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06 July 2018, 06:49 | Tracey Rhodes
Verstappen wins in Austria as Vettel grabs lead in standings
Had he started from third on the grid, where he originally qualified, he would have been in an ideal position to capitalise on the retirement of the two Mercedes drivers and finish ahead of eventual race victor Max Verstappen. Vettelsaid the Sainz had completely understood what had happened, was relaxed about it and said it was no problem, but the stewards still felt the need to act.
Immediately, both Ferrari and Red Bull responded with double pit-stops for their drivers while Mercedes left Hamilton out - a tactical oversight that was to prove costly.
Hamilton suffered his first race retirement since 2016 at Spielberg, ending a record run of 33 successive races in the points.
"The Grand Prix has become a pillar of Victoria's world-class events and sports calendar and we're proud to again be hosting the season opener in 2019", John Eren, Minister for Tourism and Major Events said.
He added: "It's quite hard without knowing the intricacies of other teams, but the one thing you have to do as a team is win as a team and lose as a team, and that's why we don't often - or hardly at all - talk about individuals in success or failure, because that puts an unfair amount of scrutiny and pressure on that individual".
Verstappen hit the front after Mercedes kept Hamilton out on track during a virtual safety auto period that followed Bottas's retirement, with the other contenders pitting for fresh tyres.
"These experiences that we have been having and how we've been handling them have really united us more than any year".
'I don't think it's a title decider but I can't predict what will happen. Chief strategist James Vowles acknowledged the blunder, telling Hamilton that it was his mistake. I feel I have the best strategy team behind me. We've had far, far more success than we've had failures and nobody is ideal.
McLaren may talked before the start of the Formula One season about fighting for podiums and possible wins but team boss Zak Brown recognises that it could be years before that happens.
'It's up and down from track to track but I believe we're the best team, ' said Hamilton.
"I think from 2017, we had a better vehicle from the start, we had great results in the beginning of the year", said Vettel. I don't know if that's two or 10, or somewhere in-between. "I think that Ferrari update is working pretty well round here".
'I'm focused on what we do.
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has left the team this week as part of a restructure of racing management, which has seen Andrea Stella promoted to performance director to head race team operations and former Indycar driver Gil De Ferran made sporting director to oversee the performance of the team and drivers.
"I just have the feeling that this is a hugely significant session", said Sky F1 commentator David Croft.
"Obviously, there was an error that happened to us as a team".
Senegal commitment explains fair play exit, says Cisse
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