Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Lewis Hamilton expects F1 title boost from Mercedes upgrades in Austria

Lewis Hamilton expects F1 title boost from Mercedes upgrades in Austria

"The auto in front of me [Valtteri Bottas] disturbed me a bit [into Turn 6], and [Verstappen] got the run, I tried to hang on the outside".

Ten minutes from the end of the session, Verstappen was seen pulling off and stopping on the grass, informing his team of a complete power shut down, a problem likely pointing to an electronic issue, and to worries for Red Bull!

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. From previous experience in practise sessions, I know it can happen.

"It's fantastic to win in a Red Bull at the Red Bull Ring", said Verstappen, who was supported by an "Orange army" of more than 20,000 fans. We had to manage them and hang on.

"The development race is always tight and up until now, we haven't had a lot of development parts on the auto", Hamilton said.

"So it's great to see some new bits here this weekend, and I'm excited to try them on track". "I just think about how can I get the vehicle in the right ballpark so I can do what I do".

"We've discussed that internally already and we are at race nine and there is a long way to go, so I think we owe it to the fans - and also it is the racing mindset we have - that we won't be playing for the drivers' championship in June or July", he said.

"I'm excited because when you bolt something to the auto - which we haven't really bolted to the vehicle this year, it's one of the first real serious upgrades - it's great when you get out there".

The four-times world champion has been critical of the difficulty to overtake that the current generation of cars present but said the sport is heading in the right direction but that greater competition at the front remained key as F1 considers new regulations for 2021.

Amid those retirements, Raikkonen was closing in quickly on Verstappen - who also had concerns over blistering - but the Dutchman had enough pace in hand in front of a huge number of supporters to hold on by 1.5 seconds.

"I'm not going to be able to pass anyone". But still, the blister could open up and you're really in trouble. Three DRS zones mean the FIA have been pro-active in trying to promote overtaking at the Red Bull Ring but this tactic was tried in Melbourne and Montreal with hardly any positive effect. Nor would anyone have predicted such a thrilling, eventful race when Mercedes looked set to dominate.

Verstappen reckoned the move made for good viewing. He's always asking for information, managing those tyres, and that's why they didn't blister up.

That was Verstappen's fourth career victory, tying him with Eddie Irvine and Bruce McLaren for the most wins by any driver without ever taking pole position. "A very, very mature drive by him".

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