Lewis Hamilton appears resigned to defeat in Austrian Grand Prix after finishing fourth in qualifying… with Max Verstappen in pole position once again who lies 18 points behind British Merecedes driver
- Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix
- Max Verstappen ended qualifying in pole position with Lando Norris in second
- Hamilton came into the weekend 18 points behind Verstappen in the standings
- The Mercedes driver hinted that a win in Sunday’s was ‘out of the question’
Lewis Hamilton sounded resigned to falling further behind in the Formula One title race after qualifying only fourth on Saturday for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ seven-times world champion, the sport’s most successful driver of all time, is 18 points adrift of Red Bull rival Max Verstappen, who is in pole position.
Hamilton finished second to Verstappen at the same circuit in last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, when he had qualified on the front row, and he said Sunday would be even more of a challenge.
Lewis Hamilton is now resigned to falling further behind Max Verstappen at the Austrian GP
Hamilton will start behind the Dutch driver on Sunday after finishing fourth in qualifying
‘We continue to lack pace, we’ve tried everything to get more out of the car and it’s just the underlying pace that is where we’re at, at the moment,’ the Briton told Sky sports television.
Asked if a win was out of the question, Hamilton agreed it looked that way. ‘I would say so. In terms of pure pace it’s definitely out of the question.
‘They’ve got three tenths on us, I think they’ve improved their car again this weekend. So I would say that’s an easy cruise win for Max.
Hamilton (left) came into the weekend 18 points behind Verstappen (right) in the standings
Hamilton confirmed on Saturday that he will be carrying on with Mercedes for two more years
‘I think for us it’s to try and see if we can get ahead of at least Perez, try to limit the damage this weekend,’ he added.
Verstappen’s Mexican team mate Sergio Perez qualified third, behind McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Hamilton’s day had started more positively with the announcement that the 36-year-old was staying at Mercedes for two more years, ending talk of any retirement at the end of the season.
‘It’s my family. I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13 so it’s pretty easy to continue,’ he said.