THE MOTORSPORT LAP
Bottas, Hamilton let down the team
The Austrian Grand Prix was the worst one yet for Mercedes-AMG according to team boss Toto Wolff
Mercedes-AMG had its worst outing this past weekend since 2016’s Spanish Grand Prix when both its cars failed to finish the Austrian Grand Prix.
First, Valtteri Bottas experiencing hydraulic issues that put paid to his campaign after starting on the podium for Sunday’s race. Then his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, also retired in the latter part of the race with fuel pressure issues compounded by the fact that the team missed the window of opportunity by not pitting under the VSC (Virtual Safety Car) that was dispatched following Bottas’ retirement.
This subsequently saw Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen win the race ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastien Vettel respectively.
"We made a mistake and what I think happened is that we were running one and two and controlling the race," says Mercedes-AMG team principal, Toto Wolff. "Suddenly you see Valtteri stopping with a hydraulic leak. The VSC came out we had half a lap to react and we didn’t. Fact. This is where we lost the race.
Going into the British Grand Prix this weekend, Vettel leads the championship by a single point with 146 points to Hamilton’s 145. Raikkonen, is on 101. Will the championship once again go down to the wire?
This remains to be seen, but it will be a valiant fight to the end of the season by all and sundry.
Moving to two wheels, it was the Dutch leg of the Moto GP championship this past weekend, which saw the top-tier class won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) followed by Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) and Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) respectively. Meanwhile, the Moto2 category was clinched by Francesco Bagnia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) followed by Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up Racing) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex). South African rider Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had to settle for seventh position overall.
The Moto3 class was won by Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda) with Aron Carnet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda) second. Racing Honda’s Enea Bastianini was third overall in class.
Going into the next race in Czech Republic on August 5, Marc Marquez leads the Moto GP class with 144 points, followed by Valentino Rossi on 99 and Maverick Vinales on 93.
Meanwhile, Moto2 is currently lead by Francesco Bagnia with 144 points, Miguel Oliviera and Alex Marquez are on 128 and 110 respectively.
Moto3 is spearheaded by Jorge Martin on 105 points.
In Formula E news, Susie Wolff has been appointed as Venturi’s new team principal after becoming a shareholder in the team. Venturi, which has signed Felipe Massa to its driver line-up for next season, will welcome the former Formula One test and development driver for the Williams’ Formula One team as its team boss who will take up the role for the start of season, which starts in Saudi Arabia in December.