We've fixed problems with vehicle, says Lewis Hamilton

Image ANDREJ ISAKOVIC  AFP

Image ANDREJ ISAKOVIC AFP

Hamilton was forced to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix but will be confident of overhauling his rival from Ferrari with 12 races still to go - starting with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.

"The track is the fastest it has ever been; we're flat out through Copse and Turn 1 and through Turn 2 with the DRS - it's insane how fast it is", he said.

Hamilton will be hoping the upgrades he took to Austria will give him the edge in qualifying - and more importantly last the race distance - as he looks for that record win in front of 130,000 fans tomorrow.

"Luckily, it doesn't seem to affect us in terms of performance, only the high-speed corners like Turn 9 or Turn 13 are a bit trickier".

Best of the rest behind F1's front-runners, Grosjean held on to P7 despite his off, with Force India's Sergio Perez edging out team mate Esteban Ocon for eight. The two Alfa Romeo-Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson finished in ninth and tenth positions respectively.

Vettel leads the title race with 146 points ahead of Hamilton on 145, Raikkonen on 101 and Ricciardo on 96.

He said: "I've booked my day off, next Sunday, I've booked that day off, I'm like 'keep it free because I want to be in Russian Federation for that day, supporting them". "Very consistent. No mistakes". "2007 was already pretty cool and then 2008, I really will never forget that day".

But Finn Raikkonen says no one should be surprised. "After that, the auto came good, but we just ran out of laps".

Mercedes has been on pole for the past five consecutive visits to Silverstone, stretching back as far as the V8 era when Lewis Hamilton started the run in 2013. Verstappen came out in second and was well within Hamilton's pit window, and on fresher tyres. Nico Hulkenberg ("Reno") - 34 10. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 92 7. "My gearbox is gone", he told the team. The main reason was Mercedes' tactical blunder, which saw them staying out during the Virtual Safety Car while everyone else behind them dove in for a stop.

Asked about the penalty ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, Vettel said the FIA's desire to deliver consistent punishments has led to too much scrutiny of every on-track incident. Second place in the race went to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, while third place went to Sebastian Vettel. Carlos said it was no problem and he completely understood, he was very chilled, and I still ended up with a penalty.

"Especially following someone, you're not going to be able to leave it open". "We've just thrown away a win", said Hamilton. Verstappen had slight blistering, but Hamilton's left rear was a mass of blistered rubber.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was fifth quickest, added: "We weren't fast".

Mercedes's chief strategist James Vowles came on the radio as the bearer of bad news, admitting his error as Hamilton struggled to comprehend what the team had done.

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