Lewis Hamilton had a weekend to forget in Austria but we’re tipping him to bounce straight back in our British Grand Prix predictions.
Mercedes’ cooling problems in the stifling 35 degree heat wiped out the advantage they have enjoyed this year as the runaway championship leader could only manage fifth place.
After being passed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel on the penultimate lap at the Red Bull Ring, the title holder slipped to his worst placing in more than a year.
The Briton had to lift and coast throughout the race due to his Mercedes engine overheating in the extreme temperatures, while his race was also hampered when he ran over the kerbs and had to stop for a new front wing.
Hamilton will still head to his beloved Silverstone with a 31-point championship lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas, though, and is seeking to win at this venue for the sixth time.
“We have not had any problems up until this race,” said Hamilton. “I don’t think this performance will happen in a lot of places.”
Team principal Toto Wolff added: “We knew that it was our Achilles heel and we were carrying the problem since the beginning of the season.
“We tried to work on mitigating the performance loss, but in the end it was really painful to watch them cruising, not being able to defend or attack.
“But the bad days are the ones when we learn the most to come back stronger.”
How the Austrian Grand Prix finished
1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Leclerc (Ferrari), 3 Bottas (Mercedes), 4 Vettel (Ferrari), 5 Hamilton (Mercedes), 6 Norris (McLaren), 7 Gasly (Red Bull), 8 Sainz (McLaren), 9 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 10 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 11 Perez (Racing Point), 12 Ricciardo (Renault), 13 Hulkenberg (Renault), 14 Stroll (Racing Point), 15 Albon (Toro Rosso), 16 Grosjean (Haas), 17 Kvyat (Toro Rosso), 18 Russell (Williams), 19 Magnussen (Haas), 20 Kubica (Williams)
Ferrari’s straight-line speed could make them a threat at Silverstone, where 5/1 chance Vettel will be hoping to repeat last year’s heroics.
Teammate Charles Leclerc is quoted at 9/2 after being cruelly denied his first grand prix win for the second time this season when bumped by eventual victor Max Verstappen late on in Austria.
However, Hamilton’s record on home turf still makes him the man to beat, having claimed four straight triumphs prior to finishing second 12 months ago.
Reflecting on his Red Bull Ring setback, Hamilton posted on Instagram: “This wasn’t the best weekend for me, but over the years I’ve learnt to notice the lessons that come from difficult days.
“I made two mistakes, which for me is rare but were costly. Tomorrow’s a new day. Back to training and getting myself right for the British Grand Prix.”
Past British Grand Prix winners:
2018 Vettel (Ferrari), Hamilton, Raikkonen
2017 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Raikkonen
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen, Rosberg
2015 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg, Vettel
2014 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Ricciardo
Join bwin today and receive up to £10 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager at odds of 1/1 (2.0) or greater is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.