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Lewis Hamilton

Dejected Hamilton concedes Austrian GP was ‘pretty shit’

Lewis Hamilton was not happy with how his Austrian GP weekend unfolded - even though it could not have gone better on the other side of the Mercedes garage.

Hamilton Austria
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Lewis Hamilton was crestfallen after the Austrian Grand Prix, despite George Russell taking Mercedes' first victory of the season.

The 39-year-old had an eventful opening phase to the race at the Red Bull Ring. After starting from fifth on the grid, he was able to reach as high as the podium places - passing Carlos Sainz and his team-mate.

However, with the seven-time world champion at risk of a penalty for overtaking the Ferrari off-track on the first lap, he was ordered to fall back behind the Spaniard. From there, his race calmed considerably.

Despite the contentious collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris which handed Russell victory, Hamilton was only able to bring his W15 home in fourth position.

"Pretty shocking," he replied on Sky Sports F1 when asked how he would sum up the race, before pivoting to Mercedes' success. 

"But I’m really happy for the team, everyone at the factory has worked so hard to get a result like this. Big congratulations to the team and to George. Well deserved."

When that response was followed up by a query into whether it was down to man or machine, he admonished himself, saying: “Me, I’ve been pretty shit all weekend. Not for a lack of trying, but just generally slow."

Damage after Turn 1 incident

Whilst the 103-time grand prix winner, who will join Ferrari at the end of the current season, cut a disappointed figure, he was able to see the positives of a weekend that offered more than it ultimately delivered after recent strides forwards in performance for the W15.

"We got good points," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365, but remained unsure of his lack of pace in Styria was due to damage to his car.

"I’m not really quite sure," he added. "I think Turn 1 there was a bit of damage. Then my floor was falling apart, I don’t know when we got the damage."

The victory is just Mercedes second grand prix win since the re-introduction of ground effects to F1 at the start of 2022, with both those triumphs falling to the other side of the garage.

Hamilton, however, did not feel he was starting to gather momentum - even if Mercedes is starting to claw back the ground to Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.

"From my side, it’s not totally different," he explained. "But George you can see is doing really well. He won a grand prix already, so that’s huge."

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