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Hamilton Wins In Austria After Final Lap Shunt With Rosberg

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 3 2016
Lewis Hamilton survived last-lap contact with teammate Nico Rosberg to win Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton survived last-lap contact with teammate Nico Rosberg to win Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. (File photo)

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg acted like anything but teammates on the final lap of Sunday’s Austria Grand Prix as the two made contact and nearly wiped each other out in a battle for the lead and the victory.

Hamilton emerged from the contact with both the lead and then victory in his Mercedes AMG Silver Arrows while Rosberg, who was leading up to the point when he used his Mercedes to push Hamilton off the track and into a gravel trap at the Spielberg circuit, limped home a distant fourth as his Mercedes suffered severe front-end damage the shunt.

After the race, the German driver laid blame for the incident on Hamilton.

“That’s a tough one,” Rosberg said. “I was pretty sure I was going to win that. My brakes overheated on the last lap and that changed the brakes alot. I was in a good position to defend, I had the inside line and it’s my corner on the inside. I was very surprised that Lewis decided to turn in.”

Hamilton saw things differently.

“I went very wide,” the British defending champion said, “and left him plenty of room and as I started to turn, I was at the edge of the track, and he collided with me.”

Rosberg, who had won the previous two Formula One races, saw his points lead over Hamilton cut to 11 points.

Sunday’s problem between the two Mercedes drivers was not the first of its kind. Hamilton and Rosberg have been bashing into each other for much of their time as teammates.

After the latest incident, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, tweeted that his drivers are making the team look like “idiots”.

“It can’t continue like this,” Wolff said, adding that team order now become a possibility.

Asked who me blamed for the incident at the Red Bull circuit, Wolff said, “It takes two to tango.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third on Sunday. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Buss was fifth and Jenson Button of McLaren was sixth.

Romain Grosjean of America’s Haas F1 team finished in the points as he was seventh.

“It was a pretty good race,” the Frenchman said. “The first lap was not great. I was pushed out by another car and I lost quite a few positions. After that we stayed out on the supersofts, even though the tires were going away. I managed to pick up some pace and run well. The safety car came when we had planned our stop, so that helped a little bit.

“After that I was behind (Jensen) Button. I was trying to chase him and overtake him, but it was just too hard to follow another car and then be able to pass. The last few laps, I learned I had a five-second penalty, so I had to open the gap to the car behind. I really pushed it to one hundred percent every single lap, which was quite fun, but stressful as well. I didn’t want to go out. In the end it was Perez that went out, so it was all good for me.”

Haas’ second driver, Esteban Guttierez, finished just out of the points as he was 11th.

“It was a very difficult race from the start,” Guttierez said. “Going on anti-stall, we lost a lot of ground. After that I was recovering, trying to do my best to fight all the way up to the front on a different strategy from what we had planned. In the end, the pace was pretty good. We were regaining positions and getting back to being in good shape, but we were struggling with grip. We ended up P11, very close to scoring points. It’s not great, but at least we fought all the way with what we had. I’ll keep pushing and focusing on the next race.”

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 3 2016
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