Mercedes say no changes needed after 'very cruel' Austria

Mercedes say no changes needed after 'very cruel' Austria

The victory was the 20-year-old Dutch driver's first of the season, fourth of his career, and came in front of an army of orange-shirted fans packing the grandstands and then flooding onto the track at the finish.

Both Mercedes pilots are running the team's all-new aero package this weekend, which features several new developments on the W09 in an attempt to pull away from its front-running rivals. We were the quickest and to have two different faults on each vehicle... very unusual but we really can't throw away points. Raikkonen is 45 points behind Vettel in third.

New championship leader Vettel said: "A positive day but it could've been better".

The Ferraris will start tomorrow's race on the ultrasoft tyres, having used them to set their Q2 times, while Hamilton and Bottas will have supersofts.

The race had already turned ugly for Hamilton after the team mistakenly failed to pit their driver under the Virtual Safety Car triggered by Bottas' retirement.

"I've got no time left in the tyres", said Hamilton, aware that a straightforward race win was in peril.

"We all were in pain about the mistake that we made", he says. "We were the quickest".

"The teamwork with the two fantastic pit stops and we were sharp with the virtual safety auto".

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Wolff also moved to downplay fears that Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas' retirements on Sunday - Mercedes' first double mechanical DNF of the modern era - are linked to the team's upgraded engine. This team has had the best reliability over the last years, this team has had by far the best auto and is by far the best team I have driven for.

After Mercedes was beaten by Ferrari at one of its strongest circuits in Montreal last month, Wolff said it was crucial it wins in Austria on Sunday.

"We had an hydraulic leak linked to the steering on Valtteri's vehicle, and we had a drop in fuel pressure on Lewis's auto which was linked to the fuel system". Bottas qualified fastest this weekend and still could not compete for a first win of 2018 as a hydraulic problem forced him out after 15 laps.

His exit brought out the virtual safety auto, slowing down the pace and disallowing overtaking. If we pit Lewis, we would come out behind Kimi (Raikkonen of Ferrari) if they leave Kimi out, and behind Max (Verstappen of Red Bull). When the defending champion made his stop 10 laps later, he dropped to fourth.

Mercedes head strategist James Vowles admitted to the error over the team radio and Hamilton said he went to console Vowles after his retirement.

With track temperatures significantly higher than during practice and qualifying in previous days, tire management became tricky.

Mercedes has won all four races since the Austrian GP returned to the calendar in 2014.

Sebastian Vettel fears the Austrian Grand Prix will resemble a computer game as Formula One's rulers desperately attempt to jazz up the show.

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