Austrian GP

A bad day for Hamilton in Austrian GP

A bad day for Hamilton in Austrian GP

A bad day for Hamilton in Austrian GP

It was not a good start to the weekend for world champion Lewis Hamilton in Austria.

Bidding to close his points gap to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, the Briton had to admit after Friday practice that so far he is “off the pace”.

And Hamilton’s rivals then began to round on him in other ways.

One was Romain Grosjean, who complained that Hamilton was driving carelessly at the Red Bull Ring.

“If I get a chance, I’ll talk to him. I could have had a serious accident with him,” said the Frenchman.

Then the issue of Hamilton’s argument that the radio clampdown should be eased emerged, as Fernando Alonso declared: “If someone does not know what to do, it is because he has not spent enough time in the simulator or with the engineers.”

And finally, Rosberg and Max Verstappen were at odds with Hamilton as well, as the latter 18-year-old alleged that the Mercedes driver is hypocritical when it comes to the matter of driver safety.

Hamilton had publicly hit out at “moaning” drivers last time out in Baku, and now he has criticised drivers complaining about supposedly “dangerous” new kerbs in Austria.

“In the media he says he doesn’t care (about safety),” Verstappen told reporters on Friday.

“But I had an incident in the (Baku) briefing when I said the pit entry was tricky. He (Hamilton) was like ‘Oh you shouldn’t bother about it’.

“Then Nico jumped in and said ‘Wait Lewis, you just said (in the Mercedes briefing) that you were getting a turtlehead when entering the pitlane’.

“Maybe he (Hamilton) wants to be cool,” Verstappen surmised.

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