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Hamilton admits key decision in qualifying backfired

Lewis Hamilton was left regretting a decision that cost him on his final lap during qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that his decision to jump the queue ahead of his final lap in qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix backfired on him. The Mercedes driver - who qualified in third but will start the race from second due to Valtteri Bottas' three-place grid penalty demoting him from the front row - made the move in the hope of getting his tyres up to temperature, but soon realised that he was actually picking up dirt instead which cost him time. "In hindsight [it cost me]," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select media following the session. "I knew that everyone was just going so slow and I was worried about not having the tyres up to temperature. "But I went on all the dirty lines, so just picking up all the dirt on the tyres, and then that poor exit out of the last corner. So already by turn one I was a tenth down, and already by turn three I was two tenths down, so no hope in that respect. "Then naturally [I] tried to overdrive to gather that pace, that time lost back, and it didn't work." After some difficult moments during qualifying, Hamilton is expecting a tough battle with the Red Bulls during the Grand Prix. The seven-times World Champion lines up alongside pole sitter Max Verstappen on the front row. "I wanted to deliver a decent lap, and in FP3 I did a lap and I was like, 'That's the one that I need for Q3'. And I got nowhere near it," Hamilton explained. "But these things happen. We gave it everything, and we've got a long race tomorrow, so I hope that the balance works for us. It's going to be a tough battle with these guys." Hamilton currently trails Verstappen in the Drivers' Standings by 12 points.

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