Max Verstappen's tyre tactics 'unbelievable' - Christian Horner - Austrian Grand Prix 2018
02 July, 2018, 14:33 | Author: Isabel Grant
Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the Austrian Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has jumped to the defence of the team's head strategist after the call which cost Lewis Hamilton the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton's retirement, his first in 33 races, ensured a 15-point championship swing in Vettel's favour.
Esteban Ocon was sixth for Force India, ahead of Mexican teammate Sergio Perez, with McLaren's Fernando Alonso completing a remarkable afternoon with eighth place after starting in the pit lane.
Red Bull even seemed to be heading for a one-two finish on their "home" circuit with Daniel Ricciardo in second, but the Australian had to make a second pit stop after losing grip from his tires, before quitting the race on lap 55 with a gear box issue.
"He was keeping the rear left cooler than the rear right, and the rear left here is the one that takes all the load. A positive day but it could have been better". "We have thrown away the win". Dropping behind Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo, and race victor Max Verstappen in the standings, Bottas is 52 points off the championship lead and his challenge for this season is all but done.
"All I can see is the guy in front of me and the guy behind me and actually at the time, I was in the lead".
"We have got to understand how we went wrong", Hamilton said.
While both Red Bulls and Ferraris went to their boxes to have their tires changed, Mercedes surprisingly let Hamilton driving on.
"We started to see an exhaust leak where temps were going through the roof, but we thought we will keep going in the hope we can try do things to cool it down", Horner explained.
On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.
Having dropped to fourth, Hamilton then had to park his vehicle on the 64th lap, seven short of the finish.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 133 laps - 69 by Grosjean and 64 by Magnussen.
Vandoorne was one of a number of drivers whose final attempt was compromised by yellow flags in the middle sector, with Leclerc's Sauber causing one by a visit through the Turn 4 gravel trap, although his first sector time was down on his personal best having also complained about traffic. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber-Ferrari) one lap, 11.
Montreal's Lance Stroll finished 13th.
Horner also paid tribute to his team for pulling off a high-pressure double stacked stop during the virtual safety auto period that was called when Valtteri Bottas retired.
Stoffel Vandoorne was quickest of the drivers eliminated in Q1 thanks to Stroll's last-minute lap relegating him to 16th place. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams-Mercedes) two laps, 14.
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It was a risky strategy - a second goal for Poland or a Senegal equaliser would have eliminated them - but it ultimately paid off. It's the first time since 1982 that no African team has made it through to the knockout stage.
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