Lewis Hamilton looking for positives and understanding after difficult Austrian GP
Hamilton 20 points behind Vettel in championship race after fourth-place finish in Austria
By Pete Gill and James Galloway at the Red Bull Ring
Last Updated: 18/07/17 12:17pm
Lewis Hamilton has pleaded for understanding about his perceived post-race unhappiness at the Austrian GP after falling 20 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the title race.
Hamilton could only finish fourth at the Red Bull Ring, two places behind Vettel, while Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas reignited his own championship bid with his second win of the season.
"I think it's important for people who are watching, and also people who are reporting, to have patience with us drivers," said Hamilton.
"You can't be happy when you don't have a result. You sacrifice everything to get the best result possible.
"When you personally don't deliver and when things stack up against you, it's hard to come out smiling. That would mean you don't care enough. The fact is, l care."
Throughout a weekend overshadowed by the fallout from his collision with Vettel in Baku, Hamilton's body language in Austria was interpreted as subdued and downbeat.
It subsequently emerged that Mercedes had informed their driver at the start of the week he was facing a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, and Hamilton's difficult weekend ended in frustration when he was unable to find a way past Daniel Ricciardo in the final laps to rescue a podium finish.
"There are some days that are more painful than others, and there are some days that are easier," said Hamilton.
"When you write stories or people comment, please just bear that in mind. It's not a sign l am ungrateful or anything like that.
"It's just the intensity of the battle, which l am loving, and the team are loving. But l want to win this championship. Right now l am 20 points behind but there is a long, long way to go and it could turn around in one race."
Updated Drivers' Championship standings
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||107|
The next race is in a week's time at the British GP where Hamilton will be striving to cut the deficit to Vettel having been denied victory in Baku when his headrest became loose and finishing off the podium in Austria for the fourth time this season despite setting the fastest lap of the race.
"All l can do is try to inspire with my drives. When l went and looked at the race pace l was quickest. I had the strongest race pace.
"When l got past the Force Indias, l was something like 16 seconds behind Valtteri. Then there was another bunch of seconds l lost but at the end l was only six seconds behind Valtteri.
"So it was actually pretty positive. There's nothing more l can do. I just need to keep driving the way l am."
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