Mercedes: Hamilton is still in the fight
11 Jul 2017 - 0:13
Spielberg, Austria: Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff has issued a rallying cry for Lewis Hamilton's title bid after another dose of bad luck cost him points in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.
The Austrian boss, who saw Valtteri Bottas claim his second win of the year for Mercedes and move into contention for the drivers' championship, said Hamilton had suffered from a run of misfortune.
"In my opinion Lewis had all the bad luck that you can have," he told reporters.
"We've let him down with the head-rest, we've let him down with the gearbox. Now it's about time to fight back and hopefully that's going to happen in Silverstone."
The luckless Hamilton was deprived of a near certain victory in last month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix when he was forced to pit for repairs to a loose head-rest and had to start Sunday's race at the Red Bull Ring from eighth on the grid due to an unscheduled gearbox change.
Championship leader and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished second and extended his lead ahead of the Briton to 20 points, with Bottas 19 points adrift in third.
"I feel that he didn't have a great time most recently," said Wolff.
"He didn't have a great time in the race because he was suffering from the car and the tyres, he didn't have a great time with the gear-box troubles and the headrest.
"So it's about time that this changes. The momentum goes in the other direction... Lewis is still right in the fight.
A deflated Hamilton was in downcast mood after Sunday's race, but is certain to recover his poise and be back to his best for his home race this week when he will bid to put recent setbacks behind him.
Vettel's good fortune - in escaping a heavy sanction for his 'road rage' attack in Baku and profiting from Hamilton's difficulties - has enabled him to enlarge his advantage, but without winning a race." Twenty points behind is 20 points," said Hamilton.
"It's not great. But it could have been 30... I don't think there's a call for me to do anything else than I'm already doing.
"It's not like the team aren't on my side or they're not working hard or I'm not pushing them hard enough. I just have to keep driving the way I have been and hope things get better."
Vettel, who declared that Bottas was 'un-human' if he had reacted to the lights out to deliver his perfect start from pole position, appears to be enjoying a streak of good fortune.