Verstappen used secret tactic to win Austrian Grand Prix

Verstappen used secret tactic to win Austrian Grand Prix

Verstappen used secret tactic to win Austrian Grand Prix

A furious Hamilton had already accused Mercedes of costing him victory after they failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) period and stop their star driver for a tyre change.

On a bleak day for Mercedes, who suffered a double mechanical retirement for the first time since their return as a constructor in 2010, Verstappen and his 20,000-strong army of orange-shirted Dutch fans led the celebrations.

Blistering had become a real problem for drivers during the race and team principal Christian Horner revealed after the race the tactic Verstappen had been using late on to stay ahead of both Ferrari's.

For Mercedes, it was a different story. Hamilton and Bottas dominated two of three practice sessions and finished clearly on top in qualifying, with Bottas earning his first pole position of the season. By Lap 14, however, Bottas started experiencing loss of hydraulic pressure and slowed down at Turn 4, warranting the need for a virtual safety auto (VSC).

Hamilton was in front from the start but lost his lead following a tactical mistake by his team, which did not pit him under a virtual safety vehicle while most other teams took the opportunity to switch to soft tires. "How did we miss that?"

"My sole goal right now and focus is fully Formula One", said the four-time world champion, dodging the story that has buzzed around the music world about the artist identified as "XNDA" in a duet with Aguilera on her album Liberation.

Sebastian Vettel made a mistake on his first Q3 attempt but jumped from seventh to third on his final run ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

In came Hamilton for tyres on lap 25. This meant that whilst the Brit extended his lead over his competitors, it wasn't enough to give him a clear pit stop - instead meaning he dropped down to fourth when he exited the pits.

Asked by Sky whether the sudden poor reliability of the auto was a concern, he said: "I feel fine about it. It can be very, very cruel and we had all the cruelty go against us today and it just got us brutally".

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"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 can not throw away points". James coming on the radio was to help Lewis out of the mind loop of how could this have happened?

"This is James, I have thrown away the win today", replied Vowles.

"We trust in you and believe in you".

The crisis continued to worsen for Hamilton when Vettel, who had started sixth, passed his rival on the inside at Turn 3.

"We need to try not to do it again and how to best avoid it and then get our mind back to Silverstone and race as good as we can then".

However, Ricciardo had problems and he was overtaken by the impressive Kimi Raikkonen, and eventually the birthday boy had to retire with gear issues.

Hamilton reeled off two fastest laps, but it was asking too much as Mercedes' unbeaten four-year run in Austria, and his own race, came to an end when he pulled up on lap 64 after losing power.

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