Austrian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton targets British GP boost after Valtteri Bottas wins but Sebastian Vettel extends title lead

Frank Dalleres
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F1 Grand Prix of Austria
Hamilton now trails championship leader Vettel by 20 points (Source: Getty)

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton is targeting a turnaround in fortunes at Silverstone after enduring another frustrating afternoon at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton, who started eighth after incurring a grid penalty for a new gearbox, finished fourth as Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas pipped the Englishman’s main title rival Sebastian Vettel to the win.

He now trails Vettel by 20 points after nine of 20 races but hopes that a return to home soil for this week’s British Grand Prix, where he is unbeaten since 2013, can revive his bid for a fourth world title.

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“It’s not going great at the moment, but there is a long way to go, there are still so many races,” said Hamilton.

“I’ve fallen further behind this weekend. It’s like every step I hit, I fall five places further behind. I’ve just got to keep battling and hope that it gets better. I won’t give up.

“I’m looking forward to getting there [Silverstone] and hoping to use that as a springboard to get some better results from then on.

Hamilton hopes to revive his title bid at Silverstone this week (Source: Getty)

“There’s a lot of pressure going into it, and this has obviously been a difficult weekend so we’ll try to get past this in the next couple of days and then move forwards.”

Vettel's new row

Hamilton closed in on but failed to catch Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who took third, while Vettel was left frustrated at finishing just 0.7 seconds behind Bottas.

Vettel, who had a bust-up with Hamilton at the previous race in Azerbaijan, accused Bottas of jumping the start, despite the Finn’s reaction time being measured at a legal 0.2 seconds.

Vettel (left) accused Bottas (right) of jump starting (Source: Getty)

“I don’t believe that,” the Ferrari driver said. “From my point of view he jumped the start. I was sure that he did, but it’s not for me to judge at the end of the day.”

It was only Bottas’s second win and leaves the 27-year-old just 15 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.

Read more: Hamilton calls truce with Vettel but wants answers from FIA

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