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Wolff: Austrian GP most painful Mercedes race

Wolff: Austrian GP most painful Mercedes race

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Wolff: Austrian GP most painful Mercedes race

Wolff: Austrian GP most painful Mercedes race

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said the team's double DNF at the Austrian Grand Prix was their most 'painful' outing during his tenure. Pole-sitting Valtteri Bottas retired with a hydraulic failure, while Lewis Hamilton also broke down late on, after a strategic blunder cost him first place earlier in the race.

The Silver Arrows came to Spielberg having won all four races here since Austria's return to the F1 calendar.

However, their dominance was ended in astonishing fashion, pivoting on Bottas' retirement in the early stages.

The Virtual Safety Car was activated, but Hamilton was not called into the pits from P1, something that immediately looked like an error as his rivals behind all took a service.

Once racing resumed, Hamilton was just 13 seconds ahead of those on fresh rubber, with a live pitstop costing 20 seconds, prompting chief strategist James Vowles to issue several apologies to the reigning champion.

A miserable race ended in Mercedes' first double DNF since Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's first-lap wipeout in Spain 2016 - a race won by Max Verstappen, as this one was too.

Despite having to have dealt with the fallout of that fateful day, Wolff pegged this error-strewn display as the worst under his watch.

"It is a tremendously painful day, for me personally the most painful in the last six years," Wolff told Sky Sports.

"We were one and two, a good first lap, but two DNFs, losing the race under VSC (virtual safety car) it does not get any more cruel for us.

"We have a race to do next week at Silverstone, we have to come back. The difficult ones are the ones we learn the most from. It feels terrible, but we have to stay positive."

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