Sebastian Vettel hits out at Formula One penalty system

Max Verstappen wins Austrian F1 as Mercedes ruins Lewis Hamilton's day, Sebastian Vettel takes title lead

Max Verstappen wins Austrian F1 as Mercedes ruins Lewis Hamilton's day, Sebastian Vettel takes title lead

F1 has announced that the 2019 Australian Grand Prix will be held between March 14-17, for the season opener.

Verstappen edged Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari for the win.

Vettel was penalised for impeding Carlos Sainz during the second part of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, dropping him to sixth on the grid even though no damage was done and both drivers progressed to the third and final qualifying session.

The 20-year-old came under pressure for a string of clashes early in the season in incidents that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes were not that different to Sunday's Austrian GP fight.

"From previous experience in practice sessions, I know it can happen". I am open-minded as if in two years' time we still feel the same about each other, have trust, then it would be clear that we continue.

"The bad is that, one, I always think countries seem to waste money when they resurface the tracks".

"[We had] some overheating issues", said the Finn after Friday's running.

"Because Hamilton stayed out he lost more than eight seconds and immediately was out of the race", the journalist concluded.

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Two-time champion Fernando Alonso came home eighth for McLaren ahead of Monegasque rising star Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari-powered Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

Watch Red Bull's Max Verstappen as he spins off in Practice Two at the British GP.

But nevertheless, Hamilton's Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas said that it was tyres - as well as a very potent looking Ferrari - that were his main concern for Sunday's race.

Mercedes' chief strategist, James Vowles, took the blame for failing to call in Hamilton for a pit stop while the safety vehicle was out.

During that span, Verstappen, Raikkonen, and Vettel all went into the pit and changed to softer tires, while Hamilton passed. "It might not be a race victory for Mercedes - I think that Ferrari update is working pretty well round here" - Anthony Davidson. Chief strategist James Vowles acknowledged the blunder, telling Hamilton that it was his mistake. This meant that eventually, with tyre wear on his left-rear tyre, Hamilton had to stop for fresh rubber, putting him on a two-stop strategy, which saw him move down to fifth-place overall.

The last time that Hamilton retired was in 2016 when he crashed with teammate Nico Rosberg in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton will be hoping the upgrades he took to Austria will give him the edge in qualifying - and more importantly last the race distance - as he looks for that record win in front of 130,000 fans tomorrow.

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