Austrian pit errors highlight intensity of driver fight

Lewis Hamilton's Austrian Grand Prix pit exit error, and Nico Rosberg's locked-up entry, prove the intensity of their Formula 1 fight for dominance, reckons their Mercedes boss.

The pair delivered a close fight for victory at the Red Bull Ring, with the key moment of their battle coming during the pitstop window.

Rosberg nearly got it all wrong on his way in to the pits, locking up his wheels and nearly not slowing down in time before the speed limit line.

And then Hamilton made a mistake on the exit as he pushed too hard on the way out of the pits, crossing the white exit line and earning himself a five-second penalty.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff denied that those incidents were evidence of either driver feeling the pressure of the title chase, but believes they did highlight how much race wins mean to the pair right now.

"I don't think they are feeling the pressure of the overall championship yet, but they are definitely pushing very hard in order to beat each other," explained Wolff.

"You rarely see somebody coming in with smoking locked wheels in to the pits, because you could well miss the line and get a penalty. And equally on the exit [it is quite rare]

"I think it is just the result of a very fierce battle between the two of them."

Risk taking

With Hamilton and Rosberg having both run off the track in qualifying in their bid to beat each other, Wolff thinks that the risk taking highlighted by the pit errors is now essential for both men.

Reflecting on why Hamilton messed up on the exit, he said: "What you can see is he is pushing really hard on the in-lap like Nico, with locking wheels.

"If you know this is probably your only chance in passing your team-mate, you need to take some risks: not only going into the pits but also on the exit of the pits.

"I think I saw a little bit of a snap on the right hand and he was on the throttle early to have the best possible exit to go with Nico. So he crossed the line with the snap, and when you push yourselves like this these things can happen."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news