Lewis Hamilton “definitely didn’t expect to be as bad as we were” at the Austrian GP

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Lewis Hamilton experienced a disheartening Austrian Grand Prix this weekend as he and his Mercedes team-mate George Russell finished in 8th and 7th place respectively. This was a huge step back for the Brackley team, who had previously achieved multiple podium results this season.

Photo credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Speaking after the race, Hamilton referred to the weekend as “definitely surprising” due to the significant improvements that had recently been made to his car. “I definitely didn’t expect to be as bad as we were today,” the 7 time world champion said.

Additionally, he commented on how the incorrect front wing configuration led to serious handling problems that caused him to incur two penalties. Back-to-back five and ten second punishments for track limit infringements placed him behind Russell in 8th position. About the issue, Hamilton remarked: “We knew that we had really bad rear end here [in Austria], so we took out a lot of front wing to try and keep that balance so that we could do a long run and go long… And we massively overdid it.”

“I was almost full lock around the last two corners. Going into Turn 10 I was just sliding, and I couldn’t do anything about it. So through the stops we then added a lot of wing and the car started to slowly come back to at least getting round and staying on track,” the 38-year-old added.

Photo credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

The FIA found there were 1,200 potential offences taking place in the final sector alone which ultimately saw Hamilton’s Sunday going even further south as the post-race penalty for him dropped the seven-time World Champion to P8.

Aston Martin later protested against this race result which was revised heavily many hours after the flag dropped. “I think they probably need to find a new solution for this track,” Hamilton said when asked about his opinion the matter.

“Years ago, when we didn’t have the track limit thing the track was much more enjoyable to drive. It’s strange to be driving and to have to almost comment on the car ahead, because that’s what the team wants you to do.”

In addition to all these issues, during his stint on track Hamilton noticed other drivers such as Lando Norris were also consistently going off – conflicting with F1 regulations but apparently went unpunished.

In regards to this trend, he said: “Lando Norris was going off so much, it was insane. As soon as he passed me, he went off like at least 10 times and so did Pérez. Obviously they should just be able to go off and none of us should get a warning.”