Sebastian Vettel hits out at Formula One penalty system

Image ANDREJ ISAKOVIC  AFP
Image ANDREJ ISAKOVIC AFP
Author

06 July, 2018

Verstappen thwarted the challenge of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari en route to his first win of the season to the delight of Dutch fans, who trooped to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. "Not every decision can be the same, and I don't see the necessity to decide every time". Daniel Ricciardo finished eight tenths adrift of Vettel in P5, but team mate Verstappen, hoping for an incident-free session after his RB14 crawled to a halt towards the end of FP1 after suffering a gearbox failure, ended up without a time after losing the rear of his auto at Luffield with less than 20 minutes on the clock.

"It was a very, very mature drive from him to make sure he had just enough left in the last 5-10 laps".

The German, whose team did not invoke orders for Raikkonen to cede position as might have been expected, clawed back the overall lead by a single point from Mercedes rival Hamilton.

Mercedes endured its worst result since 2016 when Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas also failed to finish in the Austrian GP.

'The spirit in the team is stronger than it's ever been.

Verstappen hit the front after Mercedes kept Hamilton out on track during a virtual safety vehicle period that followed Bottas's retirement, with the other contenders pitting for fresh tyres.

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Verstappen was squeezed by the Ferrari driver on the run to Turn 4 but retaliated a few corners later with a hard move that included the two cars bumping wheels and ultimately earned Verstappen the win as Mercedes' race imploded.

Hamilton trails Sebastian Vettel by a point in the battle for the Formula One title after the defending champion retired from the Austrian Grand Prix when he lost fuel pressure. Romain Grosjean was fourth ahead of his Ferrari-powered Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon and his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez.

"I think that if you look at Mercedes' history, the team is basically what Ross [Brawn] put in place several years ago". The French driver did not take part in the second practice as his chassis was being replaced. He eventually pitted on lap 25, which dropped him down to fourth place.

Alonso was just 0.048secs ahead of Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, a more familiar leader of the group of best of the rest.

The Briton is confident Austria will not prove season-defining, that his team have overcome the gremlins and will bounce back in style at his home race on Sunday. Chief strategist James Vowles made a public apology to Hamilton over the radio during last Sunday's race. I'm not going to be able to pass these guys. Verstappen had slight blistering, but Hamilton's left rear was a mass of blistered rubber.

Ricciardo had a much tougher race and required a second pitstop for fresher tyres before eventually retiring.


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