Lewis Hamilton admits it was ‘impossible’ to keep up with Max Verstappen during Styrian GP

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated after failing to find any answers to Max Verstappen’s pace during a fairly uneventful Styrian Grand Prix, which saw the Dutchman extend his lead to 18 points in Austria.

Verstappen crossed the line in Austria with a mighty 35.743-second lead over Hamilton, despite the Briton trying his hardest to find a way to close the gap at the Red Bull Ring.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton admitted it was a tough 71 laps for the Mercedes team.

“It was a bit of a lonely race really,” said Hamilton.

“I was trying to keep up with those guys [Red Bull], but the speed they have, they’ve obviously made some big improvements over the last couple of races and impossible to keep up.

“I don’t know why we lose all the time but I think the long run seems to be a bit better, they seem to be able to continue putting out those laps, and obviously on the straights, we lose a lot but nevertheless we got good points as a team today, and we’ve just got to keep pushing.

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Red Bull have been piling on the pressure all season, starting way back in Bahrain testing where Verstappen wiped the floor with his timings across the three days.

Arguably it’s the first time Mercedes have really felt the heat from a rival team since 2018, when Sebastian Vettel took the fight to Hamilton with Ferrari.

Since Monaco however, there has been a huge swing in the championship, with the Dutchman taking control of the standings thanks to a tough weekend for Mercedes.

Baku also lent itself nicely to Red Bull, and despite Verstappen suffering a tyre blowout, the team still walked away leading both the driver and the team standings with no points scored by their main rivals.

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Hamilton and Mercedes looked to bounce back in France but, despite a vast improvement from the previous two races, a clever strategy call from Red Bull saw Verstappen extend his lead at the top of the standings to 12 points heading into two rounds at Austria.

But Hamilton says the key now is to try and look towards the next race, and improve as a team.

“I try not to concern myself with that I mean, naturally they faster, they’re just faster.

“So, not a lot I can do in that respect to just got to keep trying to just do the best job I can each weekend.

“We need to find some performance, we need an upgrade of some sort, we need to push I don’t know where, whether it’s just the rear wing or whether it’s the upgrade in the engine whatever it may be, but we’ve got to find some performance from somewhere.”

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