A race to forget in Austria
Despite their best efforts to capitalise on dominant Practice and Qualifying performances, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport leave Austria with a double DNF as both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas retired mid-race.
Following an aggressive challenge from Kimi Raikkonen into Turn 1, Valtteri regained second place at Turn 3 as Lewis, now leading, made the most of the clear air in front to establish control over the race in the opening stint.
Both Lewis and Valtteri started the race on Supersoft tyres with the Team’s intention to run at least 20 laps before fitting the harder Soft compound. It was soon apparent that this wouldn’t go to plan, as on Lap 13 a loss of hydraulic pressure forced Bottas to pull to the side of the circuit and the Virtual Safety Car was deployed.
Given Hamilton’s relative track position and little time to react (roughly 50 seconds) as circuit officials quickly cleared the stranded W09 EQ Power+, the Team missed an opportunity to change Lewis onto the Soft tyre, as did the majority of cars behind him. Though Lewis maintained the lead in the race, time was lost and this enabled other cars to close in.
Pitting soon after racing resumed, Lewis returned to the track P4 with 1.8 seconds to the next car in front, Kimi Raikkonen, and pushed to regain lost ground. At this point in time Hamilton was the fastest car on circuit, repeatedly dipping into the mid-1:07s in an effort to close the gap.
Unfortunately in doing so, his rear tyres blistered significantly and the chasing Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel eventually overtook at Turn 3 on Lap 39 – just as the Red Bull of Ricciardo ahead retired itself.
Shortly after, Lewis reported a loss of power and joined Valtteri in retiring from the Austrian Grand Prix, ending a Formula 1 record points-scoring streak of 33 races; a fuel pressure issue being the cause for the Team’s second retirement of the day.
Pure Pit Wall reported 71 passes in total at the Red Bull Ring, with the addition of a third DRS zone producing 23 of these overtaking manouevres.
Sebastian Vettel (146 points) now leads the Drivers’ Championship by a single point from Lewis (145 points), with Valtteri maintaining P6 (92 points). Ferrari (247 points) lead the Constructors’ Championship by 10 points from Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (237 points).
Follow all the British Grand Prix data this weekend on PurePitWall.com to see how Pure Storage gives Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport an #UnfairAdvantage.